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Cotton — One of the Most Pesticide-Contaminated Crops in the World

By Fredrica Syren:

Cotton is one of the most common and popular textiles; however, what most people don’t know is that 1 cotton boll (1)cotton is of the world’s dirtiest crops due to heavy use of pesticides. The really scary part is that every conventional cotton product — clothing, personal care items, bedding or furniture — has a negative effect on our food supply.

Conventional cotton producers are accountable for use of nearly $2.6 billion worth of pesticides and insecticides, which accounts for more than 35% of the world’s pesticides and insecticide use. The EPA classifies pesticides used in conventional cotton farming as the most dangerous chemicals: at least five of them are known as cancer-causing. A 2004 science report revealed that pesticides applied to cotton during its production can be detected in cotton clothing, in chemical residues that may effect the health of the person wearing it.

woman picking cottonThe problem is that pesticides not only affect the pest, but also the well-being of anything alive. During cotton production, pesticides are expelled into the soil, water and air. There is no doubt that pesticides are extremely dangerous, and it’s in fact the only known poison that we human release into the environment and our food production. That is dangerous to the health of animals, plants, wildlife and humans. When will we learn??

So, to sum it all up, it’s super important to consider what we wear and sleep in, and what impact this has on our own health and the planet. Sustainable and organic fashion, textiles, etc., have become more popular and therefore also more available; so as consumers, we do have a choice. The argument I hear the most against buying organic and sustainable cotton is that it’s too expensive. I think it used to be more expensive, but as consumer demand for organic cotton has grown, I have found inexpensive sustainable options in most common stores. I’m also glad to see that more and more fashion businesses are taking a stand against toxic pesticides and chemicals in their clothing production, and are committed to the use of sustainable materials instead.

About Green Mom

Fredrica Syren, the author and founder of Green-Mom.com, was born in Sweden. Her mother was a classically trained chef who introduced her to many eclectic flavors and skills at a young age. Her mom’s passion for the outdoors and gardening planted the seed for her own love of nature and healthy eating.

She received a degree in journalism and has worked as a print, Internet and broadcasting journalist for many years with big businesses within Europe and the United States. After her mom was diagnosed with terminal cancer and she with pre-cancer, Fredrica changed her career to become a full time yoga teacher and activist. A longtime world traveler, foodie and career woman, she was exposed to many facets of life, but nothing inspired her more than becoming a mom. After her first-born, Fredrica began a food blog focusing on local, seasonal, organic & vegetarian dishes. Years of food blogging developed into the cookbook Yummy in My Tummy, Healthy Cooking for the Whole Family.

Upon the arrival of her second child, Fredrica founded Green-Mom.com. Her vision was to establish a site providing insight about gardening, home and personal care, baby & child, and of course food & nutrition. Green-Mom.com hosts many talented writers shedding light on ways to incorporate eco-friendly and nutritious practices for busy families. She is an advocate for organic, local and sustainable businesses. Fredrica hopes to inspire social change through her lifestyle, passion and business.

Fredrica lives with her husband James Harker-Syren and their three children in San Diego, CA.

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