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Let’s Give Thanks

2009 November 24

Thanksgiving is in just a few days. Hard to believe that it’s already here. Sometimes it seems like ole Turkey Day gets sideswiped by the gift buying and holiday madness the day after. It’s almost as if Thanksgiving is a part of the countdown to holidays in December. People can sometimes forget to slow down and actually remember what it’s all about. A time to give thanks.

One of the traditions in my family growing up was to write down what we were thankful for. We would write simple things down on slips of paper and place them into a pilgrim boat craft made by one of the grandkids long ago. After stuffing our faces and sitting around the table enjoying each other’s company, we would pass the slips around the table and everyone would read one out loud. Granted, several of the slips ended up being more humorous than anything. Sometimes it turned into a game to figure out who wrote what, but we all smiled and laughed and said ‘aw’ at heartfelt responses. We were together. And we all were thankful for that. And while this year we are all spread out across the country and not reading our paper slips, I know that we still have a lot to be thankful for, including one another. Not to mention, our stomachs were thankful for all of the food that we stuffed ourselves with.

As you begin preparing your feast in a couple of days, I thought it might be prudent to bring up some facts about pesticides. It is important to note that infants and children may be especially sensitive to health risks from pesticides because their internal organs are still developing and maturing, they eat and drink more than adults in relation to their body weight, and certain behaviors like crawling on the ground or putting objects in their mouths may increase a children’s exposure to pesticides. Pesticides can harm children by blocking absorption of nutrients from food and can also cause harm if a child’s excretory system is not fully developed, the body may not fully remove pesticides. Under the Food Quality Protection Act (1996), EPA evaluates children’s exposure to pesticide residues in and on foods they most commonly eat. The EPA ensures the pesticide residues on foods are safe for children. To learn more about why children may be especially sensitive to pesticides you can visit this website. Some consumers are purchasing organically grown foods to reduce their exposure to synthetic pesticides and fertilizers. Other ways to reduce pesticides on food include washing, peeling and trimming food, and selecting a variety of foods. You can learn more about what organic means to you and your family by clicking here. You can also purchase food from local farmer’s markets to reduce harmful emissions into the air. So as you begin your preparations for Thursday, take the time to eliminate risks for pesticides. That’s one thing you and your family can always be thankful for.

About the author: Emily Bruckmann is an intern at the Office of Children’s Health Protection. She is a senior attending Indiana University who will graduate with a degree in public health this spring.

Editor's Note: The opinions expressed here are those of the author. They do not reflect EPA policy, endorsement, or action, and EPA does not verify the accuracy or science of the contents of the blog.

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7 Responses leave one →
  1. Jorge Gerônimo Hipólito permalink
    November 24, 2009

    Emily Bruckmann, you reminded me, I was a child and visited my grandmother’s house the day before Thanksgiving. I found my cousins, uncles, grandmothers and grandfathers. They were days of celebration and the table was filled with semolina, chicken and turkey-cock. That was between 1956 to 1965. We did not have refrigerators, beer and soft drinks were served hot, but there were no pesticides. Good times do not come back.

  2. armansyahardanis permalink
    November 24, 2009

    Thanks is our declare to the other, not only to a person, but more than this: maybe to the grass, to the dogs, to the sun, etc.
    Thanks are unlimited tasted. If something called thanks to another, so all receivers could be happy, or cry; but not angry or sadness……

  3. Reggie Dunbar II permalink
    November 24, 2009

    Thanks for giving us a format to share, care, and give the world a cleaner and brighter future.

  4. Lina-EPA permalink*
    November 24, 2009

    Liked your blog post. Very timely and good advice as well. Happy Thanksgiving.

  5. Michael E. Bailey permalink
    November 25, 2009

    Organically grown food is the only way to go to not consume pesticides. But even that you can’t be completely sure on. It is rare but sometimes something grown in Mexico but shipped from here can have an organically grown label on it but still be recalled because the Mexican farmer used pesticides that were harmful to people.The way to make absolutely sure what you eat has no pesticides in it is to grow your own. Best wishes, Michael E. Bailey.

  6. Odor Dude permalink
    November 26, 2009

    happy thanksgiving everybody. I recall the day my mother used to wash plastic shopping bags and hang them on the washing line ready to use the next day. The bags were used to buy locally grown vegetables (i guess it was organic food) from the local grower who from memory used garlic oils as a pesticide. those were the days

  7. Jous A. Sqwauk permalink
    November 26, 2009

    Emily, your blog post was awesome keep up the good work – Jous

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