By supporting the organic movement, we help to minimize chemical damage which poses a real threat to the future of humanity. We need to think hard before choosing an intensively produced product over an organic product simply because of the small extra cost.
Organic food is free from insecticides, pesticides, growth hormones, antibiotics, fertilisers and a whole host of other toxic artificial additives, flavourings, colourings and preservatives. The combination of these residues may be more toxic than you realize due to the synergistic effects of multiple residues on foods that can accumulate in human tissue. The health effect of all of this pollution is slowly becoming clear.
Agro-chemicals were not developed with nutrition, health or the environment in mind.So what we get is a cheap but inferior product with a cocktail of up to 40 different chemicals, waxes and insecticides.
Organic farmers are committed to fine food, and they will have left the trees in a meadow with healthy soil, filled with a diversity of butterflies, lady birds, birds and wildlife in general.
There are many hidden costs to intensive farming and spraying especially to the workers that have to handle the chemicals often without safety clothing, suffering all sorts of diseases.
Organic produce may well cost a bit more but this is no comparison to the possible cost if we don’t try to support organic foods. There is the cost to the tax payer for the subsidies to agro-chemical farming. The cost of cleaning up the environment as the chemicals end up in our water-ways killing fish and then there is the possible cost of healthcare as an indirect and direct result of the cocktail of chemicals. Then there is the cost to the wildlife, whose natural habitats are being systematically destroyed.
“The UK pesticide market is currently worth about £500 million every year. It is extraordinary that the cost of removing pesticides from drinking water amounts to a huge £120 million annually,” says Professor Pretty. In Britain subsidies on normally grown food works out at about 40 pence in every pound spent on food. This cost is paid through the taxation system.
Organic farmers earn lower subsidies because they grow rotation crops so they are unable to maximise subsidy income. They cost society about 25 pence in every pound. When you cost in the real cost of industrial agriculture and take away the subsidies that favour the wrong use of resources, you end up with a situation where, organic food would actually cost less than conventional! The situation is also very much like this in the USA.
More and more people are going organic and prices for organic foods have been falling over the last five years as more and more organic food is bought. It is vital that we safeguard the future of organic farming by paying a little bit extra to keep organic farmers in business.
Organic farming is generally smaller scale and more labour intensive, sometimes with smaller crop yields. Farmers also have to convert their land to organic production over a period of years, and as organic farming relies on crop rotation, up to 25% of land may be left to lie fallow at any one time to increase natural soil fertility.
Organic food’s strength lies in what it doesn’t contain. There is, in fact, only food in organic food as regulations prohibit hydrogenated fat that can cause of heart disease, cancer, diabetes and obesity, aspartame thought to be a neurotoxin – affecting the nervous system, phosphoric acid found in many soda drinks causing osteoporosis, antibiotics which interfere with our immune system, hormones that are causing feminization of wild life, low sperm count, obesity, various cancers, pesticides causing or encouraging mutagenic, carcinogenic effects,GM foods – who knows what the long term effects will be, linked to IBS, Crohn’s disease, autism, other gut-based disease, or any of the 7000 artificial colourings, flavourings, preservatives and processing aids that are permitted in conventional food that have been linked to cancer, liver disease, gut problems. These are chemicals, food additives and processes that are not allowed in organic foods.
Also look out for wild crafted, hydroponic, bio-dynamic and eco-friendly grown foods.