The alarming fact for food consumers is that the global pesticides use is about 2.56 billion kg/year and over 350,000 pesticide products are on the market. According to the Environmental Protection Agency of USA, 60% of all herbicides, 90% of all fungicides and 30% of all insecticides are linked to cancer (TM Organics 2014).
Admittedly the 12.5 billion dollar pesticides business in the USA provides jobs to people (Sustainable Table, 2014, p.1), however, its adverse affects on health of humans are mentioned, including tumors (cancers of the brain, breast, kidney, prostate and pancreas), and non-Hodgkins lymphoma and leukaemia, and also mental and emotional functioning, nervous system neurodegenerative diseases and reproduction (Sanborn et al 2004). AdditIonally toxic contamination of food, soil, water and the environment is not to be neglected. However, adequate research of the long term, synergistic affects of multiple toxins are required to assess its damage extent (Australasian Integrative Medicine Association 2014, p. 3).
By contrast, the scope of eating organic foods seems more promising to maintain human health by reducing the exposure to agricultural chemicals, though the presented evidence seems focused on children who have higher risks for adverse effects of pesticides than adults (AIMA, p. 6; Oates 2014).
The recent reverse findings of the link between fruits and vegetables consumption and cancer by the American Association for Cancer Research (Johnson, 2014) did not indicate the studied vegetables and fruits were conventional or organic. Considering the high pesticides residues in the 12 items including apples, celery, and garlic, a bowl of lunch salad we buy in a cafe seems not as healthy as we thought initially. The alternative way seems ‘eating organic’.
Since I had attended the microbial biomass course at Shimamoto Microbial Agriculture in early 1980s in Japan (Shimamoto Kouso 2014), the good taste and nutrients of organic foods as well as the self-esteem and self-efficacy of the biomass farm producers impressed me. As some studies indicates significant reduction of organophosphate pesticides by switching to organic diet for merely one week (Oates, p. 1), organic farming and eating proposes future direction of healthy choice for consumers.
by Marumi Smith 2014
References are available on your request.