The fact that we have more Greenpeace supporters (per capita) in Aotearoa than any other nation tells us how much many of us value this unique land we inhabit and desire to sustain it’s biodiversity.
Yet without being aware, you could be inadvertently aiding its destruction by consuming common everyday foods. This is because a large number of ingredients in our diets use pesticides during their process of production. And it isn’t just the environment that suffers from chemical pollution; we do too.
A large majority of modern pesticides are extremely poisonous and don’t merely kill insects, fungi and weeds (as intended), but all living things that come into contact with the crop, which ultimately, is us.
Chronic low-level exposure merely affects the skin, eyes, nervous system,cardiovascular system, respiratory system, gastrointestinal tract and liver, kidneys, reproductive system and blood, plus it’s estimated that there are between 1 and 5 million pesticide poisonings each year,resulting in 20,000 deaths worldwide (according to a recent World Health Organisation report).
The WHO also stated research showing that some pesticides can mimic or inhibit normal hormones, which may permanently affect the physical and neurological development of children and adolescents.
So unlike those bugs, fungi and weeds, we’re not exterminated after one long spray but over time, these dangerous toxins are clearly destroying our cells.
The effect of continued exposure to pesticides is causing a plethora of modern health problems, many of which have been proven, while others have been presumed as correlated (cancers) and more yet remain unknown.
And frighteningly, the biggest threat is to our children. The Total Diet Survey (2004) showed that the next generation, while in their formative years with their naturally sensitive and developing nervous systems are being poorly affected.
So the onus is on us to support safe, organic farmers and buy pure, uncontaminated produce.
By Faye Pearson