The world is becoming more organic food-friendly. In a big way. Safeway has their own organic line of foods, it is considered not only cool but a necessary practice by everyone from parents to politicians, and it is even big business.
So we’re pro-organic, but not necessarily reminded of why. Or at least, that’s the way I started thinking about it.
What are the reasons we choose organic foods? Or, why do we want to avoid pesticides?
Pesticides are chemicals used to control indoor and outdoor pests such as insects and rodents, as well as weeds and other harmful plants. Pesticides can also be biological in nature. There are various types of pesticides, including:
Herbicides - control weeds and other harmful plants
Insecticides - control insects such as termites and moths
Nematicides - control roundworms
Fungicides - control fungus
Rodenticides - control mice, rats, and other rodents
Here are 5 ways that pesticides are harmful to us:
1. Food - since they are used on crops, trace amounts of pesticides can be found in many foods.
2. Water - runoff from pesticide use can contaminate groundwater, rivers, lakes, and streams. Although drinking water provided through municipal systems is tested regularly for increased levels of pesticides, private wells are not.
3. Air - air currents can carry pesticides that were sprayed in a nearby area. This phenomenon is known as pesticide drift.
4. Exposure to pesticides can lead to serious side effects, including:
* Redness, swelling, or blistering of the skin
* Stinging or swelling of the eyes, mouth, and nose
* Shortness of breath
* Nausea and vomiting
5. In addition to the above side effects, pesticide poisoning can also have severe effects on both the reproductive system and the endocrine system (system that controls the body’s hormones).
The way around this is to avoid as much direct exposure to pesticides as possible. Buy organic, eat organic, support organic farming.
The less pesticides are used in farming and general application, the cleaner our environment should be. We can count on that.