Mind Blown: CR # 1 in pesticide use
- According to the World Resource Institute CR is # 1 in the world for pesticide use per hectare and that, by a ginormous margin. :http://www.nationmaster.com/graph/agr_pes_use-agriculture-pesticide-use
- Welcome to the real Costa Rica! There is no total paradise. I was also taken aback by this at first, but it makes sense, no matter how undesirable by (our) some standards. How else to grow so much in such a warm, buggy place? Even with pesticides, I extract bright green worms from my cauliflower, and other things I won't mention. No worries, global warming will screw it all up worse anyway. Enjoy it for what it is, and laugh off the rest. Life is short, and the future uncertain.
Sudan and Haiti are doing a much better job . . .but I do wonder why CR is so far off this scale? Does anyone have any science on this? Berni
- FAOSTAT3.fao.org is the data dissemination center for the UN. Data
acquisition is difficult, but if you bear with it, you will see that
Costa Rica uses enormous amounts of pesticides.
Big government has been fighting hard to keep the status quo in the
sense that many, many pesticides are manufactured in the U.S. and
shipped to developing countries, yet the U.S. uses very few on its own land.
I had looked at this data from FAO and found years 2000, 1999 and 1997 to be suspect.
I took my data from graph 2 of the study:
IMPORTACION DE PLAGUICIDAS EN COSTA RICA: Periodo 2007-2009,
by Ing. Fernando Ramírez Muñoz, Area de Diagnóstico, IRET-UNA
My calculations are not exact because of the problem of extrapolation from the small graph. All units in kg/Ha or tonnes/ 1000 Ha.
Year FAO Graph 2
2001 21.8 22.3
2000 52.8 19.3
1999 33.8 17.8
1998 16.1 18.1
1997 33.2 20.9
1996 21.9 18.1
1995 10.5 13.8
The last paragraph of the above study makes all these numbers doubtful.
"Not all pesticides imported into the country are consumed in domestic agricultural work , about 20 % are exported to Central American and Caribbean markets mainly . Therefore, it is necessary to know precisely , the exports of pesticides from Costa Rica , expressed by active ingredient, to have a clear idea of the amount of pesticides that are used in the country ."
A break down by type for 2009 was:
Fungicides 53.3%, Herbicides 27.3%, Insecticides 13.7% Fumigants 5.4% and others 0.4%.
Those who think these are primarily imported from US, WRONG, the following are the main exporting countries.
Columbia 23.27%, China 22.01%, India 17.3 %, USA 9.88% and Israel 6.65%.
jck, still seems data is older, data is missing or data is possible for misinterpretation.
The definition sez:. Pesticide use, kilograms per hectare, is calculated by WRI by dividing the total pesticide consumption, measured in kilograms of active ingredients, by the total hectares of arable and permanent cropland
Looking at the site it sez Costa Rica has 4.41% arable land or a total of 505,000 hectares and zero organic. But don't find a definition of pesticide consumption nor much more to indicate sources.
There has to be more data when the scale of difference between CR and the next country is so great? Berni
- Great work, JC.
I had assumed the majority were exported from the U.S.
Mark Twain said that the thirteenth chime of the clock calls into
question all those that preceded it.
- A friend who converted his coffee farm to organic after it attempted to kill his dad added " We also know that because of the way we were told to change into organic, farmers were scared of the situation! we know right now costa rica has less than 3% of organic products and less than 1% of the coffee production is organic! ".
I was once an analyst of things, and I'm still not buying the number as too far out of the norm
- Its a real shame CR has just about no organic vegetables, fruits. Often I just like to eat a plate of raw veggys (tomatoes, cucumbers, carrots etc..) washed mixed up and almost make a meal of it. When I do that with veggys bought in the supermarkets here I end up with a nasty taste in my mouth, upset stomach and ringing in my ears. I feel much better just eating a full bag of Doritos.
- If you would like organic foods, try km0 in Plaza Escazu. It's only open on Saturdays, but the quality is worth the trip.
- I wash every veg (that's hard enough to take it) with soap & warm water quite thoroughly. I've also heard of vinegar or bleach soaks. Internally, carrots are the only thing for me that give a nasty taste. Gee, I wonder what kind of cancer I'll get? So many to choose from!
- There is a good organic vegetable farm in Grecia. They sell their produce at the Feria at stand 113.
"The high-minded man must care more for the truth than for what people think."
(384-322 BC) Greek philosopher
- I generally give all my veggies a 20 minute soak in a few drops of bleach and a few drops of dishwashing detergent. The bleach kills the germs and the detergent strips some of the pesticides (I doubt if anything can strip all of it). Then I soak the veggies in fresh water for 20 minutes, dry them and put then in the fridge.
That idea the best way I have found to handle CR veggies. The place where I shop has had all their veggies treated similarly but I do it again to make sure. As an ol’ fart and in fair health I want to keep it that way as much as possible. Thanks for the confirmation.