Pesticide use on your favorite vegetable, fruit, or nut crop

 

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According to your textbook, in the United States, 1.2 billion pounds of pesticides are used each year. One of the largest food-growing states of the United States—California—provides public access to annual reports of pesticide use by county, pesticide name, and the type of use (referred to as a “site” or “commodity” on which the pesticide is used).

Review the following sections of the “Summary of Pesticide Use Report Data 2010: Indexed by Commodity” report published by California Department of Pesticide Regulation:

  • Skip the introduction and word search on your favorite vegetable, fruit, or nut (search for the singular form of the word, e.g., turnip instead of turnips). Review the variety of the pesticides used on the crop. Take a note of individual pesticides used in large quantities and the total amount of all pesticides used on the crop (listed at the end of the specific pesticides used on the crop).
  • Examine the following three figures in the introductory section of the report (note that the scale of the vertical axis is not the same in all the figures):
    • Figure 1: Trends in use of reproductively hazardous pesticides
    • Figure 2: Trends in use of carcinogenic pesticides
    • Figure 8: Trends in use of biopesticides, many of which are known or believed to be less hazardous than the conventional pesticides

Use your textbook, the South University Online Library, and the Internet to research the toxicity of one of the pesticides commonly used on your favorite vegetable, fruit, or nut.

In your response, address the following:

  • Describe your findings for the pesticides applied in 2010 in California to your favorite fruit, vegetable, or nut.
  • For the pesticide you identified, which is used in larger quantities on the crop that you chose, list its name, type, and the key features of its toxicity. When you list the pesticide type, use the following classification scheme given in the textbook:
    • Insecticides
      • Organophosphates
      • Carbamates
      • Organochlorines
      • Pyrethroids
    • Herbicides
    • Fungicides
    • Nematocides
    • Fumigants
  • Identify if the pesticides listed in the tables accompanying Figures 1, 2, and 8 in the report are a reproductive hazard, carcinogen, or biopesticide.
  • Describe if and how this information changed your attitudes toward your favorite fruit, vegetable, or nut, such as how you prepare it for eating?
  • Explain your thoughts about the workers who produce the crop.

Support your answers with appropriate research and reasoning and initiate comments on the postings of at least two of your peers.

Reference:

California Department of Pesticide Regulation. (2011). Summary of pesticide use report data 2010: Indexed by commodity.
           Retrieved from http://www.cdpr.ca.gov/docs/pur/pur10rep/comrpt10.pdf

Evaluation Criteria:

  • Described the findings for the pesticides applied in 2010 in California to your favorite fruit, vegetable, or nut.
  • Listed the pesticide’s name, type, and the key features of its toxicity.
  • Identified the pesticide listed in the tables accompanying Figures 1, 2, and 8 in the report as a reproductive hazard, carcinogen, or biopesticide.
  • Explained if and how the information changed your attitudes about your favorite fruit, vegetable, or nut.
  • Explained your thoughts about the workers who produce the crop.
  • Supported answers with appropriate research and reasoning and initiated comments on the postings of at least two peers.
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