Seasonal vegetables contain less pesticide residues than seasonal produce
Seasonal, regional vegetables offer significant advantages in terms of pesticide pollution compared to imported, asaisonale goods, according to the results of a current test by the environmental protection organization Global 2000 and the Chamber of Labor Lower Austria (AKNÖ).
Together with the Lower Austria Chamber of Labor, GLOBAL 2000 examined the fruit and vegetable ingredients of two different Christmas menus for pesticide residues, one of which was composed entirely of seasonal, regional fruits and vegetables and the other of imported goods that were in our latitudes Winter doesn't thrive. For example, “Tomatoes from Morocco, mushrooms from Egypt, head salad from Italy, grapes from Turkey, blueberries from Argentina or cherries from Chile” were used here, reports Global 2000. According to the environmental protection organization, seasonal local crops performed significantly better overall, than the seasonal imported goods.
Regional and seasonal vegetables hardly affected "It is gratifying that the regional and seasonal fruits and vegetables consistently had a very low pesticide exposure," reports Dr. Waltraud Novak, test manager on the part of the environmental protection organization GLOBAL 2000. 80 percent of the products contained no or only one pesticide ingredient. The situation is completely different for non-seasonal products. Here, "not a single sample pool was free of active ingredients". "Even 12 pesticides were detected in the pool of grapes," continued Global 2000. An average of 5.3 active ingredients per product were found in the asaisonale menu, "whereas only 1.1 active ingredients were found on the seasonal menu."
Limit value exceeded for an asaisonale product According to the environmental protection organization, the highest total pesticide load was found in a sample of rocket from Italy with over ten milligrams of pesticides per kilogram. Overall, Global 2000 reports that the average pesticide load in the asaisonale product pools reached 1.2 milligrams per kilogram, whereas it was only 0.05 milligrams per kilogram in the seasonal menu. In addition, the asbestos vegetables were found to exceed the legal maximum been. The testers found excessive amounts of the active ingredient chlorpyrifos in young onions from Italy. Furthermore, in two products, maximum exceedances within the analytical tolerance have been demonstrated, namely in arugula and parsley from Italy, according to the environmental protection organization.
Inadequate labeling of origin The domestic winter vegetables not only impress with their wide variety of flavors, they also score with clearly lower pesticide residues and lower CO2 emissions, explains AKNÖ expert Helmut Bohacek. In addition, the labeling of the origin of the imported products is sometimes very poor. Most of the time, the only thing on the shelves is “Origin see label”, but “on the labels you often have to proverbially search with the magnifying glass to find a clue as to where the product really comes from,” Bohcek said. Here, consumer-friendly, uniform labeling is urgently required.
Local seasonal fruits and vegetables with advantages for the CO2 balance and the higher pesticide load also have a significantly poorer CO2 balance than seasonal goods. Because of the transport and the way of production an enormous CO2 consumption is caused. “The kilo of cherries from Chile required over 26 kg of CO2 equivalents to be transported by plane. This corresponds to around 150 km of driving, ”explains Dr. Waltraud Novak. Even with domestic production of the seasonal products (e.g. strawberries, raspberries and tomatoes), growing in heated greenhouses produces up to 30 times more CO2 emissions than if they grew in the field during the season, the expert continues . From an environmental point of view, according to Global 2000, the three-way combination of "organic - seasonal - regional" is the best - that is, local, seasonal vegetables from organic farming. (fp)
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