Food safer on farm than at home

With the holiday season upon us ensuring our families eat the safest, tastiest and most nutritious meals is the most important consideration during this special time together.

So, where do the most significant food safety problems occur?on the farm or in the kitchen?

If you guessed the kitchen, you?re probably one of those wise consumers who may already be well on your way to a wholesome, healthy eating lifestyle. On the other hand if you guessed the farm, chances are your kitchen may be a place where food is mishandled or poorly prepared.

There is unnecessary anxiety about food safety in our country today that is diverting attention from this nation?s leading public health problems including cigarette smoking, alcoholism, drug abuse, AIDS and failure to use life-saving technology such as seatbelts, smoke detectors and screening techniques to detect disease at early, treatable stages.

Today, consumers can be confused about the food they eat. And why shouldn?t they be?

Americans are continually bombarded with information about what they should and should not eat. Such mixed messages about our food supply can be frustrating. Many health professionals will tell you too much time, energy and resources are spent worrying about minute or nonexistent pesticide residues on foods such as fruits and vegetables. They believe such energy could be better directed at making sure each individual family and the public eats a variety of foods in moderation.

There is little doubt pesticides in significant quantities may be toxic, but the U.S. government has in place a highly efficient system to ensure the levels of residues in foods remain extremely low?if they are there at all.

The Environ?mental Protec?tion Agency sets these tolerances and the Food and Drug Administration evaluates our produce to ensure tolerances are not exceeded.

Minute levels of pesticide residues detected in some U.S. produce have been found to pose no hazard to the health of children or adults, according to nutritionists.

Trace amounts of pesticides are so miniscule it?s virtually inconceivable they can have any health affect. There is always that chance some individual may have a sensitivity to any kind of chemical?hair gel, tooth paste, pesticides?but these are generally isolated cases.

There has never been one documented case of ill health linked with the regulated and approved use of pesticides.

The claims these tiny residues cause cancer is irresponsible and unscientific. The only evidence against these agricultural chemicals is derived from laboratory studies where rodents are exposed to large amounts of these substances and manifest an increased rate of cancer. There is no relevance of this finding for the minute exposure to human beings.

While proponents of organically grown food like to tout their produce as safer because it contains no pesticide residues, today?s shopper need only purchase their produce and other foods, wash them thoroughly and cook them properly.

Remember while you are preparing the many meals your family and friends will enjoy this holiday season, that our country enjoys the safest, most wholesome food in the world. The safeguards are in place to ensure our food is protected. Making sure we safely prepare food for our loved ones is our responsibility.

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