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Why I choose Organic and Natural

October 4, 2010

I believe there’s a bit of a misconception with organic foods and why I buy them.  Of course we understand that the primary reason is the produce is pesticide-free.  But what people fail to understand is why is it important to have pesticide-free foods and how pesticides affect every living thing that exist in this world.

First of all, what are pesticides?  Pesticides are any agent, man-made or natural, that exterminate or repel living organisms that we consider “pests”.  Most of the pesticides that we use today are chemical based.  And these chemicals are made to be poisonous to living organisms.  What we need to understand is that we are larger living organisms.  And if these poisonous chemicals can be powerful enough to kill resilient insects, weeds and rodents, imagine what it can do to us.  Of course, size is relative but what doesn’t kill us certainly does not make us stronger.  As a matter of fact, it weakens us slowly.

What I believe to be the truth, and which is mostly scientifically proven, is that the pesticides that are in our environment causes or exacerbates or increases the likelihood of every illness, ailment or disease out there.  They are known to damage organs, the nervous system, and reproductive system.  They create a hormonal and biochemical imbalance in our bodies.  For example, pesticides have been found to be hormonal disruptors causing early puberty, endometriosis, sterility or low sperm count, infertility, and thyroid problems.  It also affects digestion of food which can lead to overweight or obesity issues. 

It is known to be linked with almost all, if not all, cancers that exist:  Breast, lung, brain, heart, bone, lymph nodes, etc etc etc.  It is known to affect development in children: ADD, autism, birth defects, asthma, weight gain, learning disabilities etc etc etc.  Needless to say, continuous contact with these substances can lead to serious health issues and maybe even death. 

Not to make this more devastating than it already is, but pesticides destroy our ecosystems.  The pesticides have to go somewhere right?  For example, crops are sprayed with these chemicals, the chemicals go into the soil, and the rain washes it deeper into our soil and into our water system.  Also, pesticides can travel very far by being carried by the wind.  Although some of the pesticides get broken down, the majority of it contaminates our waters and agriculture.  And don’t forget, we wash our produce and the pesticides that go into our sewage inevitably go back into the ocean and drinking water.  Also, not only do we inhale and ingest the chemicals, animals do too.  Especially livestock because many of them are so close to the crops that get sprayed.  So not only do we potentially eat contaminated produce, inhale contaminated air and drink contaminated water, we also eat  the contaminated meats.  And don’t forget about all the seafood that have been affected because of the toxins that leach into our oceans.

Now that I have your attention, might I suggest what we can do to change this, because it’s not too late.  First and foremost, buy organic or natural.  Nowadays, a lot of the organic foods are not that much more expensive than non-organic or non-natural.  Especially the produce that is in season.  They generally go on sale and are very affordable.  I usually cook whatever is on special at the supermarket or farmer’s markets. 

Always try to buy organic or natural meats.  If you find the organic meats are too pricey go for the natural meats such as specialty chickens or grass-fed meats or all naturals.  There are no hormones and antibiotics added to these meats which is healthier for you and much kinder to the animals.  There are always butchers or supermarkets that have their meats on sale.  I generally buy whatever is on sale by bulk and store it in my freezer. 

Also, try gardening some of your own fruits & veggies.  It’s rewarding, relaxing, healthier and more green.  Use organic and/or natural fertilizers, soils, and weed-killers.  Eventually convert all your foods to organic like canned foods, bread, packaged foods.  Buy alternatives to bug sprays (deet, bug-repellents).  There are plenty of options out there.  Plus chemicals like deet are extremely toxic to us.

By buying organic you’re not only making a healthier choice, you’re also making a moral choice.  By buying organic produce you are saying you do not support pesticides…that you do not support destroying the environment, and that you do not want to create more toxicity to this beautiful place in which we inhabit.  You owe it to yourself, your children, the animals and every other living organism out there. 

Haven’t we done enough damage to our planet?  Shouldn’t we take good care of the things that take care of us?  How much more illness or damage do we need to see  until we do something about it?  Doesn’t a natural alternative sound so much better than toxic chemicals?  The truth is, there are natural pesticides that can be used.  They maybe a little more costly and more time-consuming to produce and use but nonetheless, they are natural.  And we need to support that market which is best for us and our environment.  Hopefully there will be enough demand for chemical-free foods that all farmers will stop spraying and harming the environment.  Hey, we maybe paying a little more (sooo nominal) and it maybe less convenient to buy all organics but I assure you, the short-term sacrifices will create long-term positive and life-saving results.

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