Live Organicallyby Julia Bailey Mountain Rose Herbs
The benefits of supporting the organic movement and incorporating an organic lifestyle are immeasurable and we have outlined what we believe to be the most crucial issues facing us today. For food, family, and future, we encourage you to be passionately organic and we guarantee it will make you feel good all over.Soil is founded upon a symbiotic relationship with everything around, above, and below it, and when this relationship is altered through chemical means, everything is irretrievably altered.
Organic farming methods often involve more labor but take far less of a toll on the environment through soil building, crop rotation, careful harvesting, assimilation of the local environment and composting. Conventional non-organic agricultural methods require large amounts of synthetic chemicals and fertilizers which are directly sprayed on the crops or injected directly into the ground. This practice alone destroys the billions of life forms found in a simple handful of soil, thus stripping the land of the essential building blocks of life.
No matter where you live you are part of a watershed and that watershed has a name. Everything you spray, flush, discard, or dispose of enters your watershed. Much to the sacrifice of our environmental heritage our watersheds are in a horrible state with all life hanging in a precarious balance. Conventional non-organic farms apply to their crops thousands of pounds of synthetic herbicides, pesticides and chemical fertilizers and all of this will enter our watershed in the form of run-off and bio-accumulation. This simple act contaminates our rivers, lakes and ground water supply, thereby poisoning our fish, wildlife, and communities. Organic farming methods do not rely on such intensive acts, and most city and county governments have encouraged organic farms to establish themselves next to waterways to protect the immediate watershed.
We need to remind ourselves that when we do not buy organic, we are assuming a risk to ourselves, our communities, and the farmers who produce the very food we rely on for our survival. Through a process known as bio-accumulation, all plants absorb nutrients and matter through root uptake. Conventional non-organic farms use thousands of pounds of synthetic agricultural chemicals for the crops they produce and everything they grow absorbs these chemicals through root uptake. Contrary to your mother urging you to wash your fruits and vegetables before eating them because of residue concerns, there is no way to wash the chemicals away which have been absorbed through bio-accumulation. Organic farming methods do not relay on intensive chemical applications, but rather they rely on composting, natural fertilizers, and green amendments which contribute to healthy plant uptake which is good for you and good for the planet!
Organic Consumers Associationhttp://www.organicconsumers.org/
(Protecting organic standards for the consumer)
Facts Concerning Pesticides
- The EPA estimates that US sales of pesticides in 2000-2001 exceeded $11 billion dollars, thus representing over 2 billion pounds of pesticides being dumped on U.S. farm soil, homes, gardens, schools, golf courses and more. This number is about 8 pounds for every man, woman and child in the entire country.
- There are over 21,000 different pesticides on the U.S. market containing over 875 active compounds. Many of these have been proven to have health implications and the others are unknown.
- Lawn pesticides and herbicides can cause cancer, infertility, birth defects, developmental disorders, and will double the risk of canine lymphoma for your dogs just from the exposure.
- Since 1945, total U.S. crop losses from insect damage have nearly doubled. During the same time, insecticide use has increased tenfold. Today, seventy-one known carcinogenic pesticides are sprayed on food crops. (In Harmony's report, "Pesticides: Losing Their Effectiveness")
- EPA estimates that there are approximately 20,000 physician diagnosed pesticide poisonings each year among agricultural workers. These are only thee ones which have been reported.
- Pound for pound, children absorb a higher concentration of pesticides and herbicides than adults.
- According to the U.S. General Accounting Office, only 1% of all imported fruits and vegetables are tested by the Food and Drug Administration for illegal pesticide residues.
- The CDC has gone on record as stating… "Pesticides are toxic to life forms by their very design"
Links for Organic and Pesticide Free Resources
Pesticide Action Networkhttp://www.panna.org/
(A necessary organization that will help you stay informed concerning pesticide issues)
Organic- It's Worth Ithttp://www.organicitsworthit.org/
(A resource guide for organic living)
NCAP (Northwest Coalition For Alternatives To Pesticides)http://www.pesticide.org
(A fabulous organization offering pesticide free alternatives for the public)