How can I not respond to the Sept. 4 article, “Is organic food more healthy?” when I’ve been preaching about the perils of messing with our food chain for years! This article is so unfounded and out of touch with reality it’s enough to gag a maggot.
I’m not the only visionary who saw the handwriting on the wall, though! Remember when Tiny Tim tiptoed through the tulips and made his classic remark that “you are what you eat?” Well, half a century later, evidence proves him right! Bodies have doubled in size since we were kids, and a host of lifestyle ailments we never knew before keep Big Pharm busy dreaming up yet more antidotes to combat new illnesses which don’t respond to antibiotics, and still more illnesses actually caused by antibiotics!
Could this be because government-subsidized Iowa corn farmers tell us they’re no longer growing real food? Or because three million acute pesticide poisonings occur annually, according to the World Health Organization? Or because pesticide contamination has made the water supply for 4.3 million Americans unsafe to drink?! How about this: the New York Times reported that scientific studies made in 2011 of pregnant women exposed to higher amounts of organophosphate pesticides revealed that their elementary school children had lower IQs than their peers!
The lead sentence in the Sept. 4 article tells us that organically-grown food costs more. We’re then told that a team of doctors found little evidence that organically-grown food is healthier or more nutritious except for a few differences involving antibiotics and pesticides, which “are within safety limits.”
Whose safety limits?! Surely not the farmers and farm workers who suffer with higher rates of cancer from pesticide exposure according to the National Cancer Institute.
With such an introduction, why would anyone prefer organically-grown food? By the same token, we’re later told the demand for organically-grown foods has grown since 1997 from $3.5 million in sales to $31.4 billion in 2011, and that the government has begun to curb the use of antibiotics to quickly fatten animals in order to “meet the demand for cheap meat.”
Think it’s about time? Think the demand for organically-grown food will go away?
What the article omits is the government’s complicity in furthering the profits of companies which produce the chemicals that now saturate the agriculture industry, AND the antidotes to the side effects caused by their products! It’s easy to see why: the CEOs and lawyers who run Big Pharm comprise the bulk of our Department of Agriculture!! How’s that for a conflict of interest?
Real foods are grown naturally, organically, without added hormones to speed up the growth process of animals, or chemicals added to resist infestations, or triple a crop’s yield. Real food satisfies your hunger and doesn’t leave you craving empty carbs. Yes, right now, organically-grown foods do cost more because it’s labor intensive work with no government subsidies, and with more stringent and costly government regulations for growing, packaging and labeling organically-grown farm and supplemental products.
As an herbalist who manufactured and sold products for 20 years, it was always a challenge to come up with a label which made no health claims, lest I be busted by the FDA. I couldn’t even hint at an herb’s use for insomnia down through the history of time. Yet today’s TV commercials for sleep aids put you to sleep while warning of possible side effects which can curl your toes and fry your liver!
I strongly urge readers to support local farmers and continue their demand for organically-grown food and sensible stewardship of our planet. Most important, carefully read labels. Some produce comes from countries using American made pesticides now banned here, or are irradiated with nuclear weapons waste but not so labeled, or have been deemed toxic due to nuclear fallout from Japan. I’m told this includes California oranges, pistachios and almonds. (To think I once tiptoed through the orange groves in Southern California.)
Well, remember Tiny Tim’s words now, and don’t tiptoe as you browse the organically-grown section of your local store or farmers’ market!
Isa “Kitty” Mady is a resident of Montesano.