Something To Be Aware Of…
Right now in the United States farmers are being rewarded by the government to plant fence-row to fence-row. In other words, some government subsidized farmers are leaving no grassy land between crops and water – which not only causes serious soil erosion, but renders water undrinkable and our oceans unfit to swim in. One striking example is The Dead Zone in the Gulf of Mexico.
This video from the Environmental Working Group stresses that it’s time the US government enforces the law that requires farmers to put conservation practices in place in exchange for the billions of dollars in tax payer income and insurance subsidies they get every year from tax payers.
As is stated in the video, “Farms need a safety net, but so does our land and water.”
We can Make a difference…
You’ve got to love Ken Cook, President of The Environmental Working Group, for being such a wise and staunch advocate for our personal health, safety and wellness. Here’s a great video of him in action at TedxManhattan –Changing the Way Eat. He’s speaking about revamping the Farm Bill (of which a whoppingly large portion goes, not just to farmers, but to the 43 million Americans on Food Stamps – so this issue does affect many, many people, especially our kids, on a personal level.)
He sites instances like dead farmers getting paid subsidies (I kid you not) and the fact that out of the 4.7 million acres that are farmed in this country less than 1% of that is organic!
Take a look…
Buying organic foods means supporting both the health of agricultural workers (the use of pesticides have been linked to cancer among some farmers and pickers) and the longterm health of our land. But it’s no secret that organic produce can often be more expensive than its conventional counterpart. Many people see organic food as a longterm investment—buying better quality food today will likely save you money on health costs down the road—but for those of us feeling a pinch in the pocket, it’s important to know that it’s more important to buy some fruits and veggies organic than others.
Below is a portion of the Environmental Working Group’s list of the 47 most-toxic produce (1 being the most toxic, either because of the amount of pesticides normally used on that particular crop, or its vulnerability to the chemicals). Whenever possible, it’s important to buy these items organic:
3. Sweet Bell Pepper
10. Grapes, Imported.
13. Collard Greens
Find the full list, along with each item’s toxicity rating, here.
And another handy list from EWG: