Skip to Navigation
Skip to Content

Support PSR!

Your membership supports PSR's work to reduce global warming, eliminate toxics in our environment and abolish nuclear weapons. YOU make our work possible. Thank you.

Donate Now »

Take Action

Tell the EPA: don't delay the proposed rule to capture leaking methane gas. Our health and the health of the climate cannot wait!

Food Essays Posted on Environmental Health Policy Institute

Posted by Molly Rauch, MPH on February 28, 2011

Last week we posted essays to the Environmental Health Policy Institute addressing the question: “How does our food production system drive our exposure to toxic chemicals?” It’s a bumper crop for the Institute: we’ve posted eight essays on food, more than we’ve posted for any one topic since the launch of the Institute in September 2010.

I urge you to explore the essays from experts across the country on the entire food production system and the implications of how we eat today. You will find essays from Steve Gilbert, toxicologist and PSR board member; Brad Heavner, Senior Policy Advisor for Environment America; Susan Kegley, organic chemist and pesticide specialist; Joanne Perron, OBGYN and breast cancer survivor; Kathy Pryor, Program Coordinator for Washington PSR; Lucia Sayre, Co-Executive Director of San Francisco PSR; Ted Schettler, Science Director of the Science and Environmental Health Network; and Boyce Thorne Miller and Niaz Dorry, both of the Northwest Atlantic Marine Alliance.

These essays are already changing how I eat. Yesterday in the grocery store I was on high alert for “organic” and “local,” and was much more attuned to the life cycle costs of choosing foods that are bathed in chemicals from seed to shelf.

Take, for example, Susan Kegley’s “The Story of Strawberries.” She explains how strawberries are actually produced in our country:

Instead of rotating crops to clear the soil of disease, conventional strawberry growers inject highly toxic fumigant pesticides such as methyl bromide, Telone, metam sodium, and chloropicrin into the soil at hundreds of pounds per acre. These chemicals are gases (or nearly so) at ambient temperatures and rapidly escape from the soil and the tarps placed on top of the soil, drifting into neighborhoods, schoolyards, workplaces, and parks at concentrations that have not infrequently been high enough to cause mass evacuations and hospitalizations.

I think I will never look at a gleaming grocery store clamshell of cosmetically perfect red strawberries again without also thinking of the fumigants injected as gases into the soil before planting. It’s not a system I want to support.

How are the essays changing the way YOU eat?

Comments

Leave your comment

Name
Comment
Enter this word: Change

Action Alerts

  • Tell the EPA: Don't delay methane protections

    Tell the EPA: don't delay the proposed rule to capture leaking methane gas. Our health and the health of the climate cannot wait!

  • Tell Congress—defend the Clean Air Act against Big Oil!

    President Trump, his new EPA administrator Scott Pruitt, and some in Congress are attempting to block or weaken clean air and climate protections like the Clean Power Plan. Tell your member of Congress to support full implementation of the Clean Air Act and the Clean Power Plan.

More action alerts»

Resources

  • Pediatric Environmental Health Toolkit

    PSR and the Pediatric Environmental Health Specialty Units have just introduced the updated Pediatric Environmental Health Toolkit (PEHT). This free web app offers evidenced-based information for clinicians to educate parents about how to reduce toxic exposures during well-child visits. Read more »

  • Environmental Health

    This introductory course in Environmental Health is intended for undergraduate- and graduate-level students of medicine, environmental sciences or public health, and provides foundational theoretical and practical knowledge and skills. Free course offered by NextGenU. Read more »

  • Video: Fracking - Too Dirty, Too Dangerous

    Former executive director of Physicians for Social Responsibility, Catherine Thomasson, MD, presents findings from PSR's report "Too Dirty, Too Dangerous: Why Health Professionals Reject Natural Gas". It is based on summaries of recent medical and scientific studies which clearly convey the health threats that accompany use of methane as a fuel. Read more »

In the Spotlight

  • November 30, 2016
    Eating for Climate and Health
    PSR's new PowerPoint presentation on how climate change impacts food production, and agriculture's contribution to climate change.