More than 100 million flowers are grown, wrapped in cellophane, trucked, and jetted to shops each year. Surprisingly, the flower cultivation taking place in fields and greenhouses requires more pesticides than any other agricultural product. Hundreds of different pest-killing chemicals, neurotoxins, and carcinogens are contaminating our groundwater, wells, and waterways through runoff. Workers often enter greenhouses without any protective gear just a couple hours after or even during toxic spraying.
Flowers like roses and carnations are often flown in from Latin America , where worker and environmental regulations are lax. All those chemicals are still sitting on the petals and leaves of your dining-room table's centerpiece, with stems hovering just inches from you and your family's plates. Even flowers grown in the US had up to 50 times more carcinogenic pesticide residues than food products, according to test findings of the Environmental Working Group.
Sure, they're more expensive, but with organic blooms and buds, you don't have to worry about developing rashes or allergic reactions after burying your nose in the petals or after arranging bouquets with your bare hands. You may have trouble finding USDA Certified organic flowers at your corner shop, but that shouldn't deter your commitment to purchasing and enjoying safe, healthy blooms.
WHERE TO LOOK FOR ORGANIC FLOWERS
- Organic Bouquet makes it easy. Just visit the site, order a beautiful organic and fairly grown arrangement that's wrapped in biodegradable cellophane or a recycled glass vase, and then have it delivered.
- If you don't like the idea of having your flowers trucked or jetted to you, visit the Local Harvest website and enter your zip code for access to a network of homegrown, pesticide-free flowers that are picked by Local Harvest family farmers. Some even encourage you to come pick your own wildflowers!
- Find gorgeous field-grown, USDA organic flowers from a small family farm in Sacramento at the California Organic Flowers website.
- Find organic, fair-trade, and local blossoms at your local Whole Foods Market. Just be sure to choose carefully and ask, as they also carry a lot of conventionally grown plants as well.
- Grow your own organic flowers by buying and planting organic bulbs or seeds! Visit the Seeds of Change website for offers on organic seeds as well as guide books to help you grow your organic flower garden.
- Tell your local florist that you'd like to see them carry pesticide-free flowers.