Are Pesticides Necessary For Growing Produce

One of the questions we receive at Hillview Farms is “are pesticides necessary?” 

The answer to this question isn't a simple, clear cut yes or no. It fundamentally comes down to multiple factors. There are many opinions on both sides for and against their use in the cultivation of fruits and vegetables.

What are pesticides?

But first things first, what actually are pesticides? Pesticides are chemicals and substances that are utilised during the production of crops to control weeds, pests and diseases. The term “pesticide” is used as an umbrella term for the different types of substances used. These include:

  • herbicides 
  • insecticides 
  • nematicides 
  • molluscicides 
  • piscicides 
  • avicides 
  • rodenticides
  • bactericides
  • repellents for animals and insects
  • Antimicrobial chemicals
  • Fungicides 

What are the benefits? 

So what are the benefits of using pesticides when cultivating crops? First and foremost, they keep the fruit/ vegetable safe from prematurely degrading due to environmental causes like insects and fungi. Pesticides are the number one strategy for protection against crop losses. This means that they can be produced in higher quantities, also making them more accessible due to the lower cost of production.

What are the negatives?

But, there are definitely drawbacks when farmers use pesticides. For one, pesticides can run off into the surrounding ecosystem. This can result in a large number of local animal and plant life deaths. When this happens, the delicate balance of the food chain can be shifted causing unforeseen consequences.

What can happen is that species at the top of the food chain can ultimately end up with a higher saturation level of pesticide residue. In the past, this has lead to mass deaths of birds and fish. 

There is also the added risk of the fruit or vegetable itself being contaminated. There have been studies that suggest that there is a chance pesticide residue on fruits and vegetables can lead to serious health concerns. Cancer, ADHD and Autism have all been speculated as potential consequences of exposure to pesticides.

So are they necessary? 

In conclusion, the choice is ultimately up to the consumer as to what they buy. With strict regulations, many of the pesticides commonly used today are safe. There is however a strong draw to naturally harvested produce that has had little to no human interference with the harvesting and cultivating process. It is well documented that pesticides can have an adverse interaction with the environment, local wildlife and consumers. It is also true that through scientific advancements, many if not most of the pesticides that are dangerous for long term human consumption are no longer used in most developed countries.

If you are looking for a reliable source of delicious, pesticide free produce for an affordable price, look no further than Hillview Farms. You can be assured that the fruit and vegetables you order are grown on our own farms, and what we don’t grow we source from our family and friends who share our chemical-free and pesticide-free values. 

If you are interested in sinking your teeth into what we have to offer, simply check out our fresh produce: fruits and vegetables.