Being a practising Druid, and Druidry being an earth based faith, it seemed natural for me to examine the nature of the products in my supermarket shopping basket. What were the events that lead my fruit and vegetables to be on the shelves of the supermarket, and are they good enough to eat? I made some quite disturbing discoveries.
Being vegetarian my fiance Louis and I consume more fruit and vegetables than the recommended government standard of 5 portions per day. Before going organic, I found it hard to understand why sometimes after mealtimes I would feel a little dizzy, coupled with a headache that followed about an hour later. At the time, I put this down to my blood sugar levels. Now I understand all too well what it probably was.
The humble spud
Thirty one thousand tonnes of pesticides are applied the farmland in the UK every year. There are residues of destroying organophosphates in nearly all non-organic produce in one way or another.
One example is – Aldicarb – this is a nerve poison. It is used to kill insects and nematode worms, but sadly it is circulated around the whole of the plant and is absorbed by the roots. In 2003 the government tested potato samples for residues of Aldicarb and found that nearly two percent had detectable levels. Not much I hear you say, but when you consider the results on a grander scale, that’s over 25,000 tonnes of potatoes that may have been eaten containing this deadly chemical.
Give us our daily ‘organic’ bread.
As a bread lover I was disturbed upon my discovery that non-organic loaves contained chlormequat. This chemical increases the flowering rate and therefore the crop harvest. It disrupts a plant’s development so a whole crop can grow at the same rate, to the same height. Again in 2003 government tests of 144 samples of bread found that just under 50% had detectable levels of the chlormequat chemical.
I have highlighted just 2 products that we, as consumers, purchase every week.
In my quest for further knowledge I learned of ‘The Soil Association’. This organisation works to reduce the use of chemicals and also raises awareness about the importance of eating organically.
In order for organic farming to work successfully, Farmers need to work hand in hand with nature at all times. Farming organically realises the importance of nurturing the soil and foods are grown under a system or agriculture that limits the addition of synthetic chemicals at all stages.
Needless to say my fiance and I have being eating organically for the last 2 years. The benefits in relation to our health have been amazing. No more dizziness, no headaches, fewer muscular aches and pains, and in my profession as a Complementary Therapist that certainly is something to shout about! I haven’t even suffered one cough or cold since my conversion to organic food.
All in all and in relation to organic food ‘A true conservationist is a person who knows that the world is not given by our fathers, but borrowed from our children’.
John J. Audubon 1785-1851
About the author:Article written by Niki Jane Senior
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