The Right to Food
Food Chain Radio Show #1097
Michael Olson, Author & Urban Farming Agriculturalist
Pesticides & The Right to Food
Guest: Hilal Elver, Professor of International Law and UN Special Rapporteur on the Right to Food
Chewing on two items of news.
The Environmental Working Group (EWG) has released its annual list of Dirty Dozen foods contaminated with pesticide residues. Right up there at the top, again, is the strawberry.
EWG points to United States Department of Agriculture tests conducted in 2014 and 2015 that show 99% of the strawberries contain pesticide residues, with the average sample containing 7.7 different pesticides and one sample contained 21 different pesticides. USDA found 74 different pesticides in various combinations in its strawberry sampling, 88% of which came from the U.S. and the remaining from Mexico.
The other item came from the United Nation’s in the form of a report that dispels the long-held assertion of agriculture that pesticides are needed to feed the future.
“It’s a myth,” said Hilal Elver, the UN’s Special Rapporteur on the Right to Food. “Using pesticides has nothing to do with getting rid of hunger.”
By 2050, the world’s population will reportedly increase by 2 billion people. As about one in nine of the world’s population is already suffering from chronic hunger, and so many more are coming our way, we wonder about how we will feed the future if not with the pesticides that now seem to be in everything, everywhere.
And so we ask…
Leave a comment below: Can we feed the present, and the future, without pesticides?