This post is sponsored by Stonyfield Organic — come learn about their world-changing initiative, StonyFIELDS.
Everyday, parents across the country, including me, send our kids out to play. Healthy outdoor play is the BEST. Right? It’s something we can all agree on.
But what if our kids are absorbing carcinogenic pesticides as they play?
That’s the question that occurred to the folks at Stonyfield Organic. They’ve been caring about the organic fields where their cows graze, and the fields where their fruits and veggies grow, for over 35 years. But what about the fields where our child grow and play? The soccer fields. The baseball fields. The lacrosse fields.
It turns out over 26 million kids play on these fields, and 65% of the fields are sprayed regularly with a mix of harmful pesticides. (More on that data here.)
In response, Stonyfield is taking on their biggest mission yet. This week, they launched StonyFIELDS. They’re working with communities across America to make all fields organic, by stopping the use of harmful pesticides on playing fields. Their goal is to help communities take the necessary steps to convert to organic field maintenance. And they have tools and resources to empower families everywhere to make change locally —even in our own backyards.
In a recent survey, Stonyfield found out that while most parents are very aware of pesticides in food, and concerned about them, they were equally unaware of the same concerning pesticides, insecticides, and fungicides used on sports fields, playgrounds and parks. Many of the commonly used chemicals are known to be endocrine disruptors — which means they interfere with children’s immune, reproductive, and metabolic systems.
The chemicals residue is inhaled by everyone on the field. It can get into our systems through our skin, and get into our homes via our sneakers. And it’s serious stuff — the chemicals have been shown to cause Parkinson’s, non-Hodgkin’s lymphona, thyroid disruption, endocrine disruption, and more.
Stonyfield wants to help families and communities avoid toxic chemicals in their food and beyond. The StonyFIELDS project is kicking off in cities like Hyattsville, MD, Salt Lake City, UT, Costa Mesa, CA, Houston, TX, Portsmouth, NH, and North Miami, FL. Take a look at this map to learn more about the Stonyfield Initiative Cities.
Would you like your community to get involved? You have several options. 1) You can nominate your community. You’ll find a map here where you can add your town’s name. 2) You can apply for a donation. To help grow the movement, Stonyfield announced two donation programs for 2018: Community and Grassroots. More info here. 3) You can self-organize and tackle this wherever you live. Not sure how to get started? They’ve got helpful resources to walk you through it.
Once you know the data, it’s hard not think about those chemicals as you send your kids off to the playground, or watch them at their next soccer practice. I’m sure we’d all feel better if we knew the fields our kids were interacting with were organic.
Has this topic — pesticides on playing fields — ever crossed your mind? I admit, I’d never considered it. It’s like a giant blind spot I didn’t know I had. So I’m really grateful that Stonyfield is bringing up this conversation, and not just talking about it, but also walking the walk by providing tools and resources so that we can affect change in our own communities.
What about you? Do you have a sense of whether or not your local playing fields are treated with pesticides? Or how you might find out that sort of info? I’d love to hear your thoughts.
P.S. — To welcome Ralph home from Colombia, Betty and Oscar hung ribbons, in the pattern of the Colombian flag, on our backyard bridge. I sent them up a basket of Stonyfield Kids when they were ready for a break. Three cheers for easily portable options.