Parrots are known to be very sensitive to environmental toxins (air pollutants, teflon, chemical cleaners, etc.) They are also very sensitive to chemicals such as pesticides, herbicides, and fungicides that are commonly used to cultivate and preserve our food supply.
Organic food is that which is produced without using pesticides, fertilizers with synthetic components, sewage sludge, bioengineering or ionizing radiation. "Organic" labels are used on products that meet or exceed the guidelines as defined under the Organic Food Production Act.
We've clearly established the critical importance of feeding a wide variety of fresh fruits and veggies daily to your bird to meet their nutritional needs. However, in doing so, we may be feeding them nutrition coated with pesticides and chemical residue thereby increasing their risk of cancer, compromised immune systems and neurological damage.
We can avoid these problems by purchasing organic produce or, if organic fruits and veggies are not available, by thoroughly washing the produce and discarding the skins, rinds and outer leaves before feeding them to our parrots.
Certain fruits and veggies are known to be more pesticide laden than others. Carolyn Swicegood has written an excellent article "Kitchen Physician III - Parrots, Produce and Pesticides" which summarizes the 12 foods with the highest pesticide content as well as the 9 crops that typically have the lowest pesticide content. This information is summarized below:
Twelve Most Toxic Crops (always buy organic):
- Bell Peppers (green and red)
- U.S. Grown Cherries
- Mexican Cantaloupe
- Green Beans
- Chilean Grapes
Nine Least Toxic Crops:
- Sweet Potatoes
- Brussels Sprouts
- U.S. Grapes
For the greatest peace of mind, we recommend that you always buy organic produce.