How Frank Stays Chemical Pesticide-Free
Most olive growers use chemical pesticides to keep pests from harming their olives: pesticides with names like azinphos methyl, diazinon, dimethoate, methidathion, parathion methyl and quinalphos.
The Trouble with Pesticides
These chemical pesticides can stick to your olives and end up in your olive oil.
And there’s increasing evidence that when pesticides get into our bodies, they do harm: people in areas with high pesticide exposure show higher rates of certain cancers, Parkinson’s disease, ADHD and autism.
How Frank Stays Chemical-Pesticide Free
Frank’s growers don’t use chemical pesticides.
They don’t spray for insects. And they spray for fungus and bacteria only when necessary, and only using a natural copper spray (with synthetic inert ingredients).
In fact, the only synthetic substance ever used in Frank’s groves is the inert ingredients used in the copper spray. These inert ingredients don’t harm anything–even the fungus or the bacteria! They just keep the copper, which is the natural, active ingredient, where Frank’s growers want it.
Watch Jose Manuel tell you how he grows Frank without chemical pesticides:
Want to see how Frank is made, from grove to grocery? You can see all videos combined into one here!
How To Control Insects Without Chemicals
So why don’t insects ransack Frank’s olive groves? Two reasons:
Frank’s growers fill plastic bottles with yeast and water, then punch holes in the top. Insects are drawn to the yeast, enter the bottle, and get trapped in the solution. No chemicals. Nothing synthetic. Nothing to contaminate your olive oil.
2. “Beneficial” insects
Frank’s growers use spiders, ants, lacewings and lady beetles to combat insect pests. These beneficial insects don’t attack olives, but they do attack the pests. By maintaining their natural habitat, and growing plants these beneficial insects need to survive, Frank’s growers make sure these “beneficial” insects stick around and do their work for them. No chemicals. Nothing synthetic. Nothing to contaminate your olive oil.
Frank Isn’t Perfect
Frank’s growers fight insects without any synthetic insecticides.
But insects aren’t the only pests in the olive grove.
Fungus and bacteria can infect an olive tree with nasty-sounding diseases like olive knot, peacock spot, cercospora leaf spot and verticulum wilt.
These infections are hard to control, and can devastate an olive grove.
And try as they might, Frank’s growers have yet to find enough ways to control these pests without any synthetic substances.
They’ve found a few: They prune in warm, dry weather. They plant in the most infection-resistant soils. And they keep away other plants that tend to attract fungus. But it’s not enough. Infections, unlike insects, have proven persistently resistant to completely natural solutions.
And the solution, until they find something more natural, is a copper spray that Frank’s not crazy about. It has two drawbacks.
1. The spray contains some synthetic inert ingredients
Unlike those in conventional fungicides and bactericides, these synthetic ingredients themselves don’t kill anything. They’re inert and, so far as we can tell, have no or minimal impact on the environment. They just make the copper stay where it’s sprayed. But though they’re inert and approved by U.S. authorities for organic growing, they’re hardly the organic ideal.
2. The spray contains copper
There’s nothing wrong with copper. It’s naturally occurring, and all plants and animals need a small amount of it to survive. But Frank’s growers have to be careful when they use it in the olive groves, because in too high concentrations it can be toxic to plants, animals and even Frank’s growers. Even though it’s entirely natural. It’s all been deemed sufficiently safe by the U.S.’s National Organic Program to gain approval for use in organic farming, but we do everything we can to minimize any risks.
So Frank’s growers take extra precautions. They test the soil to be sure they’re not using too much. They spray after olives are harvested, so that the spray can’t touch the olives or get into the olive oil. And they’re ever looking out for a more natural approach.
Benefits to Frank’s Growers, and to You
Frank isn’t the only one who benefits from natural growing methods. Farm workers typically have high rates of cancer because they’re exposed to chemical insecticides and herbicides.
But Frank’s growers never spray them, and never get exposed. They take every precaution possible with copper sprays. But by eliminating chemical pesticides, and starkly reducing the use of synthetic substances in Frank’s groves, Frank’s growers look out not only for you but for themselves.
Go chemical-pesticide-free and take Frank home today!
Next: Harvest Frank