17 January 2006


What is organic? What’s non-organic? What’s the difference? Does difference matter?

Once upon a time: people grew their own food, near kitchen door –hence ‘kitchen garden’-or on their own farms; fertilized with table scraps and animal waste; then some grown on to seed --collected, saved, traded with neighbors for next season. It was the conventional way, part of life, from the beginning –seeds were found in Egyptian tombs. Eventually: people formed businesses that grew to involvement in each part of the life-cycle of fruit, vegetables until now the ‘family’ farm is mostly in memoirs and postcards. –Thousands of contiguous farms bought up by giant agri corporations, employing giant machines and few employees, chemical fertilizer, pesticide to kill insects, herbicides to kill plant diseases, various ‘enhancers’ to speed growth, size and yield.

So what…chemicals…applied to plants, then watering or rain washes away excess not taken in by plants. Where does it go? Taken up into the atmosphere, comes back down on animals, fish, us in rain; runs off into streams which feed into rivers, lakes, ocean. –Federal government watches all –so it must be safe? One agency charged with the watching, EPA, Environmental Protection Agency, with outside consultants, devised a rate at which it is considered “safe” to consume fruit, vegetables that contain chemical fertilizer, pesticide, herbicide. Rates for each vary, but generally: “x” part amount in a billion parts of water. Ergo: EPA, Agriculture Dept, others say i.e. strawberries grown with chemical fertilizer and pesticide are “safe” to eat if they contain ‘so many’ parts. –Leads to three questions:
1. Exactly who is testing–strawberries –peaches, melons, peas, lettuce, spinach–food crops to see: ‘acceptable’ levels or excessive amounts are present in mature plants in grocery stores?

2. Who is counting –besides corporate accountants –aggregate amount of ‘acceptable’ If you eat salad –vegetables, soup and fruit for dinner Sunday night, all grown with ‘small amount’ of chemical fertilizer, pesticide, herbicide and growth hormone, and again on Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, etc –every week of every month all year, who is counting –who is watching how much that ‘small amount’ adds up to in a year –five years –two decades?

3. Food grown with toxic chemicals is considered “conventional” in supermarkets, yet food grown without toxins or artificial fertilizer now labeled: “organic” –why? Who switched them?

John Stossel of ABC has said twice on “20/20”: “food grown with pesticide is a good thing.” Said in 1991 and again recently, 2005 –that ‘pesticide is harmful is a
“myth.”’ If he is right: what accounts for men loosing their hair –twenty-something women now getting breast cancer –children getting brain tumors un-known 100 years ago –American men expecting to die of or with prostate cancer? –None of which happens in countries that do not use artificial chemicals on crops. From end of World War II to end of century applications were approved by federal regulatory agencies allowing: 79,000 toxic chemicals into the market place. –Toxins which Mankind survived previous thousands of years without “needing.” How can build-up of such toxins be good for next generations –future of the planet? I believe: John Stossel is ignorant and wrong.

REMEDY: If you don’t want to find out if he is wrong: grow some of your own food; purchase only chemical-free –“organic” produce. Even if I’m wrong: crops grown without toxins taste rich delicious good; can not harm birds, animals, fish, trees, flowers, bees, adults, children or oceans. How can that be bad? That is: cancer-politics-remedies

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