Think before you Spray: The Chemical/Health Connection in your Food

Some people believe that chemicals such as pesticides, herbicides, and fertilizers are the answer to dealing with insects and weeds in their gardens. Some farmers and home gardeners apply them to crops for a better yield, not really understanding the long-term effects on consumption. These chemicals now have a different reputation than once believed because they threaten the environment and the future of food production. It might be time to start thinking about growing your own food. Here's why…

  1. Chemicals can't be rinsed off. If you buy conventional produce and wash it before you eat it, you won't actually remove any of the chemicals. These dangerous chemicals seep into your food as it's growing and can not simply be removed with water. 
  2. Pesticides may be linked to cancer and other serious diseases. Studies suggest that pesticide exposure is a key contributor to an increase in cancer among children, according to a recent report on CNN. If that's not a reason to grow your own food, what is?
  3. Chemical pesticides linger in the ground, water and atmosphere long after they do their intended job. When pesticides are applied to an area, they travel beyond the target, creating a build up of adverse pollution in our environment. Alternative organic products may reduce or eliminate potential harmful pesticides from the market. 
  4. The health of the soil is compromised. Aside from contaminating crops, chemical pesticides deplete the nutritional value of our food that the soil otherwise preserves. Organic farming introduces helpful organisms that yield clean, unaltered produce. 
  5. Exposure may not be limited to the outdoors. Pesticides can easily be tracked indoors by you, your family, or your pets. They can be absorbed into your body through your skin or lungs, causing long-term health effects. 

Growing an organic garden will dramatically reduce your overall exposure to pesticides. Consider alternative products to keep away pests and weeds that won't harm your produce or your health. You will not only be helping your own family, you will be contributing to a healthier environment for everyone.