05 April 2013

Why buy organic?

The search box on Answers.com prompted me with "Ask us anything," so I entered Organic Produce. The first two sentences of the first article I clicked on drove me into such a fit that I am actually typing a blog post.

Why Buy Organic Produce? begins with
Long ago, the organic produce section of the grocery store used to be a small space tucked into the corner of the store that went barely noticed by mainstream grocery shoppers. Things have changed and now the organic section of the grocery store takes up a considerable amount of floor space.
I think it would be better to say 

Up until the 1940s, all produce was organic. 

Things changed after World War II.

Food Fantasies

This page sums it up best:

When World War II started, the government constructed 10 new plants to produce ammonia for munitions. .... When the nitrogen was no longer needed for bombs, what were they going to do with all this capacity? The answer was, use the nitrogen-rich ammonia for fertilizing the nation's crops. 
Seriously, take a moment to read the full text from which the above quote was taken. The type of fertilizers referred to are not good old-fashioned manure, but instead "chemically synthesized inorganic fertilizers" - originally intended to be ammunition. World War II also triggered the widespread use of pesticides. Yes, these technologies were in the works long before WWII, but the war was the catalyst for our agricultural system to rapidly become an agrochemical system.

In any case, so much of our food is sprayed with intensely toxic chemicals (and sometimes genetically engineered to survive these chemical baths while everything else around it dies), that it's hard to find something to eat that hasn't been poisoned or genetically modified.
So we label those foods as organic. 

Back to the original question, "Why buy organic produce?" 

It doesn't seem like a good idea, to me, to eat a food that was sprayed with, say, an organophosphate pesticide. Explained by the US Environmental Protection Agency,
These pesticides affect the nervous system by disrupting the enzyme that regulates acetylcholine, a neurotransmitter. Most organophosphates are insecticides. ....their effects on insects, are similar to their effects on humans.... they were used in World War II as nerve agents.
I probably don't need to ingest that stuff.

But if you're not convinced, you can read more about organophosphates via Pesticide Action Network, keeping in mind that this is merely one type of chemical sprayed on our food. (PAN has a great Pesticides 101 info page.) The more I read about our food supply, the more motivated I am to buy organic and grow my own food.
Oh, and we should probably label GMO foods as well.

I'm sure it's no coincidence these former military bunkers are next to a #monsanto. I believe ammunition was manufactured here during WWII. #Monsanto. So odd to me they transformed their business into chemical-industrialized-agriculture.

I'm sure it's no coincidence these former military bunkers are next to a Monsanto. 
Ammunition was manufactured here during WWII.

Listening to: Crass - So What
I'm just a person, a human being.
You're a part our machine because we want you to be.
We've got you now and you'll never be free.

1 comment:

  1. Very interesting and informative read! I think I've just learned something today. Interesting put on perspective that all food were organic pre-WWII :)

    Great post Jeannette!



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