The pandemic has made us more aware of the food choices we make and has sensitized us to healthier options of food. We can now make the choice of switching to Pesticide-Free food.
A key arsenal in industrial scale agriculture is the use of synthetic pesticides to protect crops from pest attacks. As a consequence, the produce comes laden with toxic chemical residues beyond the levels mandated by Jaivik Bharat (the Food Safety and Standards Authority of India’s standards for organic produce) for food safety that when consumed may pose serious health hazards.
Switch to pesticide-free
Pesticide-free food products, as the phrase suggests, are products grown, stored, and packed without the use of any synthetic pesticides. Furthermore, these products are only minimally processed, thereby retaining their nutritional content. Switching to pesticide-free products is the way forward to a safe and healthy lifestyle.
What are the harmful effects of using pesticides?
- Use of synthetic pesticides leaves residues of toxic chemicals in food. Consuming such food may lead to health complications.
- Farmers who areconstantly exposed to toxic chemical pesticides (some of which can be carcinogenic) suffer from health issues ranging from eye and skin irritation in the short term to possible chronic conditions like neurological disorders, and reduced immunity in the long run.
- Synthetic pesticides may take a long time to break down in the soil, thereby eroding soil fertility and affecting productivity. By seeping into the groundwater, synthetic pesticides pose a health hazard to both humans and animals that consume that water.
- Use of synthetic pesticides threatens biodiversity. While some insects affect the crop, there are many that don’t and are in fact vital for overall ecological balance. Most synthetic pesticides, however, kill all insects indiscriminately irrespective of whether they are good or harmful. Disappearance of some of the key bio markers such as bees and sparrows in areas of rampant pesticide use indicates severe imbalance and degradation of the ecosystem.
What are the benefits of Pesticide-Free food?
- Pesticide residues in food affect the health and well-being of consumers.Thus, a switch to pesticide-free products can prevent a range of health issues.
- It is a win for the farmers as well. The switch to bio-inputs is beneficial to farmers as their input costs fall when they no longer need to purchase expensive chemical pesticides. Not to mention the benefits to their health when they’re no longer exposed to toxic chemicals on a regular basis.
Where can you buy Pesticide-Free food?
Safe Harvest (www.safeharvest.co.in) is a category leader in the pesticide-free food commodities segment. Committed to bringing only the best from ‘her farm to your kitchen’, Safe Harvest works with over 100,000 marginal farmers, many of whom are women and tests all of their products for over 120 pesticides to ensure each batch and each packet that reaches the consumer is pesticide-free.
So, now is the time to say no to pesticides in your food and in farming. Buy pesticide-free products to contribute positively to your health, the health of the farmers and that of the environment.
(The author is the head of procurement and partner relations at Safe Harvest.)