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Pesticide Residue On Fruits and Vegetables From Farmers Markets and Community Gardens in The District of Columbia

Deksissa, TO; Tefera, SE; Assa, YA
University of the District of Columbia
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End date
Pesticide residue in fresh produce is among many biological and chemical food contaminants that are of concern when addressing food safety in the ever increasing demand for food security. To ensure that locally grown food is produced in compliance with local and federal rules regarding pesticide residue, there is a need for fast and reliable screening method for pesticide residue analysis. According to World's Food organization (2015) food contaminated with harmful biological and chemical substances is responsible for 200 diseases, ranging from diarrhea to cancers. Many other studies have also shown the link of pesticide use and brain cancer, parkinson's disease, multiple myeloma, leukemia, lymphoma, and stomach and prostate cancer (Brown et al., 2006; Sanderson et al., 1997; Zahm and Blair, 1993). As the world tries to meet the projected food insecurity in 2050, improving food safety is expected to be a challenge without using pesticide. Nevertheless, the District of Columbia is currently encouraging expansion of locally grown fresh produce without synthetic pesticide application, and increase of number of farmers markets. Increasing the number of farmers markets in the "food desert" area help the DC government meet the goal of "Ending Childhood Hunger in the Nation's Capital" through increasing access to fresh produce in low income communities. Home and community gardens are also gaining popularity in addressing access to fresh and locally grown produces (Conroy and McDavis-Conway, 2006). To address food safety issues and pest management without depending synthetic pesticides, conducting unbiased monitoring of pesticide residue in vegetables and fruits in the market, and training the community gardeners in integrated pest management practices is crucial. The goal of this study is to assess food safety in terms of pesticide residue in the District. To accomplish this goal, the objectives of this study include:Identify most commonly used pesticide in the District and its surroundingAsses fast screening method for pesticide residue analysis on fruit and vegetablesProvide training to DC Gardeners on pest management practices.Writing final technical report.
Funding Source
Nat'l. Inst. of Food and Agriculture
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Bacterial Pathogens
Pesticide Residues
Chemical Contaminants