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When all trees have been cut down, when all animals have been hunted, when all waters are polluted, when all air is unsafe to breathe, only then will you discover you cannot eat money. - Cree Prophecy

Sunday, May 27, 2007

How about some poison for dinner tonight?

Have you ever wondered why some one you are sure never smoked, did drugs or consumed alcohol was diagnosed as having some serious illness like cancer? Have you ever pondered over the fact that you encounter more and more cases of tumors these days? Till recently I attributed this to improvements in medical diagnosis and early detection rather than increased incidence. Until the fact dawned on me, that is.

Most of the food we consume today have dangerous levels of chemical residue from indiscriminate use of synthetic fertilizers and pesticides. Careful washing or even cooking cannot completely eliminate these chemicals from the food we take. We are being poisoned in small quantities every day and this is the root cause for a lot of diseases that are prevalent today.

So where did all this start? Like most things gone wrong in free India, the arrival of the Brits and our formative years. They had to dump the left over chemicals after the 1st world war and what better way? Before the green revolution our farmers were self sufficient. They recycled material on the farm and never needed to acquire anything from outside. Cows played a hero’s role on the farm – they ate whatever the farmers did not need and gave back manure.

Then came the Green revolution and of course greed and farmers drifted away from nature and their tried and tested old ways. What they are left with now is a thoroughly depleted soil, and have to depend on someone for fertilizers and someone else for seeds and striving for economic viability. What all of us are left with is a water table polluted by the chemicals the farmers used, food with harmful levels of pesticides in them and the soil stripped of its microbial life. What nature took millions of years building, man with his short term vision and greed has undone in the last century.

So is there a solution to all this???
YES – Organic food.

Organic food is food grown without the use of synthetic fertilizers and pesticides and is therefore healthier and sustainable. That the organic food is rid of the allergic and toxic chemicals is not the only advantage but they are enriched with nutrients that these foods were meant to supply us. In other words these are foods produced the way nature intended them to be.

Unfortunately, Organic food is not in high demand today – one of the reasons is that it is more expensive than its “poisoned” alternative. This additional expense is an investment towards the health of you and (y)our planet. One shouldn’t really mind the extra investment for a healthy life. If the demand for organic food increases, more and more farmers will switch to organic farming collectively contributing to the well being of our planet.

Quite a few of us know the personal and environmental effects of this “inorganic” synthetic farming but find no alternative. Some others argue that if this was really “poison” they don’t see a drastic reduction in overall health conditions. This is because they are slow poisons. When you find you have cancer you don’t realize that the root cause is all the food you had. You only focus on medication (another range of poisons), medical bills etc.

This is a never ending cycle which will become worse for the next generation. So lets understand the veracity and act maturely.

If we don’t take corrective actions NOW, We have bigger giants like GM, newer chemicals, newer diseases sitting pretty to conquer. So ACT NOW!

Note 1: When I first heard about organic/bio products, my reaction was – its another fad - Some goofs are going to take advantage and hike the price. Then some introspection led me to read and google more about them. I was engrossed and taken aback by what I came across. Meeting many interesting people who are on the organic path already made me realise that the least I could do was contribute to the increase in demand for organic produce by becoming a consumer and spreading the message.

Note 2: If this stirs enough interest next I shall touch- what it really means to be organic, where org products are available, how easy it is to switch, certification, interesting people who are doing it in our neighborhood etc,.Meanwhile, feel free to pose any questions or pass feedback here. I need to see more comments here bcos that can tune me up. This is the first time Iam attempting something more formal . so hit back with your comments folks.

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