Gardeners Beware: The Dangers of Pesticides
by Dr. Michael Court
The massive use of chemical fertilizers, which totals well over millions of tons per year, has come to be an accepted method of forcing plants to grow. Herbicides are used on weeds; fungicides are used in fields, storage, and transportation to control rot. Pesticides are used on plants. Pesticides are mainly used by gardeners to kill insects that threaten trees and garden plants. The pesticides are usually applied through spraying or shaking. Insects have grown increasingly resistant to pesticides, which cause farmers to use larger amounts of toxic chemicals, which in turn kill the insect’s natural predators.
Many of these poisons work systematically and become both part of the soil and of plant tissues. Farmers consider this advantageous because they need not reapply them after a heavy rain. Some of the more familiar ones legally found in food are methyl bromide and lead arsenate. These pesticides are allowable in the food supply with concentrations of up to only 0.3 parts per million. So what is the problem? Although the trees, plants, and produce are saved, the pesticide residue is still on and in the food we eat. This residue eventually reaches the colon and builds up toxicity in the body. Pesticides kill insects by neurologically affecting them. DANGER: Pesticides poison humans as well and affect our brains and nervous systems.
How can we reduce the amount of toxic pesticides we ingest? The National Pesticide Information Center states repeatedly to reduce your exposure. Make your lawn organic. Create your own pesticide-free space in your backyard. Educate yourself. Teach your neighbors. Take a stand against the use of toxic pesticides on the lawns of your communities and the places where children play every day.
Washing produce does help, but it does not clear the pesticide residue away completely. Peeling is also helpful, but the pesticide can also be found throughout heavily sprayed produce. Growing or purchasing organic food is always best; however, sometimes this is not a financially feasible option for everyone.
ALWAYS buy organic foods on the Dirty Dozen list. The USDA tested the residues of the foods on the Dirty Dozen list and found them to be positive for 46–67 different chemicals. The Clean Fifteen bore little or no traces of pesticides and are safe to consume in non-organic form.
Organic agriculture truly lives and breathes. Nurtured with natural fertilizers, a living soil provides plants with strength to resist disease and insects, as well as to have superior taste and nutritional value. Organic foods may initially cost more to produce because converting chemically overworked soils is not easy. Organic prices have come down in recent years. A USDA report concluded that organic farming is competitive economically with chemical farming. Organic works better, it is more efficient, and it ultimately saves the company money. If we think that organically grown is more expensive than chemically grown food, we need to look at the overall picture. The price of the chemicals is reflected not only in the price of our food, but in the cost of our health care, the future of our soil, and the sustainability of our agricultural system.
Find the cause and restore your health with Nutrition Response Testing. Nutrition Response Testing is a safe, non-invasive way to analyze what is out of balance in the body and design a nutritional program to feed the body exactly what it needs to fix itself. Each person has a personalized program tailored for his or her body’s needs.
The best choice for restoring your health is to work with a health care practitioner to help you transition to a locally grown whole food diet and help your body remove any nasty pesticides using a personalized, clinically designed nutritional program. We see patients in our office that have been affected by pesticides, whether from flea spray use inside the home or insecticides being used in their own gardens. This toxic internal buildup can be from products such as Round-Up, Chlordane, DDT, and others. Some studies suggest they may not only cause long-term damage to cognitive abilities and neurological function, but may also kill the organisms and nutrients in our soil. Don’t let your health be negatively impacted by pesticide toxicity!
Dirty Dozen (There are more than 12) • Apples • Blueberries • Celery • Cherries • Tomatoes • Cucumbers • Grapes • Hot Peppers/Sweet Bell Peppers • Nectarines (imported) • Peaches • Potatoes • Spinach • Strawberries • Summer Squash/Zucchini Clean Fifteen • Asparagus • Avocado • Cabbage • Cantaloupe • Corn • Eggplant • Grapefruit • Kiwi • Mangos • Mushrooms • Onions • Papayas • Pineapples • Sweet peas (frozen) • Sweet potatoes
Dr. Court and Chippewa Valley Wellness serve Eau Claire, Altoona, Chippewa Falls, and the greater Chippewa Valley area. The clinic offers a wide variety of alternative health services including Nutrition Response Testing, Massage Therapy, Acupuncture and Upper-Cervical Chiropractic care. For more information see cvwellness.net, attend one of our free monthly health workshops, or call 715-723-2713.