An important part of maintaining a sustainable farming system is managing pests as naturally as possible without damaging the land, wildlife, or beneficial insects. We use Integrated Pest Management, which involves a combination of methods that are economical, environmentally sensitive, and safe for our workers.
While there are methods that don’t require traditional pesticides, every commercial agriculture operation must use pesticides of some type to control economically damaging insects and diseases (even farms that are Certified Organic). Pesticides include poisons that target insects and diseases as well as weed killers, but not all pesticides are the same. There are two main types of pesticides: persistent and non-persistent.
Persistent pesticides remain in the environment for a long time and do not break down quickly. Persistent pesticides have been banned in the United States but are still being used in some other countries.
Non-persistent pesticides, on the other hand, break down quickly in sunlight and rain. Crops that are cultivated using certified organic and sustainable practices, like we talked about last week, use these safer, more environmentally friendly non-persistent pesticides.
Since much of the produce sold in the US is imported from countries that may still use persistent pesticides, it is important to be cautious. Look for produce that is certified organic or grown using sustainable agriculture practices, which means it should be safer to eat and better for the environment.
Click here to learn more about the “Nasty 9” persistent pesticides that may still be used in foreign countries.