Middle South

March, 2007
Regional Report

Web Finds

The Shopper's Guide to Pesticides in Produce
Print out The Shopper's Guide to Pesticides in Produce so you'll have it handy when you shop. The guide ranks 43 fruits and vegetables to help consumers lower pesticide exposure in their diet. The guide promotes purchasing organically grown produce whenever possible, but if your budget prohibits you from doing so, at least choose organic options of the top ten worst offenders. The guide was created by the Environmental Working Group (EWG), a nonprofit organization that has been reviewing studies and conducting their own tests to expose threats to human health and the environment since 1993. According to an EWG press release, "EWG's computer analysis found that consumers could cut their pesticide exposure by almost 90 percent by avoiding the most contaminated fruits and vegetables and eating the least contaminated instead. Eating the 12 most contaminated fruits and vegetables will expose a person to about 15 pesticides a day, on average. Eating the 12 least contaminated will expose a person to fewer than two pesticides a day."

Tool or Gardening Product

Nitrile Gloves
I rarely wear gloves in the garden, except when handpicking slugs. It's not that I'm a purist or anything, but gloves just don't fit my hands. The thumbs are always too long, and if I buy them small enough to remedy that, then they're too tight. So I resign myself to stained hands from weeding and working in the soil. Until lately. I recently received a pair of nitrile gloves that I've found to be perfect for many outdoor chores. The snug-fitting gloves are made from a cool, breathable knit fabric, and the palm is coated with nitrile, a rubbery substance that's tougher than it looks. They're perfect when I'm spending a few minutes in the garden here and there, allowing me to keep my hands somewhat presentable. On days where I'm weeding for hours, I still go bare-handed and scrub away the dirt under my nails. But nitrile gloves provide the closest thing I've found to a bare-hand grip on weeds and tools.

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