Organic vs. Poison: Our Choice

Date Published: January, 1998
Author: Jon Cotton
Article Category: Health Articles

Organic vs. Poison: Our Choice

     One of the most important things we can do for our health and our planet is to eat only organically grown food. This means food grown without the use of pesticides or chemical fertilizers and processed without irradiation procedures to artificially extend shelf life through exposure to nuclear by-products. These conventional methods can have devastating impacts to our health.

     From the book "Diet for a New America" in the chapter "America the Poisoned": "Pesticides are extraordinarily concentrated and powerful chemicals intentionally developed to kill living creatures. Some of them were originally developed to kill human beings. Phosgene, used today to produce chemical herbicides and insecticides, was originally developed for use in chemical warfare, and was, in fact, the agent of almost all deaths due to poison gas in World War I. Zykon-B, another modern pesticide, is the substance which the Nazis used to produce deadly hydrogen cyanide gas, used to kill concentration camps.

     Many of today's most widely used pesticides, including malathion and parathion, are members of the nerve gas family. So lethal is parathion that a chemist who swallowed an infinitesimal dose, amounting to 0.00424 of an ounce, was instantaneously paralyzed and died before he could take an antidote he had prepared in advance and had at hand.

     Pesticides are not the kind of substances you'd want to have hanging around in your environment, but many of them do. The chlorinated hydrocarbon pesticides - DDT, aldrin, kepone, dieldrin, PCB's.etc. - are extremely stable compounds. They do not break down for decades, and in some cases, centuries.

     Rachael Carson titled her book Silent Spring in memory of the song birds who have begun to disappear from our world. The reason it is birds who are the first to go, is that many of them are predators at the top of long food chains, and thus receive extremely concentrated doses of these chemicals.

     You see, pesticides don't just affect the creature who ingests them first. They accumulate in the tissues of animals, and then, as one organism is eaten by another, they build up in ever higher concentrations at each successively higher rung on the food chain."

     Eating meat and other animal products is the major source of pesticide intake of the American diet. Higher concentrations of these chemical toxins are found in commercial poultry, pork and beef because they are fed high amounts of fish meal and their other feeds and grazing fields have been heavily laden with toxic chemicals, growth hormones and pesticides. When humans ingest these foods they are putting an imprint and consciousness into their bodies with a message for death.  

     Many scientists now blame the gradual accumulation and presence of toxic chemicals in our bodies for the rapid increase in cancer, birth defects and immune system diseases. Our environment and food supply is inundated with pesticides. Americans are exposed to 70,000 chemicals, some 90% of which have never been subjected to adequate testing to determine their impact on our health. In 1991, 2.2 billion Lbs. of pesticides were used in the U.S. - 8 lbs. for every woman, man and child.

     Two-thirds of all pesticides on the market are not registered under current EPA health standards. The FDA checks less than .002 percent of the food consumed. The USDA tests only one out of every quarter-million slaughtered animals for toxic chemical residues, and for less than 10% of the chemicals known to be present. Even when pesticides are banned they are often ignored by industry or government officials seeking to hide the extent of the problem.

     We cannot count on our government to protect us. We must show our influence with our spending decisions. The best way to reduce our intake of toxic chemicals is to reduce or eliminate our consumption of all animal products. The next step is to eat primarily or only organic or at least unsprayed produce. These are urgent steps towards raising our consciousness about health and to restoring the balance among the species on earth.

     Pesticides poison our food, environment, wildlife, and ultimately us. An organic diet tastes better and is better for our health and our planet.

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