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Why choose Organic? Why is it even a thing?

Many of us have grown up eating produce and products without ever questioning how it was grown, and where it was made, and how. Depending on when you were growing up, you may have even gotten your milk or eggs delivered from a local person, and your produce from a local produce stand. Meat from a butcher. There weren't always supermarkets everywhere, and produce didn't often survive a long trip. Canned veggies and fruit were common, as they would last on a shelf.



But as the population "boomed" and towns and cities grew, grocery stores and farms figured out smart ways to be able to have produce last longer for transport and sitting at the store. Chemistry also enabled farmers to raise crops with less back breaking management of weeds and insects, which could destroy crops if not dealt with.


This was a major milestone in farming history. It changed so much, and enabled feeding more food to an ever-growing population.


But there are two sides to this coin:

Here is some information from Drugwatch, an organization that is dedicated to providing consumers with reliable health and safety information:


"Pesticides have revolutionized agriculture by safeguarding crops from pests and diseases, increasing yields, and ensuring bountiful harvests. However, these valuable tools come with inherent risks that should not be overlooked. Farmers are on the front lines, facing these challenges daily. It is crucial to understand the hazards associated with pesticide and herbicide use to protect yourself, your crops, and the environment."

- Drugwatch



The most popular and prevalent chemical used in conventional farming is Glyphosate. This is the key chemical found in Round-up, which besides being a popular method for controlling weeds and pests in farming, many people use to control weeds in their yards, and public spaces.


Glyphosate: Health Concerns

From Drug watch: "Glyphosate is a widely used herbicide. While effective against various plants, recent concerns have emerged regarding its potential health impacts. Lawsuits allege that exposure to the popular weed killer, found in Roundup and hundreds of other products in the U.S., has led to certain cancers including non-Hodgkin lymphoma."


In many countries in Europe, products containing Glyphosate are banned to protect public health. In some South American Countries where Round up crops are prevalent, higher rates of cancer and birth defects are found. There is also high concern over ground water and drinking water contamination in areas of use.


There are on-going investigations and studies into the impacts of many synthetic pesticides and herbicides, many revealing concerns over health. From dealing with hormonal imbalances, potential cancers, asthma, and even ADD/ADHD, the recommendation from many is to prioritize healthier organic foods.



This excerpt on eating for ADD explains:

Eat organic foods as much as possible. Organic foods do not have the pesticides, hormones, and other additives that have been linked to ADHD. In a study of 1,100 children, those with higher levels of pesticides in their urine were twice as likely to have ADHD. 




Glyphosate and other pesticide: Environmental concerns

The use of glyphosate has created the development of genetically modified produce which are "Round-Up Ready Crops" - this way the entire crop can be treated with Glyphosate, and it won't kill the crops.


Unfortunately, nature has responded to this chemical as well - resulting in "round-up resistant weeds", that are more difficult than ever to manage.

It's like Jeff Goldblum said in Jurassic Park:




But.... eating organic is expensive... what can I do?


Going organic can be more expensive, but reasonably priced organic foods are available at Walmart, Costco, and Trader Joe’s.


The best way to eat organic produce is to JOIN THE ORGANIC CSA! While it is an up-front cost for the season, the produce cost by the end of the season is less than what you would pay at the grocery chains, often even if you chose non-organic. By cutting out the middle-man, you are saving money, and helping the farmer. And you are improving the health and safety of you and your family.




OK.... but Does EVERYTHING have to be organic?


Good news, you can be smart about your choices to save extra money as well.


Some fruits and vegetables have higher pesticide levels than others.


The "Dirty Dozen" and the "Clean 15" are lists created yearly to inform us which crops are using the MOST pesticides and herbicides, and which ones are using the LEAST.



Use this resource to learn more, and to help guide your choices: https://www.ewg.org/foodnews/dirty-dozen.php





Keep informed

To learn more about Glyphosate and how you can reduce synthetic pesticide and herbicide use at home,

Please take a look here:




Wishing you the best of health and vitality!

Until next time,

Colleen




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