800 million pounds of pesticides are used annually in the United States. Xenoestrogens (such as certain pesticides) may negatively affect male fertility, but the benefits of eating fruits and vegetables dramatically outweigh any risks of eating even conventional pesticide-laden produce.

For-hire “scientific” firms have produced studies that downplay the risks of pesticides, asbestos, cigarette smoke, and meat eating. Luckily, DDT was banned in 1972, but such industrial toxins continue to build up in animal fat. Those eating plant-based diets, thus, have been found to be significantly less polluted than omnivores. Pesticides, as well as antibiotics, manure, pus, cholesterol, and saturated butterfat have all been found in milk. Factory farmed fish have higher levels of DDT and other banned pesticides than other fish. Fish oil supplements have been found to be contaminated with PCBs and insecticides (see also here). And Ayurvedic medicines have been found to be contaminated with pesticides, lead, arsenic, and mercury. The contamination of meat with drug, pesticide, and heavy metal residue is supposed to be screened by the USDA, but their efforts have been found to be lacking.

The standard treatment for head lice is an insecticide; coconut emulsion shampoo has been found to be just as effective. Potatoes produce natural insecticide compounds to protect themselves, which is one reason they might not be as health-promoting as sweet potatoes.

Topic summary contributed by Denise.
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