For The Greater Goods (sm)

Science Links Pesticides with ADHD

A new study links Attention Deficit disorder with pesticide exposure – (here’s the link to the story). I don’t know about you, but this isn’t really as much a surprise as a confirmation of what we already knew but had little scientific evidence to cite.

Pesticides were actually developed as chemicals for warfare. After World War II, someone had the no-so-brilliant-thought to spray those chemicals that were stockpiled on plants to kill pests. I’m not quite sure why no one ever thought about the fact that those chemicals sit on the leaves of the plants, soak into the roots of the plants and are then ingested. I guess it seemed like a good idea at the time….

I guess it’s easy to sit back and second guess 60 or 70 years’ worth of ‘conventional’ agricultural wisdom, but it still seems like a no brainer that you don’t want to douse your food in poison.
This article points to the link between certain pesticides and ADHD. I remember an elderly friend of mine once speaking a bit mockingly of all these new ‘disorders’ – but maybe there really are a new host of disorders all stemming from our dousing our environment with toxic chemicals.

Of course, at shopOrganic, we’ve always believed it was healthier for our bodies and the planet to eat organic; now the scientific community is starting to look at the underlying science and is coming to the same conclusion.

So, while it’s important to teach children to eat a balanced diet, it also needs to be a diet free from toxic chemicals. Go organic, you and your children are worth it.

Shades of Green

There’s been a big flap in the organic world lately regarding the recommendation by a reputable organic association that consumers should buy conventionally grown fruits or vegetables that are not heavily sprayed with pesticides if price is a concern. This was picked up by many national news organizations and has lead to some pretty loud virtual arguments going on. The gist of it was that some fruits and vegetables are heavily sprayed with pesticides and eating conventionally grown varieties is not recommended. On the other hand, this same report said that there were some conventionally grown varieties that were not full of pesticides and that if you wanted to save on your food bill, you could ‘safely’ consume these conventional varieties.

So the discussion has centered around whether or not you should ‘ever’ buy conventionally grown produce. My take on it is this: we each have to make choices that are appropriate for ourselves, our families and our budgets. Life is not black and white, all or nothing. It’s about constantly finding a balance. Whether you go (or have gone) all organic or part organic; all green or part green is something you choose for yourself based on a variety of often complex factors. Clearly, the arguments for all organic, all green all the time are strong – but most of us find some blend, some mix that works in our lives.

From my perspective, it’s about making conscious choices and making incremental improvements over time. If each of us takes whatever tiny steps toward a greener future that work for us, it will make a difference. Is organic better for you, for the community, for the planet? Sure it is, but sometimes we have to make tough choices given the economic realities of our lives. We founded, in part, to provide a wide range of organic products at fair prices to people across the U.S. We, too, have to make those choices each day as well.

My hope is that one day we’ll look back on this time and laugh at the notion that we ever sprayed chemicals on food we ate. Still, we have to deal with the economic realities we face and sometimes the cost difference between organic and conventional can be prohibitive for those on tight budgets. I have noticed that the price difference seems to be disappearing on certain products – so smart shopping will help you find organic products at the same (or, gasp, even lower) prices as conventionally grown items in some stores.

I’ll end with two quotes that perhaps sum up this entire discussion.

“It may be necessary temporarily to accept a lesser evil, but one must never label a necessary evil as good.”

“Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful people can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has.”

– Margaret Mead

Now, go out there and enjoy your day.