Pesticides in our Food

Pesticide applications to crops result in varying levels of residues remaining in, or on, our food.

The application of pesticides (insecticides, herbicides, fungicides etc.) does not only take place while the crop is growing, but can also be applied as a seed treatment, or post-harvest to assist with transportation, storage or the cosmetic look of a particular item.

The residues detected on a particular food item will depend on which pesticides have been used and how persistent they are (how long they take to decompose). Food items may contain the residues of just one pesticide, while in others the residues of multiple pesticides will be detectable.

Due to the nature of many of the new systemic type of pesticides, residues are contained within the entire piece of produce rather than just on the surface. As a result, peeling or washing fruit and vegetables before eating is often not enough to prevent exposure to pesticides.

How do pesticides affect our health? Find out here.