The Types of Pesticides Found in Foods Today
Pesticides are toxic, there is no question about that; if they weren’t poisonous, they wouldn’t do their job of killing insects and other pests found on farms. While they are a type of poison, they are for the most part relatively harmless to humans. The human immune system is far stronger than that of small insects and pests, and what kills insects typically has little if any effect on humans.
This doesn’t mean that pesticides should be ignored; the more they are used and ingested, the greater the danger they may pose to your own immune system and overall health. Some farms also use very strong pesticides that are shown to pose health risks to humans, and while many pesticides have been banned or are strictly controlled, there is still a risk factor that they pose. There are typically a few different types of pesticides and substances that are used on farms today and which may affect your foods.
Herbicides are used to kill certain plants while leaving other plants alone; they are used to control weed growth on farms so that the desired crop can grow healthy and strong. Herbicides are somewhat toxic to humans but typically traces of them are not harmful.
Fungicides kill fungi and mold spores; they protect plants that are grown in marshy areas, and they may also be used to treat farm animals in order to protect them from fungal infections. Most fungicides found on foods are not a threat to humans as there are often only trace amounts left after foods make it to store shelves.
Heavy metals like cadmium, cobalt, copper nickel, iron and other such substance are found in most pesticides. They are dangerous to humans and their immune system and are linked to hair loss, birth defects, and even certain types of cancers. One danger of heavy metals in pesticides is that they seep into the soil and are present for many years, being absorbed again and again by crops as they are grown.
Insecticides are typically one of the most dangerous types of pesticides available; these need to be strong enough to kill insects and pests that would otherwise ravage a crop. While a trace amount of these chemicals is harmless to humans, some crops need more applications than others and some farms will use as much as is legally allowed by law.
DDT is the most dangerous of pesticides and has been banned for many years in just about every part of the world. DDT is known to cause birth defects in children and also has severe effects on soil and groundwater.
Eating fresh fruits and vegetables is still the healthiest decision you can make for yourself, and trace amounts of chemicals are nowhere near as dangerous as excess body fat from eating processed foods and sugary foods; the nutrients you get from fruits and vegetables far exceed the risk of trace pesticides. However, you still need to recognize the dangers and consider alternatives to keep yourself and your family safe.