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     Volume 5 Issue 115 | October 6, 2006 |

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Go Organic!

Syeda Shamin Mortada

It was when the young boy went to visit his home village, did he witness the indiscriminate use of pesticides on the crops, during farming. He then realised the hazardous position the environment, the farmers and the consumers were in. From then on whenever the young man ate something, whether meat, vegetable or fruit, the risk he was putting his health in plagued him.

Many food crops, including fruits and vegetables, contain pesticide residue after being washed, cleaned and even peeled. Since most of the food we eat have been produced with the help of pesticides it is only natural that residue may be present inside or on the surface of such foods.

Scientists and researchers have discovered that human biochemistry can be surprisingly susceptible to the same chemicals designed to kill rats, roaches, and even weeds. Moreover, pesticides seem to have serious impacts on the human immune system, reproductive system and the brain chemistry. For example, it is said that DDT can be found in measurable quantities in the body fat of nearly every human. Needless to say, children, elders, pregnant women and people with illness have been found to be especially susceptible to the harmful effects of pesticides. A number of research studies have found higher instances of brain cancer, leukemia and birth defects in children with early exposure to pesticides.

Sounds scary? Yes!! What then can be done other than being more conscientious and careful ? Many say “Going Organic” may be an answer. It is a relatively new term in our country, but slowly and steadily is growing popularity.

Food that is produced without the use of pesticides, herbicides and genetically modified organisms is organic food. It is not covered in a cocktail of poisonous chemicals, contains more vitamins, minerals, enzymes and other micro nutrients than the crops produced in the conventional way and tastes better too. Simply put, science says its good for you!!

If you are into dairy and meat products, organic is the best way for you. Dairy cows and farm animals are fed a dangerous cocktail of antibiotics, growth-promoting drugs, anti-parasite drugs, growth hormones, steroids and many other medicines on a daily basis, for preventive measures, regardless of whether they have an illness or not. Why put flesh in your body that has had such a poor and deplorable life, right? And the worst part is that these drugs are passed directly onto the consumers, which acts as a contributing factor to meat-related diseases like coronaries and high blood pressure.

Organic food is not only better for your health but for your environment as well. Organic farms do not release synthetic pesticides or herbicides into the environment - some of which have the potential to harm local wildlife. They are better than conventional farms at sustaining diverse ecosystems, that is, population of plants and insects, as well as animals.

If the inorganic or conventional food can cause so much harm to the environment, your health and your family's health, imagine what it can do to the farmers working in the fields. Studies have shown that pesticides cause acute health problems to these workers.

Some small-scale entrepreneurs have ventured to produce such organic foods in our country. They say that the selling is not good. According to them people are ready to gobble up all sorts of junk at home and in restaurants but refuse to pay that extra money for quality food.

On the other hand, critics claim that organic food is expensive and beyond the reach of the common people. According to them, consumption of such food is stylish and meant only for the elite.

But when the safety of your family and health is concerned, are you willing to take the risk or are you prepared to pay a bit more to ensure your well being?





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