Cotton and coffee are two of the most pesticide-intensive crops in the world. Pesticide residues have been detected in the cottonseed hull, a secondary crop sold as a food commodity. It’s estimated that as much as 65 percent of cotton production ends up in our food chain, whether directly through food or indirectly through the milk or meat of animals, according to a report by the Environmental Justice Foundation. Conventional coffee production also has contributed to the deforestation of the world’s rainforests.
The bottom line: Pesticide residues are generally removed during the processing but the chemicals can have a huge impact on the local land, biodiversity and the health of the workers involved. Though buying organic can help preserve environmental health and support farmers who use ecological methods, “it’s more important to focus on the circumstances of growers and farms versus the product itself,” said food writer Corby Kummer, the author of “The Joy of Coffee.”
Cotton and Coffee. Hmm...I do enjoy a good cup of coffee, but I will definitely be looking for ONLY organic and free trade coffees from now on. And how do we rectify our love for cotton? Organic cottons only? Synthetic fibers made from fossil fuels? I mean, no one wants to see me naked, not without committment papers anyway.