Reduce Pesticides – Lead a happy life

Pesticides are designed to control the nuisance and damage caused by pests, and have contributed to reducing disease and increasing food production worldwide.
But the availability and widespread use of pesticides also has the potential to pose unexpected risks, both directly and indirectly, to our health.
People of any age with asthma or other chronic diseases may be more likely than healthy individuals to get sick after pesticide exposure. Some individuals are also more sensitive to the odor or other irritant effects of certain pesticides.
But no matter what their individual sensitivities, people in the greatest danger of pesticide illness are those whose exposure is higher, such as workers who mix or apply pesticides.
People who use pesticides in their homes may also be overexposed and become ill, especially if they do not carefully follow the directions on the product label.
People living near agricultural fields are more likely than urban residents to be exposed to farm chemicals (although their exposure may not necessarily be high enough to cause harmful effects).
What can you do to minimize pesticide exposure?
1. Buy organic and locally grown fruit and vegetables.
Buying organic, in-season produce from your local market is the best assurance of pesticide-free produce. To identify fruit grown organically, look at the little sticker – the number should be five digits
2. Wash fruits and vegetables before eating.
Commercial vegetable and fruit washes are available which are formulated to remove chemical residue from produce. Examples are Environné and Vitanet, available online or at your local health food stores and some supermarkets.
3. Know which fruits and vegetables have higher levels of pesticide residue.
Many of the health risks associated with pesticide residues on produce are concentrated in a relatively small number of fruits and vegetables.
4. Grow your own produce.
A backyard garden plot as small as 400 sq. ft. Can provide much of the required produce for a family of four. Organic methods can replace the need for pesticides and chemical fertilizers, and tending the garden is a healthy activity for children.