Bittman heads into the fields with children’s health researcher

September 25, 2015
By: Public Affairs, UC Berkeley

Children in families that bring much of California’s fruit and vegetables out of fields and orchards pay a high price: Their bodies are damaged by the pesticides and other chemicals in their environment.

How profoundly they’re affected is being measured, year by year, by UC Berkeley health researcher Brenda Eskenazi, a professor of epidemiology and child and maternal health and the subject of a new California Matters video by journalist and author Mark Bittman, who was a visiting fellow at Berkeley last year.

Eskenazi runs CHAMACOS — the Center for the Health Assessment of Mothers and Children of Salinas — and its long-term study of hundreds of farmworkers’ children in the Salinas Valley. Among her team’s findings: prenatal exposure to pesticides is linked to lower IQ in children and to attention problems in preschool kids. CHAMACOS looks at non-farm chemicals like flame retardants, as well.

In his new video, Bittman ventures out into the fields to speak with Eskenazi and learn about CHAMACOS. The video is part of the California Matters video series being produced by the University of California as part of its Global Food Initiative.

Bittman, who recently announced his departure from the New York Times, wrote an op-ed introducing the video for the Times.

Related information:

Learn more about the CHAMACOS study.

UC’s Global Food Initiative and previous California Matters videos.

Berkeley Food Institute: