Chances are if you are reading this blog, you are a supporter of NOFA-NJ, are concerned about pesticide exposure, and buy organic food for yourself and your family. Given the prevalence of organic farms, farmers markets, and natural and whole food retailers in the Garden State, sourcing produce and animal products raised on agricultural fields that have not used synthetic chemicals and fertilizers has never been easier. But what about other types of fields – playing fields?
Stonyfield Farms has a new initiative called #Playfree to urge communities across America to manage their sports fields organically. According to Stonyfield Farms “Over 26 million kids play sports on fields* and 65% of fields are sprayed with harmful pesticides**. If you look at the map on the #Playfree website, there are many communities in New Jersey that are making progress towards chemical free turf. You can join the movement and obtain information to approach your community or school district about eliminating toxic chemicals from the fields your children play on.
“We want to ensure that every kid in America is protected from harmful chemicals and toxins. It starts with food, but we believe all children should play free as well– free from worry, free from harmful chemicals, and free from toxic persistent pesticides.” – Gary Hirshberg, Co-founder and Chief Organic Optimist
Pochettino AA, Bongiovanni B, Duffard RO, Evangelista de Duffard AM. 2011 Mar 3.
*2015 SIFA Trends
**Potential Health Effects Related To Pesticide Use on Athletic Fields. R Gilden-E Friedmann-B Sattler-K Squibb-K McPhaul – https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22512421