1) Protect Future Generations. The average child receives four times more exposure than an adult to at least eight widely used cancer-causing pesticides in food. Food choices you make now will impact your child's future health and your own. 

 2) Keep Your Body In Good Condition. The food you choose and eat on an everyday basis determines how well and to a certain extent how long your body will function enabling you to continue to live in this specific earth plane time. The body is only a housing for the spirit, and you have come back here to do certain things. If you can't get those things accomplished because, for instance your body gives out, then you will have to continue to come back time after time after time until you have completed those things. 

 3) Protect Water Quality. Water makes up two-thirds of of our body mass and covers three-fourths of the planet. The EPA estimates pesticides - some cancer causing - contaminate the groundwater in at least 38 states, polluting the primary source of drinking water for more than half the country's population. An efficient water filter is thus mandatory in your home and workplace. 

 4) Prevent Soil Erosion. The Soil Conservation Service estimates that more than 3 billion tons of topsoil are eroded from U.S. croplands each year. That means soil is eroding seven times faster than it is being built up naturally.   Soil is the foundation of the food chain in organic farming (as is in most other farming). But in conventional farming, the soil is used more as a medium for holding plants in a vertical position so they can be chemically fertilized. As a result, American farms are suffering from the worst soil erosion in history. 

 5) Save Energy. American farms have changed drastically in the last three generations, from family-based to small businesses dependent on human energy to large-scale factory farms. Modern farming uses more petroleum than any other single industry, consuming 12 percent of the country's total energy supply. More energy is now used to produce synthetic fertilizers than to till, cultivate and harvest all the crops in the U.S.   Organic farming is still mainly based on labor-intensive practices such as weeding by hand and using green manures and crop covers rather than synthetic fertilizers to build up the soil. 

 6) Help Small Farmers. Although more and more large-scale farms are making the conversion to organic practices, most organic farms are small, independently owned family farms of less than 100 acres.   It's estimated that the U.S. has lost more than 650,000 family farms in the past decade. And with the U.S. Dept. of Agriculture predicting half of this country's farm production will come from 1 percent of farms by the year 2000, organic farming could be one of the few survival tactics left for the family farms. 

 7) Keep Chemicals off Your Plate. Many pesticides approved for use by the EPA were registered long before extensive research linking these chemicals to cancer and other diseases had been established. Now the EPA considers that 60 percent of all herbicides, 90 percent of all fungicides and 20 percent of all insecticides are carcinogenic. A 1987 National Academy of Sciences report estimated that pesticides might cause an extra 1.4 million cancer cases among Americans. The bottom line is that pesticides are chemical poisons designed to kill living organisms and also be harmful to humans. In addition, cancer, pesticides are implicated in birth defects, nerve damage and genetic mutations. 

 8) Support A True Economy. Although organic foods might seem more expensive than conventional foods, conventional food prices do not reflect hidden costs borne by taxpayers, including nearly $74 billion in federal subsidies in 1988 alone - probably more now. Other hidden costs include pesticide regulation and testing, hazardous waste disposal and cleanup, and environmental damage. One author says "if... you add in the real environmental and social costs of irrigation to a head of lettuce, its price can range between $2 and $3." 

 9) Taste Better Flavor. There's a good reason why many chefs use organic foods in their recipes - they taste better! Organic farming starts with the nourishment of the soil, which eventually leads to the nourishment of the plant, and ultimately, our palates and bodies. 

 10) Promote Biodiversity. Mono-cropping is the practice of planting large plots of land with the same crop year after year. While this approach tripled farm production between 1950 and 1970, the lack of natural diversity of plant life has left the soil lacking in natural minerals and nutrients. To replace the nutrients, chemical fertilizers are used, often in increasing amounts. 

Single crops are also much more susceptible to pests, making farmers more reliant on pesticides. Despite a tenfold increase in the use of pesticides between 1947 and 1974, crop losses due to insects have doubled - partly because some insects become genetically resistant to certain pesticides. And, we are seeing the same thing happening in drugs used to fight viruses in the human body - they can no longer do the job as the viruses have mutated. 

 11) Protect Farm workers. A national Cancer Institute study found that farmers exposed to herbicides had a six times greater risk than non-farmers of contracting cancer. In California, reported pesticide poisonings among farm workers has risen an average of 14 percent a year since 1973 and doubled between 1975 and 1985. Field workers suffer the highest rates of occupational illness in the state. 

Farm worker health also is a serious problem in developing nations, where pesticide use can be poorly regulated. An estimated 1 million people are poisoned annually by pesticides. Are you one of them?

Source: Wild Oats, Karinya, excerpts from an article by Sylvia Tavse.


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