When you visit your local grocery, do you ever think about the production of the food you are purchasing? Not me. I have my list and mindlessly gather up my fruits, vegetables, dry and canned goods with a desire to finish the shopping chore as quickly as possible. I sometimes "think organic" and make a few organic choices just to combat the poisons to health that I know I take in daily, but the higher cost is a consideration as I juggle my coupons.
Today was a new day. I recently listened to an expert on pesticides in agriculture and the protection of agricultural workers. I was appalled. I am not going to present facts here; I am going to summarize my awakening. First, agriculture is not a mechanized industry with a few individuals running the planting and harvesting equipment. It is a backbreaking, human labor process, aided by machinery that adds efficiency and is life threatening at the same time.
There are too many horror stories for one blog; but those stories shed a new light on the trip to the grocery. For this blog, I am concentrating on pesticides; the exceedingly toxic chemicals that are spread on our fruits and vegetables and the people that plant and harvest them. In fact, the soil itself is poisoned before the planting begins. The water is infused with toxic chemicals and sprays into the air. So is the runoff into our water system and the poisoning of our soils for future generations, not counting the disease and disfigurement to human life.
I thought the worst pesticides were outlawed in this country; that's why we have government regulation, right? The U.S. Corporations still manufacture them; they just ship them to South America where those farmers suffer the consequences and then the fruits and vegetables are shipped back to us and sold in our stores, just like baby formula that cannot be sold in the United States is sent to undeveloped countries where the mothers are told to stop breastfeeding and use formula, "the same as U.S. mothers," giving their babies a lifetime sentence of poor health if they make it past their youth.
"What can we do?" asked audience members. First, self-interest. Buy organic and buy fresh produce from sources as close to home as possible where you can ask about their farming methods and know what you are getting. Wash everything with soap and water as soon as it's brought into the home, wearing gloves. Skin does not protect from pesticides. Peel anything that provides the chance to peel it. Surprisingly, apples, peaches, strawberries and bananas are examples of fruits with the most pesticide contamination. Wash bananas in the skin with soap and water immediately.
Next, world interest. Be an activist who works toward regulations that prevent corporations from manufacturing poison and encourages them to solve pesticide issues with organic measures. Marjorie in accounting at XYZ Corporation doesn't think that she is contributing to the poisoning of the world's populations; let her know through your voice what the corporation produces, where it's shipped and the damage it does. Do we need our Lexus and our summer house and our labeled wardrobes at the expense of human lives? Take an interest in legislation designed to protect agricultural workers from exploitation and endangerment. Be a conscientious consumer. It is the life lived in excess that demands so many toxic chemicals. Green up and protect your family and future generations. Maybe we need to spend a little more to consume a little less for the sake of human life. It's worth it.
Causes DK Christi Supports