pesticides question

hello
i was wondering about the answer to a question and i would like to hear your opinion.
lets say that we have a vegetable that is sprayed with a pesticide. the pesticide says that after 15 days it gets degraded to non toxic elements.
i think that it is a common case among the various pesticides and fungucides.
if i pick up a vegetable 2 days before the pesticide deadline finishes and store it in a refigerator is the pesticide going to dissolve as if the vegetable was on the plant?
the point of my question is that i do not know what exactly the term degrade means for the various agro chemicals.
it could mean that it is unstable anyway and disolves by its own no matter where the vegetable is stored
or it could mean that it is dissolved by some biological or physical factors (e.g heat or some bacteria) etc
what is your opinion and practice about this?
thank you
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Nick Apostolakis
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Don't take the risk. Don't use pesticides. And there are several reasons I would advise this.
1.Monsanto/Bayer should not be trusted to be honest with the public. They have a long history of being misleading to down right lying, to the public, for their own commercial benefit. They don't care about your health
2. Why bother growing your own vegetables with pesticides. You can buy vegetables with pesticides on them in the supermarket.
3. Pesticides kill both pests and pest predators . Thus you are probably killing the very insects/reptiles that can assist you eliminate them, and they wont charge you for it.
4 Using pesticides set you on a never ending cycle of being reliant on the chemical companies. When you can minimise to eradicate them with encouraging their predators, a little care and by being pest savvy.
Their are several key issues that you should address when deciding to use natural methods of controlling pests: A good book to outline all these issues and how to undertake a chemical free veggie patch is : Natural Control of Garden Pests, by Jackie French. However, I'm sure google has a wealth of information.
Some very simple points anyone can undertake without being an expert are :
Be aware of how pests find plants : It is either through sight or smell. By mixing plants together in a non-uniform manner you make it more difficult for pests to locate plants. Most monocultures of any variety need some form of best control. Mix the vegies up
Introduce a pond and frogs. Frogs love pests. If you can get a duck, you will solve all your snail problems.
Understand that pests will be more likely to attack the weak plants. With good soil/conditions/the right plant for the right area, you will be less likely to encounter pests.
If you have to use pesticide because it is an introduced pest attacking your plants, that has no natural predator in your region, use home made/natural pesticides such as garlic spray or milk and warm water (depends on the pest/just two examples) This way you won't be taking any risk in eating poison. which is exactly what pesticide is.
Personally : I have to spray my pear and plum trees with home made pyrethrum spray or throw woodfire ash on them on a regular basis, as Victoria Australia has the pest 'cherry/plum slug'. An introduced pest with no natural predator. This is the only spray I use on all my trees/vegetables.
In the corner of my square garden beds I plant what I call the 'sacrifice' plants as I am unable to keep ducks. This is usually a brassica of some kind, which snails love. The snails attack this plant as they come up from the sides of the beds and leave the other brassica in the middle of the bed alone. A small price to pay for pesticide free food.
Kirsty

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Liza wrote:

i would like to thank you for your answer but it does not cover my question.
the question is more of a theoretical knowledge and not a question of what i use in my garden. also i would like to point that i have a sufficient knowledge of the alternative - natural ways to control pests as i have a degree in agricultural science.
i agree with your opinion and all the reasons that you mention above but still my question remains.
to make my question even more clear lets take as a case study that you do not grow your own tomatoes but you buy them from the supermarket. does your leaving them to rest for a few days in the refigerator result to a degration of the pesticides that the proffesional farmer has used in their production?
you see my question is a theoretical one which answers many practical issues and is not covered by one practical solution. it needs also a theoritical answer. i personally believe that the answer depend of the arco-chemical and that there are various categories that have various degration factors but i have no proof of that and that is why i ask at the newsgroup to see if anoyne else has an answer better to this question.
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Nick Apostolakis wrote:

This is a newsgroup of gardeners, not theoretical-agro-scientists. Either accept our answers or do your own field research.
IF you have the degree you claim, that should should be a simple matter of taking pesticide samples both before and after various periods of storage. If tighter controls were needed, you could control the rate of pesticide application by growing a test garden and doing the application yourself. I don't think you have the degree you claim to have. I don't think a degreed professional would consider polling a consumer group for highly technical answers. I think you are lieing to us.
Long before now it should have occurred to you that residual levels of pesticides on purchased produce are irrelevant to those who grow their own produce without the use of pantoxic pesticides.
I apologize to the others in the group if I seem to be 'going off' about this, but this guy keeps changing his question each time he gets an answer and now he's whipping out an unverifiable (and suitably ambiguous) 'degree in agricultural science'. I've had it with his bumbling troll and I am calling BS.
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Bill wrote:

if you follow the thread you cand see that i got the answer i wanted from more than one persons and i would like to thank them for that. they seem to hame the knowledge to answer my question without trying to be the wise guys like you.
call me wat you want but if you think that having a degree equals with having a biochemical laboratory then you have a serious problem of understanding reality.
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Nick Apostolakis said:

Then you have not used the pesticide per label instructions. And if you use a pesticide AT ALL, it should be used exactly as indicated on the label.
I am under the impression that rain and sunlight are significant factor in the breakdown or elimination of pesticides on produce in the field. Your fridge is dark. (I'll grant that you will wash the veggies.)
On the other hand, seeing as you are willing to handle the pesticides themselves -- just how much precaution do you use in handling? Enough that any further exposure would besmall by comparison? Then what you must be concerned about is not your eating (you've already made the choice to use and expose yourself to pesticide) but any other people who might eat your harvest. Proper respect for them would be to follow the pesticide labeling exactly.
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Pat Kiewicz wrote:

well as i say in my privious mail this is not a question about psticides that i use. i do not use pesticides or other agro-chemicals except sulphur. the question is about the degradation factors of the pesticide and how it is effected when the vegetable is stored. do not believe that the proffesional farmers harvest their vegetables looking at the pesticide label. they harvest them when the price market is higher and some times the vegetables are not even ripe yet. so when you buy tomatoes or pears or any other fruit or vegetable would it be safer to leave it for some days in the refrigerator and consume it later if the agro-chemical continues its breake down in the refrigerator?
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Nick Apostolakis said:

An argument for better oversight, if it is a common occurance. But I was more under the impression that fruits are picked and shipped unripe because ripe fruits are more prone to bruising and spoilage. Tomatoes, peaches, and plums are alway picked under ripe for transport of any distance from the field. (And strawberries are picked before they are fully ripe, too.)
Pesticides are expensive, though, so I would think that a farmer might be more likely to harvest vegetables that were nearly ready and ship them out rather than spray them one more time. Fruits and vegetables aren't something that a farmer can market-time the same way he could grain or beans.

No. But it would be safer to wash the produce with a mild soap or detergent, rinse completely, then dry off the produce before putting it in the refrigerator. Or, where that is impractical, wash the produce before eating.
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Pat Kiewicz wrote:

yes you are right. one reason for picking them unripe is that their mechanical strength is bigger so that they are not bruised. when the go to the final point after which they are goin to be sold they go under a technical maturing process. There are fruits that can mature off the plant (e.g banana) without much tampering and other that require more drastic measures such ethylene chambers.

you could not be more wrong. it is common knowledge that the early season products always have better prices (for the producer that is) in domestic and international markets. for example at the start of the season the first mellons are a lot more expensive than in the middle when the consumer can find them a lot easier. so if you can produce early fruit in any way you get the profit. there are some ways to improve the look of fruits so that thy look mature and they are widely exploited.
that happens with a lot of fruits and some vegetables

of course washing is mandatory even when the vegetable is not sprayed with chemicals.
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Nick Apostolakis wrote:

a relative link i found on the net
http://www.stadiumturf.com/degradation.htm
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Nick Apostolakis said:

Yes, but the farmer takes his main gamble at *planting time.* It amazes me just how early the first plantings of sweet corn, melons and such are made locally. Some years the growers that take those chances win, and sometimes they lose. But there's no way he can put those melons into storage for months to time the market, as he could with grain. He can only push the harvest by a little bit. And he really can't hold it off at all.
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On Sat, 05 Jun 2004 04:48:45 -0500, snipped-for-privacy@someplace.net.net (Pat Kiewicz) wrote:

I don't think strawberries ripen further when picked, they just get softer.. aka rot
Janice

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On Thu, 03 Jun 2004 22:18:48 +0300, Nick Apostolakis

The cooling in the refrigerator would actually slow down the rate of degradation of the pesticide. Also, in many cases the pesticide will just degrade into a another compound that is also hazardous -- for example DDT degrades over time into DDD and DDE, Endrin will break down into Endrin aldehyde and Endrin ketone. As far as the actual chemical make-up of pesticide compounds, they are not compounds I would expect to be easily and readily biodegradable - so I would be skeptical about a 14-day degradation time for any of them. Heat and environmental conditions have a major impact on the form and rate of degradation, as does biological activity.
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Ally wrote:

i see.
that is exactly what i was afraid of. i have not studied about the chemistry and the biochemistry of pesticides so i could not prove that my opinion was correct but your answer is i believe all the proof i need.
btw the "safe harvest after a 14-day period" is suggested by many pesticides and is used by those prof. farmers who go by the book. i have commented on my previous post what happens for those that do not go by the book.
thank you for your answer
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This seems to me to be a variation on a series of food questions on the order of "is it safe to eat X after it's sat at room temperature overnight?" The 'proper' answer is "if in doubt, throw it out." That is, if *you* will be uncomfortable eating something *you* feel unsure about, then no amount of science, pro or con, will take off the curse. Using a pesticide on food plants without knowing a fair amount about its effects, degradation, etc., is unwise. I don't use pesticides at all, but I'm not phobic about their use in commercial agriculture or the chances I will be horribly poisoned eating something the USDA maintains some sort of general control over. That's just me. If I *did* use a pesticide that said (the label, not the substance) "wait 5 days before harvesting" and I wanted a ripe tomato on day 3, I'd probably pick it, wash it thoroughly, and eat without another thought. Again, just my own personal views.
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If you are the least bit concerned, stay away from the chemical treatments.
There are plenty of non-toxic alternatives. My favorate is ladybugs, which is the ultimate solution for aphids. For broad spectrum cures, I like "Pyola" from Gardens Alive (GardensAlive.Com). It's completly organic-based, a mix of Pyrethrin and Canola Oil. I have a bad Japanese Beetle problem here in NC now, and Pyola is doing great on my beetles.
Rich McKinney Reply to snipped-for-privacy@Carolina-Dot-RR.Com Designed to fool the spam robots Humans will figure it out
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