Chuck Robinson, Media Watch
Chuck Robinson, Media Watch

Give me a cause and effect and I am as ready as anyone to hook them up in a correlation.

I had a good cup of coffee this morning, and it turned out to be sunny. I did my work well yesterday and so no meteorite slammed into the Earth. I was glad to do it.

I have learned that my brain is somehow wired to make these connections, and over the years a cynical voice has been installed in my consciousness to tell me, “Uh huh. Right.”

So one side of my brain is quite willing to agree with comments in the April 29 issue of The Packer by Marilyn Dolan, executive director of the Watsonville, Calif.-based Alliance for Food and Farming, about her group’s effect on media coverage of the nefarious Dirty Dozen list promoted by the Washington, D.C.-based Environmental Working Group.

There has been a lot less media coverage of the list, which was released for the ninth year on April 22.

The annual list again says apples are the most pesticide-ridden fruit or vegetable in the produce department.

I love the alliance’s response via its website,, where you can click on a picture of a man, woman, teen or child to see how many servings of any of the Dirty Dozen items could be consumed in a day without any effect — even if the item had the highest pesticide residue recorded for it by the USDA.

A child could eat 154 servings of apples safely. A woman could eat 529 servings.

A man could eat 2,640 servings of strawberries in a day without surpassing USDA pesticide guidelines.

Boo-yah! Score! Why hasn’t that caught on more among all the talking heads and bloggers? Well, levelheadedness has a tough time counteracting hysteria. Sometimes logic just ticks off the person in full rant.

So the cynical voice in my head warns me we should be careful. Maybe the various media find the story a little stale this year.

Also, maybe everyone was distracted this year with the events of a week previous to the list’s release that thundered into our collective consciousness — the Boston Marathon bombings.

Besides that, Monsanto is a perennial piñata for chemical use bashers, and I have heard quite a bit concerning problems with using Round-Up herbicide. I think that issue is parked in the virtual space occupied last year by the Dirty Dozen.

All of this is to say the war has not been won, and the 24-year-old Alliance for Food and Farming still has its work cut out for it.