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Pesticides Are Not A Solution Essay

1821 words - 7 pages

Life is easy for the modern persons. The threat of starvation is not imminent. The days of hunting and gathering are over for the vast majority of citizens thriving in developed nations. If one is hungry they need only go to one of the many supermarkets to purchase food. The day to day has been simplified in so many ways that it is not hard to understand why the base step to that simplicity would be overlooked. Why question a good thing?
Why should the public know what their food consists of? With the microwave dinners, pre-cooked deli meals, and the myriad of other processed foods many simply do not take the time to start from the bottom up with their edibles. Even when they do, statistics show that some are not aware of where the basics come from. Take this report, “The Linkage Environment and Farming (LEAF) show that 22% of 1,073 adults questioned did not know bacon and sausage originates from farms” (BBC). With statistics like that maybe it is time to start questioning.
It is not enough that the people know where their basics come from, the season of simplicity demands attention be drawn to what is in the basics. What is in the agriculture and meat produce besides the basic structure and natural makeup of these plants and animals? The answer is pesticides. Clearly, pesticides have their benefits. In third world countries where malaria is widespread DDT, a major pesticide, keeps the bugs at bay that infect people who have no other recourse. Pesticides also allow for a higher yield on crops, sometimes as much as 30%. However, well developed nations are just not meeting the need for this seemingly miracle cure.
David Montgomery, Professor of Earth and Space Sciences at the University of Washington speculates that, “ The green revolution simultaneously created a lucrative global market for the chemicals on which modern agriculture depended on practically ensured that a country embarked on this path of dependency could not realistically change course. In individuals, psychologists call such behavior addiction.”(198). The green revolution he refers to is the increase in crop yielding due to the development of pesticides after WWII. Although, pesticides have been used worldwide since the 1930’s their success was not fully achieved until this period.
Prior to the green revolution crops were produced. The proof is in the history books. Developments in agriculture have been progressive; from the first settlements to develop farmland to the aqueducts of Rome. Had the Mayans been content to wait for the rain the feat of aqueducts may never have been achieved. The same can now be said for pesticides. At one time, pesticides had a place, same as waiting for the rain.
If pesticides were not known as the easy fix for crop displacement, imagine the inventions that could solve China’s problem. A report shows that thanks to the reliance on pesticides, China is missing out on crop output. Due to erosion China lost almost...

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