There is something called Maximum Residue Levels, abbreviated to MRLs, they're a measure of how much pesticide is in the produce that you eat. Supermarkets and pesticides companies are very aware of this and try to manage what we all know.
Imagine if MRL data had to be presented on food packaging, much like nutritional information is. Would you buy something with no residue or something with a residue? I know what I prefer and would be willing to pay a little extra for.
Last year I thought we should check if our farming practices were completely free of pesticides, as I was concerned that the new land we had bought may contain traces that could end up in the produce. In fact, the laboratory tests showed that not a trace of any pesticide was found in our cauliflower and cabbage that we had tested. We also asked for data from typical supermarket veg samples and they all contained pesticides. I was shocked but felt slightly vindicated. I do think the public should be better informed in this area.
I recall 3 years ago I spoke to a doctor from India, who told me that they do not get anything like the amount of cancer patients in their population as we do in the UK. I know Indian farmers have not, until recently, used pesticides in their farming practices as their traditional methods are largely organic - perhaps this could be a factor.
Last week I received an industry newsletter, stating the EU is lowering the amount of MRL's allowed in brassicas of a known cancer-causing pesticide called Metazachlor. It is used on cabbage, kale, broccoli and cauliflowers. But the UK is not doing anything about it! I wonder why this is? And why is any residue level acceptable? More digging of information is required!
With all the talk of pesticides I don't want to alarm anyone but I do want to highlight that with the way we grow our crops means we can lose a lot of them due to not using pesticides. I don't think it’s fair that we have to accept similar prices to typical supermarket veg as it’s a great loss to us. We’re really trying our best to make sure the produce we grow is healthy and good for you.