To attain the Insecticide Free achievement, farms must have not used any insecticides on their property for 12 months.
Insecticides are any chemical that kill insects and their eggs and larvae through ingestion, inhalation, body covering or a combination of these. Organic insecticides are derived from plants which naturally produce their own protection like tobacco plants. Insecticides where a breakthrough in Agriculture in the 1940’s and lead to significant increases in yields, helped prevent stored food from spoiling and increased the overall quality of these foods.
Although insecticides have had a positive impact on our food production, they also have had many environmental side effects. Insecticides poison insects which birds, frogs and other animals eat, disrupting and poisoning those animals up the food chain. A 2019 study into the Decline of the North America avifauna estimated a 29% decline in birds in North America since 1970. Similarly, in Germany research collected over 27 years found nearly 77% of their aerial insects have been lost since 1989. Insecticides poisonous compounds also affects other beneficial insects like bees, they contaminate soil and ground water which can runoff into our waterways. Also, by eliminating one insect from the crop, you may just cause another insect to take its place. Farmers can reduce their dependency on pesticides by planting pest resistant crops and innovative new crop raising methods.
By labelling farms produce with Insecticide Free, customers can support these farmers and help stop the loss of insect species before we do irreversibledamage to our planet’s insect population and diversity.