Organic Gardening

Bald Mountain Press: organic food is healthier for you and your environment. Children fed organic diets have a much lower chance of developing cancer. Vote with your dollars by shopping for organic food with us!

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Organic Food
by Scott Supak

Chemical farming has systematically destroyed the world's top soil. Once fertile soil has blown and washed away. Worms and micro-organisms that once thrived throughout the world's soil are dead. Healthy, organic, living soil has been eradicated by the megatons, washed down river to become toxic silt, eventually poisoning the ocean as well. And yet crop dusters and combines still swarm over the fields pouring fertilizer, insecticides, herbicides, fungicides, and a whole range of toxic chemicals that the Monsantos and Duponts of the world have spent years and billions of dollars convincing farmers to use.

When I was running my old organic gardening site, I would constantly receive mail from people who argue that organic food is not healthier for people, and therefore is no big deal. I never understood this logic. Organic food, according a whole host of scientists, does have nutritional advantages over the chemically grown kinds. Organic Gardening Magazine has quoted a wide range of scientific evidence suggesting that fruits and vegetables grown using manure as fertilizer grow better than those grown in chemically based NKP fertilizers. Also, healthy soil contains vitamin B-12, which shows up in higher levels in organically grown food.  Regardless of the health benefits, the environmental impact of non-natural food production is devastating.  Organic food is good for the health of the planet, as well as people.

Healthy plants are more drought, disease, and pest resistant. Healthy plants produce healthy produce. Weak, treated plants produce scrawny, shriveled, less healthy, and sometimes toxic produce. According to Ralph Nader's Citizen Action, Chilean Grapes and Mexican Cantaloupe are just a few examples of pesticide ridden foods to avoid (see organic facts).   Moreover, why would we want to perpetuate the chemical devastation of our food when we could grow organic food and have no need for the chemicals; once our soil is healthy, our plants are healthier, and they don't need huge chemical injections to grow.

Foods grew naturally for millions of years. Roots evolved to absorb organic molecules, not the large synthetic ones. Natural foods are still grown successfully throughout the world. But on the global scale, the chemical companies are poisoning the vast majority of cropland. Organic foods are by far the minority. Every year, farmers die of cancer at a higher rate than the general public. Doctors get rich from a whole host of ailments in those who work closely with these chemicals. Why is it such a huge leap of logic to realize that we are ingesting smaller amounts of the chemicals on a daily basis.

Our children, who are much more susceptible, are storing up the pesticides found in dairy and meat fat, which are a much bigger risk. Feed grain does not have to meet the same standards as food for human consumption. It is laden with pesticides, which the cows store in their fat. We consume these chemicals in large doses through milk, cheese, and meat. Organic food companies have grown to include organic dairy farms, like Natural Horizons, but this milk is not available, still, in most places. And the price often keeps young parents from buying it, even though this is one of the most important things they can do for their children's health.

If more people purchase organic food, the farming economy will change to accommodate the demand. Eventually, organic food supply will grow to meet the demand, and prices won't vary as drastically. This trend has already begun, as more farmers are going organic (see Please vote with your dollars: purchase organic food to help the farmers who are saving the soil. Without it, we all starve.

Scott Supak, 6-3-98




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