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5 reasons why you should ditch pesticides and go organic

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1. Pesticides are toxic and are designed to kill – any living thing that can damage crops, that is.

Around half of the fruit and veg sold in our supermarkets contains residues of pesticides1, with soft citrus fruits, pineapples, apples and pears being the worst offenders2.

Even oily fish, cereals, flour and bread can contain high levels of pesticide residue.

2. Pesticide poisoning kills many cotton farmers in developing countries. According to the WHO (World Health Organisation), approximately 20,000- 40,000 deaths each year result from accidental pesticide poisoning.

Most of these are in developing countries, and many people affected are cotton farmers6. A Pesticide Action Network survey recorded 65 deaths in just two Benin districts over the 2001 cotton growing season. 10 of these were children under 10 years old.

It may be more expensive to buy organic cotton, but the real human cost is incurred when you buy non-organic. It’s easy to find organic cotton – available widely from clothing to bedding. Just make sure you look for an organic certification standard, for example GOTS.

3. Pesticides may be contributing to the decrease in our bee population. There has been a decline in the number of honey bees and other pollinators across the globe over the last few years. For example, PAN UK note that hive losses in winter here in the UK have been around 20-40%7 There could be many factors behind these declines, but contamination by pesticides (especially neonicotinoid insecticides) are widely believed to be playing a big role in this.

“The amount of clothianidin on a single maize seed treated at the dose of 0.5mg per kernel contains enough active ingredient to kill over 80,000 honey bees” says Christian Krupke of Purdue University & Connecticut Agricultural Experiment Station.

Love our bees and support the demand for organic! Read more here.

4. If you have MCS, pesticides may be aggravating your symptoms. People with MCS (Multiple Chemcial Sensitivity) have allergy-like reactions to low levels of chemicals that other people can normally tolerate.

In MCS, it is thought that the body’s detoxification symptoms stop functioning effectively, leaving the body unable to properly process toxins.

Pesticides have been linked to MCS symptoms, so if you have the condition you may benefit from switching to an organic diet.

5. Organic food could also be more nutritious than non-organic. Although there is still a lack of research on the subject, US health expert Dr. Mercola has noted that an analysis of over 300 peer-reviewed studies concluded that there are“statistically significant and meaningful differences in composition between organic and non-organic crops/crop-based foods.”

For more information see this article by Dr. Mercola and the Pesticide Action Network website.

[1] http://www.foe.co.uk/sites/default/files/downloads/pesticide_supermarket_food.pdf

[2] http://www.pan-uk.org/food/best-worst-food-for-pesticide-residues

[3] http://www.organicgardening.com/living/7-shocking-reasons-to-go-organic?page=0,4

[4] http://www.soilassociation.org/frequentlyaskedquestions/yourquestion/articleid/2360/what-are-the-problems-with-pesticides

[5] http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2015/02/16/eating-organic-food.aspx

[6] http://www.pan-uk.org/links/cotton

[7] http://bees.pan-uk.org/assets/downloads/Bee_leaflet.pdf

[8] http://www.chemicalfree.co.uk/what-is-mcs

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