If consumers are not careful, buying groceries can be dangerous. The countless pesticides and GMOs found in grocer’s processed foods may be causing more harm than good, with chemicals included in these products that can cause adverse health effects. Solutions to this overwhelming problem may be found no farther than the organic section of your local grocery store. In the past few years, multitudes of people have begun to eliminate the harmful and chemicals and from their daily diet, and the benefits are starting to show. This is beginning to make organic food extremely high in demand. Purchasing organic food is the best way to keep toxins out of your body, prevent adverse life threatening consequences, and protecting our environment for the future. Making organic food more easily accessible and more cost effective to the masses will strongly increase our quality of life and ensure the health and safety of the population as a whole. Although organic food is not uncommon, precautions to guarantee quality for our food are not taken lightly.
Food that is organic is produced by farmers who do not use the following: pesticides, growth hormones, antibiotics, GMOs, sewage sludge, synthetic fertilizers, and ionizing radiation. These farmers want to emphasize the use of renewable sources and maintaining environmental quality and growth for future generations. With food that is to be considered organic, there are three different categories that are acquired- 100% organic ingredients, 95% organic ingredients, and a minimum of 70% organic ingredients, excluding water and salt (Foerstel Design). Food that is in the 70% category is required to be labeled as made with organic food, rather than strictly organic. However, food may only be labelled as organic if a government certified inspector visits farms and factories that would be handling such food, to ensure all qualifications apply. Organizations managing organic food must pass inspection for the food to be considered USDA certified. This is extremely important to secure quality and keep dangerous chemicals out of our food (Organic.org). According to researchers at The University of Washington, pesticide poisoning can strongly affect everyone’s quality of life. Studies taken by these researchers of pesticide poisoning have been focused on people whose occupation has them regularly exposed to these chemicals. Of these tested, many have experienced symptoms such as diarrhea, nausea, dizziness, abdominal cramps, confusion, and anxiety, all of which correlated with their work.
Although very uncomfortable, these symptoms are easily treated and reversible. Think of the times that you have pigged out and only consumed junk food and then later felt extremely sick, or experienced any of the symptoms above. Almost all processed foods have been produced with these chemicals that greatly affect your body. Constantly and consistently eating foods that consume such chemicals have been shown to cause detrimental damage. As stated in Pesticide Action Network’s article, long term exposure has been linked to the development of Parkinson’s disease, asthma, depression and anxiety, and cancer. Many other studies have been shown that chronic, lower doses of the chemicals were associated with memory disorders, respiratory problems, serious skin conditions, birth defects, miscarriage, and neurological conditions. Some solvents that have been found in many pesticides can cause damage to white blood cells which affecting your immune, which could easily cause any of these problems. Most affected by this are our younger population, with fetuses, infants, and children being set at a higher risk of later on developing mental disorders, ADHD, or ADD between the ages of eight and fifteen. Along with this, it has been shown that adolescence develop prematurely and are being seen at a much higher risk of diabetes and obesity (Center for Ecogenetics and Environmental Health).
These disorders are obvious side effects of the poisons being used to treat the food in everyone’s kitchen, and the resolution is right under our nose. The pesticides used on produce protect our food from unwanted insects, but also tend to negatively affect the wanted insects. For years the world has been experiencing near extinction of countless animals and insects, one of the most common; the honey bee. Honey bees account for many of the the foliage you see outside of your window, and accounts for approximately ?…“ of the food that we depend on most (Pesticide Action Network). Our world is declining along with the amount of bees and other beneficial helpers in our ecosystem. The change has not gone unnoticed as I can account for the loss of these insects. Each year you are seeing less and less of the ones that seem to help us the most. Since much of nature is unfortunately being targeted by the chemicals, this is also affecting other animals in our environment.
Even with the guarantee Because these pesticides are so harmful, popularity of organic food has grown increasingly in the previous years. In the past four years, the state of Washington has increased from 290 organic farmers, to 520 (US Organic Food Market Increase). Even though organic food has become so popular, many conventional supermarkets do not sell copious amounts of organic materials, making it difficult for more people to buy organic. A survey has shown that more than 6 out of 10 people buy organic food or beverages at least sometimes when they shop. With the research to support the benefits of growing and buying organic, it is imperative that more awareness and education is provided to the public to maximise the necessity of organic food. In turn, mainstreaming higher quality food will provide the added benefit of the nutritional value found in these foods and as well as the increase to health benefits for all.
“Center for Ecogenetics and Environmental Health.” Fast Facts About Health Risks of Pesticides in Food. University of Washington, Jan. 2013. Web. 25 Apr. 2017.
“Organic FAQ.” Organic. Foerstel Design, 2017. Web. 25 Apr. 2017. “Why Are Organic Foods Better for Health?” Whfoods.org. The George Mateljan Foundation, 2001-2017. Web. 25 Apr. 2017.
US Organic Food Market Increases. US Organic Food Market Increases, Organic Consumers Association. Health Effects of Pesticides. Pesticide Action Network UK, www.pan-uk.org/health-effects-of-pesticides/.a Environmental Impacts. Pesticide Action Network, www.panna.org/resources/environmental-imp