Is it dangerous not to use pesticides?

Nutritionist and Public Health Advocate

Marion Nestle is a consumer activist, nutritionist, and academic who specializes in the politics of food and dietary choice. Nestle received her BA, PhD, and MPH from the University of California, Berkeley. In 1988, Nestle was appointed Chair of New York University’s Steinhardt School of Nutrition, Food Studies, and Public Health. She held that position until 2004, when she became the Paulette Goddard Professor in the same department.

Nestle is the author of numerous books, including "Food Politics," which explored the way corporations influence our nutritional choices, and "What to Eat," an survey of how to navigate the modern American supermarket. Aside from her books and teaching, Nestle writes a popular blog for the Atlantic Food Channel. 

 

  • Transcript

TRANSCRIPT

Marion Nestle:  Well I think anybody who has ever farmed is aware that there are pests.  And sometimes there are a lot of pests and they’re very hard to control.  And it isn’t that organic foods are produced without pesticides.  They are produced with pesticides.  It’s just that they’re ones that are less harmful to the environment.  They don’t last as long.  They’re biodegradable.  They’re not as toxic.  They’re not as harmful.  And that’s why the list of what’s allowed and what’s not allowed is so important and so deeply fought over.  I think what has been shown is that organic producers are able, with the tools they have available, to make their fields almost as productive – certainly within 10 percent of the productivity of conventional fields.  It’s done in a way that’s more labor intensive.  That’s why organic foods cost more.


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