The word organic has become somewhat meaningless, thanks to the excess of acid rain and other environmental pollutants now prevailing. However natural a farmer or gardener tries to be, what drops from the sky does count! But the term organic still indicates that something has been grown in chemical-free ground, so organic products are still worth pursuing.
Consuming preservatives, pesticides, nitrates, and other substances used by farmers is dangerous to every cell in the human body. The major concern is, of course, for children. The Soil Association in Britain has drawn attention to the fact that a one-year-old could easily receive a maximum lifetime’s dose of eight pesticides from just twenty commonly eaten fruits, vegetables, and grains. The association is trying to unite farmers, the Department of Agriculture, and the Drug Administration Agency in an attempt to utilize beneficial organisms and crop rotation instead of some pesticides. Nerve gases are still used by farmers.
They are commonly known as organophosphates. These chemicals enter the food chain via vegetables, grains, and cattle feed, and are also transported by the wind. Many cases of motor neuron disease are now being reported among young children (and adults). Often these are farmers’ children whom I, in turn, see in my clinic. Let us not forget household pesticides and those used in our gardens; these at least could be dispensed with.
The major sources of pesticide residues in the Western diet are meat, poultry, and dairy products. Pesticide is a generic term that includes insecticides, herbicides (weed killers), and fungicides, among other agents. One chemical commonly found in household, agricultural, and commercial-use pesticides is 2,4-D, a key ingredient found in Agent Orange, the defoliant put to widespread use during the Vietnam War.
Frequent use of herbicides, particularly those containing 2,4-D, has been associated with twofold to eightfold increases in non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma in studies conducted in several countries. Other agents, including triazine and organophosphate pesticides, have also been shown to increase cancer risks. As I have mentioned, pesticide use has increased thirty-three-fold since the 1940s, and there has been a tenfold increase in potency. Dr. Sheila Zahm of the U.S. National Cancer Institute has recommended that pregnant women avoid exposure to all pesticides, which is not easy if you live in an area surrounded by fields being sprayed throughout the year. The fetus is particularly susceptible to geneticdamage, chromosomal aberrations, and carcinogenicity. Infants are also at higher risk.
It is not surprising that staphylococcus infections are much more rampant and that resistance in humans is now really low. Penicillin used to be able to deal with them, combating them successfully and leaving only 13 percent resistant; now the figure is more like 91 percent resistant, the reason being that antibiotic-resistant strains of staphylococcus
bacteria have developed on factory farms because of the routine feeding of antibiotics to livestock. At present, one can expect 80 percent of all farmed livestock and poultry to receive drugs regularly. Milk is also affected by residues of sulfa drugs — tetracycline and other antibiotics have been found. One hopes that the government will step in.
Doctors and health workers are aghast at the hijacking of antibiotics by the animal feed industry. They have been left with fewer resources with which to fight disease as our bodies acclimatize to antibiotics via the food chain, making their use less and less effective. Through the addition of hormones to increase speed of growth and size of animals, our fertility and hormonal balance are being thrown into chaos, producing disease and distortions.
All plant life has a vibration and a gift beyond its physical sustenance as food — both aspects are important. It has been shown that foods grown in loving, positive atmospheres produce more nourishment in nutritional and vibrational terms.
Buy what is in season at an organic farmers’ market or local health-food store. Organic fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds, and grains have a very much longer shelf life than their pesticide-laden counterparts, so even if you need to buy in quantity at some distance, you can be sure that they will retain their vitality longer. Store them in a cool environment away from sunlight.
Organic farmers represented 1 percent of British agriculture in 1995, but in the same year they received only 0.01 percent of the $2 million in assistance for farming in Britain; so when I pay a little more for organic foods, I know I am helping to compensate for this lack of government assistance to growers. I am also keen to support those in other countries, including Spanish organic growers, who produce the lemons and avocados that British farmers are unable to produce.
If you cannot afford the extra that organic foods cost, then add garlic to your normal supplies; with its sulfur compounds and antioxidant chemistry, it will detoxify some of the harmful compounds. There are also fruit and vegetable wash concentrates that help remove chemicals, waxes, dust, atmospheric pollutants, and exhaust fumes. For those who are able to do so, growing your own using an allotment or your garden is cheap and fun. The herb milk thistle can also be useful, as it greatly assists the
liver in its detoxifying role, which is essential for keeping pace with all the pollutants.