Organic, really? You’re not convinced? After all, you can’t see the petroleum fertilizer used to spike growth nor the pesticides used to kill live organisms. You also can’t see the damage done to our environment or the dollars put into the hands of greedy industrialists striving to make another dollar. I could hand you a head of lettuce and you wouldn’t know whether it is was organic or not.
Does organic really matter?
According to the World Health Organization, between 1 million and 25 million people suffer with pesticide poisoning each year. It is estimated that as many as 20,000 people in the U.S. will develop cancer each year from the residue of pesticides on their food (Perkins, Cynthia 2009 p 71).
Most of the research today was done with farmworkers that had a large exposure at one time. More time is needed to study the effects of small dose exposure over long periods that consumers are confronted with. Still, to put those numbers into context: there are 300 million people in the U.S. If 25 million people were to suffer from pesticide poisoning, that would be 1 out of every 12 people. That’s a big deal.
Human beings evolved as omnivores. Our bodies recognize specific substances that it can use (oxygen, minerals, vitamins, water, proteins, carbohydrates, and fats). When we expose our bodies to them, it knows how to utilize these substances.
“We’re still eating the leftovers of World War II.” ~ Vandana Shiva
Our bodies do not recognize chemicals. To put into perspective how harmful chemicals are … many of our bodies barely recognize dairy and gluten. This fact can be observed by the growing number of the population with gluten or lactose intolerances. Grains and dairy have been around in Homo sapien history for 10,000 years and we still aren’t able to fully tolerate them. What makes us think that we can tolerate fertilizer in the form of ammonium nitrate, which was used to make explosives in World War II? As any capitalist economy would do, if a war ends and we have a huge reserve of material to make explosives, why don’t we just put it on our food?!
Many people who think they are allergic to specific fruits or vegetables such as apples, pears, grapes, tomatoes, or potatoes are really allergic to the chemicals used on them. Even “organic” fruits or vegetables grown near “non-organic” ones will have chemicals on them carried by the wind.
Organic vs. “Organic”
Some argue that “organic” isn’t truly organic. The food industry defines the label of “organic” loosely. “Organic” produce, while better than conventional produce, still has a few chemicals on them.
The way that big industry labels “organic” does not taint the concept of organic foods. Organic foods are produced in environments without the use of chemicals or any type of input so that future generations can still enjoy the fruits of the Earth. Organic is the principle.
Here’s what you can do for a healthier YOU:
“History will condemn [chemical fertilizers] as one of the greatest misfortunes to have befallen agriculture and mankind” ~ a man by the last name of Howard
Organic foods benefit everyone and everything: the health of ourselves, our families, future generations, our animals, and our Earth. Vote for organic foods with your dollar; as more demand is created for them, the movement will continue to go back to growing foods the way nature intended.