Cultural Encounters: A Journal For The Theology Of Culture Volume 11 Number 2 (Summer 2016) - Page 51

VOLUME 11, NUMBER 2 A JOURNAL FOR THE THEOLOGY OF CULTURE Third, our foods are not as safe as we would like to think they are. It does not make sense to fight the regulators over the laws; they are just enforcing laws. But our environmental laws in this country are actually much weaker than what most Americans would offhand guess. I will give you a couple of examples. I have a couple of two-minute video clips to show you. At first, we will look at apple juice. It turns out that a lot of the foods that children love are the most heavily pesticide-laden foods. As fate would have it, children love foods that are sweet such as apples and peaches and pears, as well as rice and things like that. Brussels sprouts don’t tend to have a heavy pesticide residue on them. Low pesticide loads on brussels sprouts have nothing to do with children. I know that from my own children for sure. We will watch a short video from Consumer Reports on arsenic.2 Zoe Hamilton limits how much juice she gives her daughters because she is concerned about the empty calories. But there are other serious reasons for concern. Consumer Reports tested twenty-eight apple juices and three grape juices purchased in the New York metropolitan area. Of the eighty-eight samples analyzed, 10 percent had arsenic levels that exceeded federal standards for bottled and municipal water. The majority of the arsenic was the inorganic form, a known carcinogen leading to skin, bladder, and lung cancer. And with twelve juices Consumer Reports tested, at least one sample contained lead levels that exceeded standards for bottled water. Our test was limited so we can’t draw any conclusion about any type or brand of juice. But the higher levels of arsenic and lead are troubling because many children drink a lot of juice and their small body size makes them particularly vulnerable. One likely source of the contamination is pesticides containing arsenic that were used in agriculture. Even though most are now banned, they can remain in the soil. The advocacy arm of Consumer Reports is urging the Food and Drug Administration to set standards for juice. 2. “Arsenic in Your Juice: How Much is Too Much? Federal Limits Don’t Exist,” Consumer Reports Magazine, accessed February 2, 2016, http://www.consumerreports.org/cro/magazine/2012/01/arsenic-in-yourjuice/index.htm. 48