Why is pesticide bad for you?
19 Jan 2020
Lots of people say organic is good for you - but I think the answer really hits home when you reverse the question to become: “Why is pesticide bad for you?"
Why do we get into this messy business of organic farming? Why don't we just use pesticide and herbicide to get rid of the pest and weeds at the farm?
Pesticides and herbicides are potent poisons designed to kill smaller organism (pests and weeds) by inhibiting their molecular biological processes. But what is lethal for smaller organism shouldn’t be lethal for humans, or is it?
Well, let’s take a look at three common chemical ingredients in the most effective pesticides and herbicides in the market:
1 - GLYPHOSPATE, more commonly known as Roundup, is a very good weed-killer. We do not use Roundup at Sukasantai’s organic farm but we must admit have used these ourselves in the past on our other plots of non-organic land because it is super-effective and saves us time and money when it comes to clearing land full of tangled weeds. Back then we did not know that glyphosphate is carcinogenic and exposure to this chemical increase the chance of lymphoma - but after understanding more about what Roundup does and its danger to human health, we have stopped using it.
2 - CHLORPYRIFOS is a neurotoxin-based insecticide that is effective for controlling flies and leaf-miner on paddy field and root vegetables. Children and the unborn fetus are especially susceptible to Chlorpyrifos. Exposure to this chemical is scientifically linked with autism, brain damage, and low birth weight in babies.
3 - PARAQUAT is a highly toxic weedkiller. So much so that a single sip is enough to kill a person. Paraquat can be absorbed through the skin and it can lead to Parkinson's Disease.
All these three pesticides are commonly used in conventional agriculture industry in Indonesia and residues of them are found in our everyday food.
We do not use any chemical pesticide in our farm because we do not want to grow food that will be poison for our bodies. The cost of not using these pesticides may be expensive (higher labor cost, lower yield and more wastage in unwanted "ugly" vegetables*) - but the cost of using them is even more so.
There is much more to learn about how pesticide affects our health - read more on the articles linked below up and see for yourself how the facts tally up:
Brain Toxin in our Everyday Products from The Atlantic
Glyphosphate and Cancer from Science Direct
Chlorpyrifos is Poisoning Children from The Guardian
The Connection between Paraquat to Parkinson’s Disease from Scientific American
Pesticide Exposure in Pregnanct and Autism from Time.com
*The "ugly" vegetables is on its own another story for another day