Carl Winter: Hi! My name is Carl Winter. I am a spokesperson for the Institute of Food Technologists and also a Food Toxicologist on the faculty at the University of California, Davis.
Today I'll be discussing food safety issues that relate to the presence of potentially dangerous chemical contaminants in the food supply. In the previous segments we've already established that the typical exposure that we get to these chemical contaminants is very low and in the case of pesticide residues the risks from exposure to the residues in fruits and vegetables are far lower than the health benefits from consuming large amounts of fruits and vegetables and grains. Still, many consumers are very concerned about these pesticide residues and one of their options is to choose to purchase organically produced fruits and vegetables and grains.
In addition to resulting in less pesticide residues, some studies have shown organic food production may result in less effects on the environment as well as a more healthy working environment for people who are involved in the production of fruits and vegetables and grains. For consumers who are interested in purchasing organic foods, they should realize as well that their levels of exposure to naturally occurring toxins might be a little bit higher. In my opinion as a food toxicologist not enough exposure to constitute any harm is something to think about as well and consumer should also be willing to pay more for these organic foods. Again, it's a choice that consumers have, and fortunately, we have many choices in our food supply.
The most important thing to remember though is that we need to have a diet rich in consumption of fruits and vegetables and grains and that consumers should make sure they get ample quantities of these foods in their diet regardless of the source, whether it be from conventional foods or from organic foods.