TAG: Organic

The Harming Effects of Pesticide Exposure

Pesticides Cause Harm

Research has shown that pesticide exposure increases the risk for a variety of serious health problems. According to Dr. Cathy Vakil (2010) a larg number of studies have found a link between cancer rates and pesticide exposure. Many studies have shown that pesticides may trigger neurological problems ranging from cognitive dysfunction to neurobehavioural issues to depression. Indications from around the world show that pesticide exposure can increase the risk of birth defects and may affect fertility as well. Some studies suggest that the babies of women who are exposed to pesticides while pregnant or even before conception are at increased risk for… read more

Food Justice

Pears

In her book, Weighing In: Obesity, Food Justice, and the Limits of Capitalism, Julie Guthman argues that simply buying organic, local, or otherwise environmentally friendly foods is not sufficient to reform the food system. Rather, she suggests that such approaches simply allow the affluent to opt out of the current system. Meanwhile, the vast majority continue to purchase pesticide-laden, hormone-contaminated, environmentally unfriendly food produced by exploited agricultural workers because they cannot afford to do otherwise. Purchasing organic, local foods certainly provides many benefits for buyers, local farmers, and a small percentage of farm workers who will not be exposed to… read more

Hormones in Meat

Cows

Synthetic sex hormones are given to sheep and cattle to promote rapid growth and increased milk production, fulfilling a demand for cheap meat and milk. However, concerns have been raised about potential health risks of using synthetic hormones in meat production, a practice which is common in the U.S. and Canada but banned in the European Union. Research suggests that estrogenic additives in meat may affect natural hormone levels, increasing the risk for certain cancers. The most direct evidence of this effect comes from a recent large-scale research review undertaken by the Breast Cancer Fund, which found a link between… read more

Grow Food in Containers

Growing food in pots

One of the best things that you can do for the environment is to grow your own vegetables and herbs. Food grown organically at home doesn’t require the transportation that contributes to global warming, and it’s free of pesticides, fresher, and usually tastier as well. Many people believe that growing their own produce is not an option because they don’t have yards, but plenty of food plants grow well in containers of various sizes on decks, porches front walks, and driveways. Some produce plants don’t even require very large containers, others can tolerate partial shade, and a few can even… read more

Organic Farming

Organic farming

With our global population increasing our needs for food and shelter are growing too. And to meet that need we are clearing off farmlands and chopping down forests at an alarming rate. Further, to feed this population we are forcing high yielding fertilizers and pesticides on the land in order to grow a bumper crop year after year. Seeing the consumption figures of artificial fertilizers, one thing is certain, we are “over-extracting” the produce from the soil; which in a short time will not be able to suffice even the bare minimum produce. Remedy: switch over to organic farming techniques…. read more

More Than a Health Choice

Apple, Jennifer Copley

Although many people argue that organic foods are the best choice for health and environmental friendliness, for some, the most compelling reason to favor organic agriculture is the protection of human rights. Organic farming is defined by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) as “A production system that is managed … to respond to site-specific conditions by integrating cultural, biological, and mechanical practices that foster cycling of resources, promote ecological balance, and conserve biodiversity.” This definition encompasses not only environmental friendliness and sustainability, but also the cultural practices of a particular region. Organic food is better for public health… read more

Organic Agriculture

grapes

Current industrial farming methods are responsible for mass deforestations; reduction of biodiversity; mining of non-renewable groundwater; and pollution in the form of pesticides, herbicides, hormones, antibiotics, and greenhouse gas emissions. Many critics of the organic movement argue that while organic farming is nice in theory because it’s so much better for the environment, it’s not a feasible method for feeding the world. A recent United Nations (2008) agricultural study found that although organic growing methods produce lower yields under some conditions, when best management practices are applied, they actually produce significantly better yields. Furthermore, such methods produce more healthy and… read more

The Problem with GMO’s

Genetic modification

Genetic Modification. GMO. Frankly, it sounds quite scary. What’s also scary is the fact that we need eight syllables to describe something quite simple: Fiddling about. The problem with modifying something that already exists in a state of modification (ie. evolution – meaning that the plant or animal was genetically modified through a natural process occurring over thousands of years to fit best with its surroundings) is that well, first of all, forcibly adapting another thing to our own benefits just doesn’t make any sense in the long term. Singling out a single species of wheat, for example, out of… read more

Eating Foods in Season

Seasonal produce

The ability to retain food quality, with the aid of preservatives, means we have access to a wide variety of fruits, vegetables, and grains year-round. Still, it is healthier and more practical to eat foods when they are season. In season produce is more likely to have come from local resources. This means less time spent being transported to stores. It may also infer that less, if any, pesticides were used as they would be to preserve produce that is not in season. While locations vary, here are some of the best times to get fresh fruits and vegetables: Spring… read more

Many Uses of Epsom Salts

Epsom Salts

Epsom salts, otherwise known as magnesium sulphate, is made up of a naturally occurring mineral. Named after the town of Epsom in England, where the compound was first distilled from a spring. There are many uses of Epsom salts and, as its popularity is on the rise, so too is the knowledge of its many health benefits. Magnesium regulates activity of more than 300 enzymes in the body. A deficiency in magnesium can lead to all sorts of health problems such as high blood pressure, hyperactivity, heart problems and other health issues. Sulphate is essential for many biological processes. It… read more