Organic Food and the Truth of the Modern Experiment of “Conventional Farming”
Have you ever tasted a conventional strawberry and then tasted an organic one? If you have any doubt that pesticides can have an effect on your food, try one of each one day and you’ll have a real sense for how much food can be altered by modern ways.
An organic diet isn’t a new fad, it’s how all of our ancestors ate up until 70 years ago. If you are at all concerned about your health, the controversy over conventional and organic foods merits your consideration.
There’s some debate today over whether eating organically is a good choice for your health, and particularly about whether it’s a wise choice for your budget. There’s no doubt the food is more expensive, but the effects that non-organic food can have on your diet is something that has not been well hashed out by scientists. The use of modern day pesticides is something that has only been used on farms since the 1950’s, and genetic modifications to our foods are barely 10 years old at this stage. These changes to farming practices did not begin in such a widespread wide as they are being used today, either. It’s just impossible to say with absolutely certainty what the long-term health benefits are of ‘conventional food’. We can however, make some logical conclusions and rational choices. There may be nothing worthier of critical examination in this world than our health, and the foundation of that health is our diet. Truthfully, we are what we eat.
You may have heard that buying organic food mean you will still be consuming pesticides. While it’s true that buying organic food does not mean that farmers can’t use pesticides, it restricts their usage to a very limited list, of which they are exclusive naturally occurring in nature and shown by research and by their historical existence to be non-harmful to humans. Organic food also does not include any chemical fertilizers, dyes, industrial solvents, irradiation, or genetic modifications. These exclusions are a list of items and practices that have been around for less time than your grandparents likely have been. We simply don’t yet know what it means for our health to be consuming these conventional foods for the entirety of one’s life.
The Pesticide Industry
Yet the variety and number of these food industry chemicals are multiplying at an astounding rate across the world. The use of these chemical pesticides has steadily increased since the 1950’s, developing at a prolific rate within laboratories into new chemical concoctions that are spread without much critical considerations from farms to dinner tables across the world. Today, you’re likely to have 40-60 different chemical pesticides on any given piece of produce, although some types of produce are better or worse in this respect.
Pesticides and Health Risks
The effects of pesticides don’t stop at your palate either. There isn’t nearly enough research on the effects of modern day pesticides to merit their widespread use in our society, but study after study have linked these chemicals to cancer, Alzheimer’s Disease, ADHD, and even birth defects.
Cutting Out the Chemicals
Is it enough to buy organic food simply to have better tasting fruits and veggies? A lot of people claim the pesticides themselves aren’t making those strawberries taste so different. They’re probably right, too. In all likelihood, it’s the petroleum based ‘wax’ that is spread on conventional produce that makes the pesticides stick that is drowning out so much of the flavour. If the farmers didn’t use this petroleum then rain and waterings would wash these pesticides away on a daily basis, which is just the reason why washing your conventional produce isn’t going to clean them of these chemicals.
Organic food can be expensive, but it is getting more widespread and fairly priced as the years go by. That being said, there are ways you can remove both the pesticides and the wax from conventional produce at a very reasonable price and in a simple and timely way. These cleaning methods will be different depending on what you are washing, but for the most part they are affordable, quick, and easily researched.
There’s no reason to be ingesting more pesticides than you need to be, unless you really do want to be part of a worldwide biological experiment. You can get much closer to the way your ancestors ate by avoiding these chemicals in the first place, or by doing your best to effectively wash them off.