$CORN, $WEAT, $SOYB
Industrial farming uses a large amount of pesticides, 86% of Corn and 96% of Soybean grown in the US are also engineered to produce their own pesticide within the plants themselves.
Over 122-M pounds of glyphosate was sprayed over Soybeans planted in Illinois in Y 2014, that is in addition to the pesticides found in the GE seeds used and the Bt toxin produced within the plants.
Corn, Wheat and Soybean products are also used in livestock feed, and unless Organic, may deposit pesticides in the meat.
Research shows these pesticides linger in your blood and can be found in the blood of unborn children t00, demonstrating they pass easily from mother to child.
Our risk of exposure to pesticides is not just from your food supply.
We are exposed at local parks, golf courses, school grounds and in your own backyard, that is unless you’re using nontoxic weed control. You may not have considered the little bit of Roundup used to treat the weeds on your driveway as dangerous, but consistent use builds up exposure to the toxins over time.
Kamyar Enshayan, director of the Center for Energy and Environmental Education at the University of Northern Iowa, was quoted in the Midwest Center for Investigative Reporting: “You see people in their flip-flops in their garage driveway spraying the little cracks or in their lawn when they see a weed. In general, I don’t think people think much of the dangers of pesticides.”
A large number of media outlets cover the use of pesticides on farms and within the food supply, educating you about the dangers we may face at the grocery store. But, you may not have thought about the way your lawn, the grassy areas around your school and the golf course where you play each weekend, are treated.
Pesticide use has impacted more than the crops or the livestock and people who eat the produce.
In an effort to move away from organophosphates, manufacturers began producing a different type of pesticide called neonicotinoids. These chemicals are more frequently used in your own home and garden to control insect populations around your flowers and trees.
Several companies manufacture neonicotinoids, including:
- Bayer Advanced
- Syngenta Crop Protection LLC
- Arysta LifeScience
- Valent U.S.A. Corporation
- Bayer Environmental Science
- Arbor Systems
- Voluntary Purchasing Groups, Inc.
- The Scotts Company
- Gro Tec, Inc.
- NuFarm Americas, Inc.
- OHP, Inc.
- Gulfstream Home and Garden
- Bayer Corporation
- Lawn and Garden Products, Inc.
- Control Solutions, Inc.
- PBI/Gordon Corporation
- Rainbow Treecare Scientific Advancements
A study from the University of Bern, Switzerland, discovered that when honeybees foraged on flowers and trees treated with neonicotinoids, the male drone sperm count decreased by almost 40%. The pesticide also reduces the life of the drone bee by 33%/ This discovery may offer one possible reason why the population of honeybees has been declining and may have impacted the general decline of wild pollinating insects throughout the Northern Hemisphere.
Bees and other insects are vital to pollination of 75% of food crops across the world. The reduction in sperm count of the drone bees may have a powerful significance on the fitness of the Queen, and therefore on the entire colony. An amazing assortment of foods depend on pollination to produce seeds and fruit.
Plants such as cantaloupe, cucumbers, almonds, broccoli, squash and apples depend on the process of pollination.
Field beans and clover, used to feed livestock, also depend on pollination.
A failing bee population significantly impacts our food availability at the grocery store and the local farmers market.
The Big Q: What can we do?
The Big A: In order to reduce our exposure to toxic pesticides we have make some changes in our lifestyle choices.
Below are some suggestions to help get started, as follows:
- Go green in lawn and garden care. You do not have to give up a green lawn if you want to remove pesticides from your garden. However, it may take a season or 2 in order to get the growth you are looking for, using bio-charcoal as your lawn treatment will insure it stays healthy, green and pesticide free.
- Eat Organic foods. Look for Organic produce, pastured, organic meats and dairy products. Investigate the farmers markets in your area and consider planting your own garden to supply produce through the summer months. Although buying Organic foods may be slightly more expensive today, they help to reduce overall health costs in the future.
- Talk with your school board about lawn care at your children’s school. Pesticides sprayed on the school lawn and play areas can increase your child’s exposure. You may be able to change how they care for the lawn when you educate the administration about the risks involved to the children.
- Play in a healthy environment. Before joining a golf club or playing frequently, talk with the course superintendent about the pesticides they use to control weeds and insects. Bring members together to request cleaner and safer lawn care. Talk to your city administrators about the care given to the lawn in your local parks. Educate them about the risks to adults, children and pets from pesticides.
In a survey of 1,000 people, 71% of Americans expressed a concern over the number of chemicals and pesticides in their food supply. The respondents’ largest concerns were about toxic pesticides (88%) and GE (genetically engineered) foods (79%).
Research has linked long-term pesticide exposure to infertility, birth defects, endocrine disruption, neurological disorders and cancer.
So, it is a common sense conclusion that eating and being exposed to fewer pesticides results in improved health.
Eat healthy, Be healthy, Live lively
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