Wednesday, April 10, 2019

Eating Organic and Recent Pesticide Study

Senior Staff Scientist for Friends of the Earth published an article recently in the MOSES Organic Broadcaster, detailing a study conducted by researchers led by University of California-Berkely and Friends of the Earth. Conducted nationwide, participants from Minneapolis contributed to the study. It showed that pesticide levels found in study participants dropped by 60.5% after just 6 days of eating an all-organic diet.

little flower farm pepper seedlings 4/08/19
The most significant declines were measured in the organophosphates (highly neurotoxic pesticides linked to brain damage in children.) “Organophosphate exposure is associated with endocrine disruption, autism, learning disabilities, reduced IQ, attention disorders, delayed motor development, Alzheimers, Parkinson’s, decreased sperm quality, and cancers.”

At the end of her article she lists the things we can do with this knowledge:

“We can work together to pass laws in our cities, states, and nationally that decrease pesticide use and expand organic farming….We can support farmers markets, CSAs, and independent retailers and food companies that source from local, organic growers. Together, we can demand that our leaders step up and shift supports, research, and policies to create a system where organic is for all.”

News about toxins building up in your kids’ brains is scary stuff.

But we humbly propose that mega organic farms are not the solution. Small diversified farms (the kind of your great gran’s day in the 30s and 40s) are the answer to poor soil health, chemical inputs, and destruction of social fabric.
new batch of chicks to start laying this summer!
A small farm allows the farmer to keep his boot on every piece of ground. Beyond keeping chemicals off of his land, rotating animals and using their manures and time-cured compost piles for on-farm sources of fertility increases the nutrients accessible to the plants growing and fruiting in the soil. We are always amazed at how we can fill up on vegetables in the summer here on the farm, and feel more satisfied on an all veggie-stir fry than on a winter stew made with store bought produce and meat.
 Give it a go yourself. Sign up for a Farm Share this season and keep us growing and going on this St. Croix River Valley farm! Order forms can be found on our side bar page.
*We do not believe the USDA sets the Organic Agriculture bar high enough. While we are not certified organic, we do not use any chemical fertilizers or insecticides on our fields. Our farm is surrounded by a buffer zone of forest and grassland here on the bluffs of the St. Croix River. We use on-farm sources of fertility such as leaves, compost, goat and chicken manure applied in fall and early spring, and crops tilled in for green manures which boost soil health. We tackle insect problems with floating row covers, healthy soil which gives plants the strength they need to resist issues, and planting flowers and shrubs which attract beneficial pollinators and predator insects. We like to say that our farm goes BEYOND ORGANIC.*

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