21-Day Challenge Tip #9: Organic vs. Non-Organic Food
Farming has existed for nearly as long as we have. But somewhere along the way, non-organic methods of farming were adopted to fight pest infestation and produce higher quantities of crops. Let’s take a quick look at each and the ensuing problems.
- Pesticides and Herbicides
These methods are used to combat insects and weeds but involve highly toxic chemical residues which were found in the crops themselves. So the FDA banned these chemicals from being used. However since many crops are imported, many products DO contain these chemicals and are still coming into North America.
- Sewage Sludge
Someone thought contaminated sewage sludge would be a fantastic way to use human waste as fertilizer for crops. At first it seemed to be a great idea, as it was cheap and easy to obtain, but NO surprise that recent tests have shown that large amounts of it may contribute to chronic illnesses.
- Hormones and More
A third method is hormones, antibiotics and remains of other animals. These quickly fatten up animals for consumption. Hormones, while expensive and often illegal, are injected into animals to quickly bring them up to market size. Antibiotics are used to keep the animals alive until they are butchered. A big problem with this method occurs when we eat this treated meat: our bodies are ingesting high volumesof antibiotics and therefore becoming immune to their bacteria-fighting abilities. So when we go to the doctor for antibiotics, the medicine does nothing for us.
Carcass meal (remains of other animals) which is often fed to animals in the meat and dairy industry, has also proven to be a big problem. Many doctors now believe that this method lead to another health disaster: mad cow disease. Carcass meal contributes to it by keeping the diseased animals in the food chain. This is especially dangerous for humans when we ingest it.
The last method is irradiation, where spices are exposed to radiation to kill bacteria or micro-organisms that may be present. This does more harm than good since it can lead to disease.
Returning to Organic Methods
After countless studies showing that chemicals and other substances are toxic to humans and cause various illnesses and death, the government finally has been making changes in the agricultural industry. They are encouraging farmers to shift from this chemical way of farming to how we used to farm, which is less threatening and safer for all.
Organic farming is all about developing crops and livestock using the most environmental, humane, economic systems available. In order for this to work effectively, two things are needed:
- Fertile land to plant a diversity of crops.
- People who are willing to work on the land and learn this method of farming.
In Europe, many countries are leaving the toxic chemical approach for a healthier organic method called “ecological agriculture”.
Principles of Organic Farming
- Ensuring that the soil can be used for many succeeding generations – without using the fertilizers that were used in non-organic farming.
- Properly caring for the crops by using soil organisms and not pesticides.
- Recycling livestock manure and organic materials, including crop residue.
- Control weed growth and insect infestation with crop rotation.
- Not using anything that science has used in conventional non-organic farming.
- Not tampering with genes of animals and genetically modified organisms (GMOs). Allow animal life to remain as it should.
- Determining the effects of this method on the environment.
In deciding which type of farming is better, everyone can see that the organic method is safer and better than the non-organic toxic chemical one.
But it’s not an easy task to stop non-organic produce from entering the market. Some products which the consumer demands – and aren’t available locally – have to be imported. Regardless of what regulations and bans the government places on products grown in the USA (and Canada), other countries that export to North America are not as regulated.
Unless other countries agree on the same regulations, there is no guarantee that the food we consume from abroad is safe and free from toxic elements.
What to Do
The best thing you can do is to buy organic food as much as possible. When you can’t, find substitutes for the food that isn’t organic.
Be more aware of what you buy and raise your concerns. We can let our opinions be known even in the simplest ways. For example when shopping, if there’s no substitute for the product you need let the store owners know.
The number of organic farmers has more than doubled in the past 16 years. This will continue to grow as long people continue to see the bigger picture.
Source: Organic Food Corner
Yours in health & fitness,
Craig, Pepe & the Precision team