Activity 15.3 Class 10 Science Our Environment
Activity 15.3 asks us to discuss the presence of pesticides in packaged food products and their causes.
The presence of pesticides and insecticides in the food product is not so uncommon in India. News on the presence of pesticides in food products frequently comes in the news and research reports. The latest report on the presence of pesticides is of 2018 when the Centre for Science Studies (CSE) found the beyond permissible limit of pesticides in the common cold-drinks and water bottles. The result was a widespread boycott of cold drinks. Gujarat government banned the sale of cold beverages in state-run colleges and schools.
Other food products like vegetables, fruits, milk, and milk products are also found with pesticides.
Source of the pesticides:
What do you think would be the source of pesticides in these food items?
Farmer uses pesticides and insecticides to protect crops from diseases. These pesticides are non-biodegradable and enter our food chain through plant products and washed water.
Could pesticides get into our bodies from this source through other food products too?
Yes, other food products may also contain pesticides. In a natural environment, every food product comes from the plant product through the complex food chain. So if any part of the food chain contains pesticides, all the components of the food chain also receive pesticides.
Discuss what methods could be applied to reduce our intake of pesticides.
At a higher, trophic level concentration of pesticides and other harmful chemicals will be high (biological magnification). If we use only plants and their product, we can reduce the intake of pesticides.
We can use water filters to purify the water. Water filters remove pesticides and other chemicals from the sea.
The other alternatives are to avoid foods contaminated with chemicals like cold-drinks etc.
We can encourage farmers to use biodegradable pesticides (bio-pesticides) like neem extract, microorganism produce, biological enemies of pests like birds, etc.
Next: Activity 15.4