How do I grow food without pesticides

On the safe side with organic

© Pratchaya_Lee /

Eco-monitoring of pesticide residues shows:

More than 80 percent of conventionally grown fruit and vegetables have pesticide residues above the guide value of 0.01 mg / kg, while organic products are just under 7 percent.

Consumers are unsettled by new horror reports about harmful substances in food. This included a 2013 study by the Öko-Test magazine: In the November issue, the magazine had 25 apples of the best-selling varieties tested. Only four were pesticide-free, including the two organic apples tested. The two fruits from conventional cultivation without pesticide residues came from Germany and France.

21 apples contained 17 different pesticides, often several at the same time, twelve of which are not permitted in Germany. All studies in which pesticide residues from organic and conventional food are compared have for years come to the conclusion that conventional goods are much more contaminated than organically produced goods. A study by the state of Baden-Württemberg shows to what frightening extent. In an eco-monitoring process, samples of goods from controlled organic and conventional cultivation were compared: three quarters of conventional goods were contaminated with pesticides, fruit and vegetables from abroad often even more than once, with individual values ​​exceeding the maximum quantities set by the EU.

Pesticides - loads of poison

275 different pesticide active ingredients are currently approved in Germany (as of July 2015). The active ingredients seep into the groundwater, accumulate in fruit trees and are found in their fruits - even if they were only intended to protect the trunk from pests.

Because they are sold under the name "pesticides", the consumer often forgets that their active ingredients were developed to kill life; that of the mushrooms and insects, which also feed on fruits and vegetables. But many ultimately also lead to the death of their natural enemies such as beetles or birds. The residues of pesticides in our food can be harmful to human health. How the individual pollutants relate to one another and how they affect the human body has not yet been researched. Once again, the consumer is acting as a guinea pig.

Food controls inadequate

Checking our food for pesticide residues is tedious and inefficient. It is handled differently from state to state: By the time the data is available, the goods have already been consumed. And not all pesticides are measured by a long way: most state offices only examine about 100 to 150 pesticides. For many active ingredients there are no analysis regulations, or they are not included in the investigation because they are banned in Germany anyway.

Imports from non-EU countries also include pesticides that are not allowed in the EU - but they have to be found first. Only then can a demonstration obligation be imposed upon import, as has currently applied to Turkish peppers since the beginning of 2003 because the limit values ​​are exceeded by up to 80 percent.

Complaint from the EU Commission

After a visit by the food inspectorate in Germany, the EU criticized the lax system in a report from July 2001: "Pesticide residues are not viewed as a serious risk. Products whose residues exceed the legal maximum values ​​are generally not confiscated. The procedures violations are extremely cumbersome and administrative procedures are rarely initiated. There is insufficient feedback between the individual districts. There is no overview of the measures that are being taken at federal or state level. "

Organic mostly pesticide-free

If you do not want to ingest pesticides with your food, it is best to buy organic. 93 percent, as measured by the state of Baden-Württemberg in its eco-monitoring, come into the store without pesticide residues. In the case of conventional goods, on the other hand, only 10 percent of the samples were residue-free.

When comparing samples from organic and conventional cultivation, it becomes clear to what extent the guidelines for controlled organic cultivation (kbA) affect the quality of our food and how a terrifying amount of toxins conventional cultivation leaves in the plants.