In a column ran June 1, Carolyn Butler describes a scene that I suspect is familiar to many who have become aware of the discussion surrounding organic vs. conventionally grown produce. The government and agribusinesses assure us that incidental pesticide consumption has no health risk, and everybody is eating it, so…do I really need to spend more for the organic produce? Is it really that important?
As I see it, there’s good news and bad news in answering the question–it seems that the bad news is that yes, pesticide consumption, even moderate, can have important and lasting health effects that could be prevented by not consuming the chemicals. More and more links to pesticides and x, y, and z health conditions seem to be reported daily. (In this article, Butler describes a recent study linking pesticides and ADHD in children. My teacher two-sense: anecdotally, this condition would seem to be far more prevalent than the 5-7% of the population that is alleged to actually, truly have this problem medically…but please note that I am in no way a qualified medical practitioner nor a diagnostician. I’m just saying…I could buy into a link between increased ADHD and pesticides.)
But, the good news: It’s cool to be organic. It’s a fashion trend (I acquired a shirt from a major store last year that says “My white tee is green”–made from organic cotton!), a hip buzz-word to throw around with your pretentious and/or cause-conscious friends, a farmer’s market hot-spot. We are in the midst of a nationwide food revolution where, I truly believe, folks are questioning what they thought was true about their food and demanding quality, accountable and verifiable producers for their food.
So with that commentary, I leave you to check out the article here. It’s full of relevant info about commercially-grown food and potential health-risks. Also, this link will take you to the journal article Butler mentions in the article if you are interested in reading it yourself.