If in recent years you've followed the challenges facing small farmers who try to grow organic produce or plant non-genetically-altered grain—or perhaps have watched documentaries such as The Future of Food or Food, Inc. or The Real Dirt on Farmer John—here's some interesting news:
While it's only fair that an organic farmer should be able to take action against those whose pesticides drift onto his farm and cost him his organic status, small organic farmers may have suffered a setback (i.e., even more onerous bureaucratic requirements to deal with) in the otherwise laudable food-safety bill that just passed Congress:
For those of you who are interested, milk and coffee continue to be high on the list of common foods that have been found to contain pesticides (in other words, buy the organic versions). Here's the 2010 Dirty Dozen list of produce most likely to be laden with pesticides—again, products you might especially want to buy in organic form:
7) Bell peppers
Runners-up among pesticide-heavy produce include leafy greens, carrots, pears and tomatoes. Among the foods that tend to have less pesticide residue are broccoli, cauliflower, grapefruit, honeydew melons, sweet corn, radishes, onions, tangerines, oranges and pineapples.
Perhaps a good rule of thumb is to avoid anything that ends in the letters C-I-D-E—pesticide, genocide, patricide...