What about the feel- good superfruit blueberries? Conventional blueberries tested positive for 42 different pesticide residues, EWG said. Thanks for the buzz kill, Ken Cook.
Alex Formuzis, vice president of media relations for the Environmental Working Group, Washington, D.C., said if consumers pick Doritos over fruits and vegetables, it is not because of pesticides. In fact, he said he was “100% certain” that any decline in fresh produce consumption is not attributable to the EWG Shoppers Guide.
Don’t bet the DC mortgage on that 100% certainty, Alex.
Christine Bruhn, consumer food marketing specialist, Food Science and Technology, University of California, Davis, will have none of it. She was particularly passionate during the alliance press teleconference about the Dirty Dozen, stating that one of her university colleagues had looked at the Dirty Dozen list and found the level of pesticides on those commodities was ONE MILLION TIMES times lower than the amount fed to an laboratory animal every day of its life with no ill effect. Further, that same analysis found that substituting organic for conventional produce made no appreciable difference in levels of risk. Bruhn said there is a general assumption by the public that organic products are more nutritious, better for you and more environmentally sustainable. “There’s no data to support those views,” she flatly said.
Dolan was asked by one reporter during the teleconference if she feels she is waging a losing battle in response to the blizzard of headlines about the Dirty Dozen. She said it is tough for the group to get its message heard.
Perhaps less so now than years ago. Success should be counted in small measures, such as the balanced NPR story titled “Why you shouldn’t panic about pesticide in produce”
What’s the biggest drag on consumer demand for fresh fruits and vegetables? Check out the poll results to see what your cohorts think. In my view, the communication efforts of the Alliance for Food and Farming are an important counter punch to the Dirty Dozen.
Even more elegant and fierce communication and promotion of fresh produce is necessary to move demand to higher ground.