The Benefits Of Organic Produce Essay

1210 words - 5 pages

Each day Americans consume untold quantities of pesticides and other chemical additives in the foods we eat. Currently all consumers have only one choice to limit exposure to pesticides in their food: to buy organically farmed food. I realize that organic foods are more expensive than commercially farmed foods. However, one can offset the higher cost of organics by growing his or her own vegetables. Not only that, the consumer would benefit by knowing which products have the highest levels of pesticides and buy them organic instead. Organic food is not treated or grown with dangerous pesticides; it is environmentally friendly and helpful to the local economy.
Before World War II, all farming done in the United States was what we now consider organic farming. After World War II, the chemical companies needed to find a use for their chemicals, so they gave out free samples to farmers. One company even hired Dr. Seuss to create ads for their chemicals. Thus began the widespread use of pesticides on farms throughout the United States. Farmers routinely used pesticides, herbicides, fungicides, and rodenticides on their farms. What the chemical companies failed to tell the farmers was that by using these chemicals, they would also kill the beneficial bugs and plants on their farms. This, in turn, would make them forever dependent on these chemicals to control pests and weeds. According to John Wargo: “A 1989 National Academy of Sciences study found that insecticide use may actually increase crop losses over time because insects may rapidly develop resistance to specific pesticides (6).” It was unknown what health effects these chemicals would have on the consumers, animals, or farm workers applying these chemicals. L. McCauley confirms adverse health issues in relation to pesticide use in his article. “Organophosphate pesticides are associated with well-known acute health problems such as nausea, dizziness, vomiting, headaches, and abdominal pain, and skin and eye problems (1).”
These chemicals helped the farmers produce more products and created less work for the farm hands, but at what cost? We know that there are higher incidences of birth defects, asthma, and neurological disorders by farm workers than the general population. It is safe to assume that the daily exposure to these chemicals play a significant role in their health problems. There are more cases of childhood asthma, ADHD, and neurological disorders that pesticides played a key role in creating. One study confirms there is a link between pesticides and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) in children. This study by Theo Colburn states: “The U.S. EPA currently requires chronic toxicity studies, but it is locked into using high doses to elicit effects and has not overcome the difficulty of detecting effects from chronic or ambient exposure or low doses (15).” However, as consumers, we do not ingest large doses of pesticides, but we do ingest numerous pesticides daily....

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