From citrus to nectarines John Chandler's family has been growing food in Selma for decades. He's a fourth generation farmer. His family's main goal of course is to grow the best food possible.
“The thing to remember, when you're out there shopping and you’re looking at crops, organic or even conventional, the farmers that are growing it, they're feeding that food to their families. They're going to make sure they're providing the safest possible product to the public,” said Chandler.
Looks like the hard work is paying off for Chandler and many farmers in California; at least when it comes to pesticide residue. Tests show nearly 98% of California's produce comply with pesticide residue limits. State officials tested nearly 3,000 fruits and vegetables sold in California, last year. They found about 60% of the produce didn't have any pesticide residue, 36% had residue within allowable limits and only 3% of the samples taken violated limits. Chandler said he’s not surprised. He said there's a lot that goes into how and when farmers in California use pesticides.
“Most importantly for residues, is making sure that we time it appropriately so that when it's harvested, taken to the packing house and provided to the general public that there's very little residue if any left on the crops,” explained Chandler.
It’s good news for those who love their fruits and veggies, but Chandler said you can never be too careful. “It's always a good idea to wash fruits and vegetables that you are going to consume especially if it does not have a peel able outer covering.”
Most of the samples that violated the pesticide residue limits were imported from other countries. The produce with the worst records include ginger from China and snow peas from Guatemala, just to name a few.
The California Department of Pesticide Regulation conducts the tests, every year.