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More on pesticides

October 4, 2009

Recently, Rabbi Shmuel Eliyahu, the Chief Rabbi of Tzfat (Safed), revealed that many growers of insect-free greens (the so-called Gush Katif vegetables) use extreme amounts of pesticides instead of employing the more intricate greenhouse methods originally developed in Gush Katif. the Chief Rabbi of Israel Rabbi Shlomo Amar confirmed that there is evidence to support these allegations and disclosed that an investigation is underway.

Ironically, while excessive amounts of pesticides are detrimental to human health, they have only a limited effect on bugs.

As much as I would love to switch to organic vegetables, when it comes to greens it’s just not an option. Whenever we visit my parents in the US, I find myself squinting over cilantro and lettuce trying to discern whether there is a bug stuck somewhere on the leaves. However, I have decided to switch over to the Hasalat brand by Alei Katif (the original Gush Katif company). Though slightly more expensive, Hasalat greens are laboratory inspected for pesticide use (as evidenced by the lab label on their packaging).

The laboratory’s site www.lab-path.co.il lists the date of the latest inspection at the premises of each one of the growers. While it’s impossible to ascertain what really goes on in the field, for me this represents an effort at transparency.

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