Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Mr. Farmer, Aren't Fungicides Pesticides?

As I wrote yesterday, asking farmers and salespeople about the food we are buying is important in finding out what chemicals, if any, are used on our fruits and vegetables.

Straight answers are the norm, but occasionally you’ll receive a response that seems a little far-fetched.

For example, the other day at the farmers' market, I asked if any chemical sprays were used on blueberries I wanted to buy. The farmer responded that he used fungicides, but not pesticides.


Pesticides are an umbrella term for fungicides, insecticides, herbicides, etc. Needless to say, I bought my blueberries elsewhere.

Several days later I asked the same question of another farmer and received a response with which I was much more comfortable:

“They aren’t organic [within the USDA framework], but there are no pesticides. We just pick them wild.”

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