Skip to main content

August 2, 2009 – Since I didn’t begin buying organic fruits and vegetables because I thought they were more nutritious, I can’t be disappointed by reports that they aren’t. I’m guessing that buyers who are unaware of the carcinogenic effect of herbicides and insecticides on their food must have assumed that superior nutri-

tion was the reason to buy organic. The same would be said, therefore, about buyers who are unaware of the deleterious effect of soil compaction, caused by enormous, very heavy farming machinery being driven over the soil. (Plants grow best when the soil is loose, allowing for air, earthworms, and various microscopic residents of the soil to co-exist with plants.) And the effect of “mining” the soil, i.e., farming it without rest by merely supplying the needed fertility through chemical fertilizers, rather than replacing the lost fertility with the use of organic fertilizers, which not only fertilize the plants, but leave an organic residue that improves both tilth and fertility long term. Modern irrigation systems lead to increased soil salinity now, just as surely as ancient systems did, leaving behind a white crust (something you have undoubtedly seen form on the soil in which your houseplants grow). Carcinogenic pesticides which are washed into the freshwater close to a farm, by either rain or irrigation, poison that water. That’s part of the reason we have lived, and died, with a cancer epidemic for the last 40 years.

If all this isn’t reason enough to buy organic, then you’ll just love what global warming has in store for us, left unmitigated. All you have to do is what you’ve been doing. Nothing.

Not all foods need to be treated with pesticides. I gather that onions and garlic take care of themselves very nicely, thank you. Fruits and vegetables with thick skins are well protected. These would include oranges, avocadoes, and bananas. On the other hand, some of your favorite foods – apples, strawberries, peaches, and plums –

are sprayed with poisons which they retain all the way to your kitchen. Be sure, if you still do not wish to buy organic, to hold them under running water before serving, especially to children. Carrots absorb poisons so readily, they are actually used to clear fields of the remains of chemicals that have been used on them for years. You should never buy non-organic carrots! If you care to follow up with more research of your own, I suspect an online search like “foods best organic” would find not one but many lists of the best organic foods to buy. Once you’ve educated yourself, the final decision is up to you.

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

The SunShot Initiative

In 2007, the amount of solar power installed in the U.S. was 1.1 gigawatts (GW). As of 2017, that amount has increased to 47.1 GW. Enough to power 9.1 million average American homes. If you're thinking "we've still got a long way to go," you'd be right. On the other hand, increasing installed power by 4300% deserves some attention.  How'd we do it?

The Department of Energy played an important role. In 2011, they initiated a program called The SunShot Initiative. They set targets for the years 2020 and 2030, by which times generating solar power would have become more affordable. More affordable on a utility scale, more affordable on a commercial scale, and more affordable on a residential scale. Thus far, they've succeeded in hitting the 2020 goal for utility-scale generation. Needless to mention, they reached that goal three years early. The goals, it should be mentioned, don't take subsidies into account. It's the technology, in the case of util…

The Future Has Arrived

September 4, 2017 - Wildfires are burning throughout the Pacific Northwest. Hurricane Harvey has decimated the greater Houston area and parts of Louisiana. Hurricane Irma glowers out in the Atlantic. In other words, forecasts made decades ago are proving accurate. Four hundred parts per million of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere was regarded as a tipping point, the point at which climate change would take on a life of its own. If no one ever drove their car another block, if farmers never used another ounce of chemical fertilizer, if not so much as one more acre of land was cleared with fire, climate change would continue on its way, wreaking havoc.

We passed four hundred ppm this year. I'm not sure where we stand right now; we were supposed to be at around 410 by spring. I'm not advocating giving up. Of course not. We must still - and at this point, will, whether we want to or not - consciously lower our standard of living, and stop enjoying the conveniences for which we are…