Pesticides, fungicides, larvicides, and a myriad of other poisons are used generously on crops, sprayed onto our food, and leach into our soil, within today’s current factory farming methods. With the risks accompanied with consuming current genetically modified organisms (GMOs) and chemically saturated garbage, the consumers are constantly looking for healthier options.
Many are gravitating toward local vendors and farmers markets, preferring antibiotic-free, organic, and free-range food items. However, the label “organic” is not synonymous with pesticide-free, and organic food can and has been found to contain pesticides.
A United States Department of Agriculture [USDA] report surprisingly exposed that samples of organic lettuce had contained pesticide residue. The common residues which were found were known as spinosad and azadirachtin A/B. The USDA happens to deem these particular pesticides suitable for organic agriculture. It is also important to note that land which was treated with non-permitted poisons in the past, but is no longer being sprayed with these poisons, can also qualify as organic. It is safe to assume that just because an item is labeled “organic”, doesn’t mean it’s entirely healthy to eat.
Pesticides authorized for organic farming need to be derived from natural sources, rather than having been synthetically manufactured. Also, the land chosen for the organic crop growing cannot have been treated with any synthetic materials for at least the past three years. One study by the University of Guelph, found that some organic pesticides have a higher environmental impact than conventional pesticides because the organic ones are used in larger doses.
“The consumer demand for organic products is increasing partly because of a concern for the environment,… But it’s too simplistic to say that because it’s organic it’s better for the environment. Organic growers are permitted to use pesticides that are of natural origin, and in some cases, these organic pesticides can have higher environmental impacts than synthetic pesticides, often because they have to be used in large doses.” – professor Rebecca Hallett
Other potent natural extracts which have additionally been approved for use as pesticides in organic farming, include pyrethrin (derived from chrysanthemums) and azadirachtin, which were also detected on some samples of organic lettuce. All three of these substances are considered to be slightly toxic by the Environmental Protection Agency [EPA].
The organic label represents foot items ideally which are free of synthetic pesticides and herbicides etc. But “organic” materials can do damage as well to the environment, and the soil which organic crops may be grown on might be growing on an area which has been depleted of nutrients due to previous conventional farming methods occurring more than three years ago, as per the requirement. Some find that they prefer to purchase locally because they will be familiar with where their food is coming from, and what type of farming method is involved.
Regardless of the faults to organic farming methods, organic vegetables, fruits and other food items are superior to commercially grown non-organic food items in regards to the impact on an individual’s overall health. Washing your vegetables is important as well, to aid in removing any dirt, pesticides, or other unwanted materials which may have been picked up during the transportation process. The University of Michigan and other health enthusiasts, recommend washing your fruits and vegetables with a mixture of vinegar and running water. It is known that basic hot water and friction kills many bacteria, but adding vinegar to the mix will reduce even more. Water is often enough, but one study found that by washing with a water and vinegar combination, it had reduced salmonella on the outer skin of the food significantly more than washing with water alone.
Of course, the optimal solution may be to grow your own food. This is the most ecologically responsible answer, and puts you into direct contact with the creation of your food: the only way to guarantee you really know what is in your food. There are many ways to do this, depending on where you are and what resources you have. If you live in the city, you may be keen to look into urban homesteading or aquaponics, whereas if you live in the countryside you may be more interested in underground greenhouses for year-long growing.
daily alternative | alternative news – Organic Doesn’t Mean Pesticide-Free