I admit I don’t get far in this book before I have to stop and rant. I’m seriously regretting buying the book. I don’t want to support his rationale for non-organic agriculture, but I do want to hear a variety of sides on the issue of feeding the world.
Here’s the latest: “The difficulty of framing a productive discussion about agricultural chemicals brings us face-to-face with an all-too-familiar hurdle: a popular misconception about nature and farming. ….Agriculture by its nature demands human interference with nature’s rhythms, and these interferences, synthetic or not, are necessarily contrary to what “nature” intends. No matter how sustainable the process, agriculture is designed to transform nature and yield outputs. Clearing a field with scythes, plowing a field with a tractor and a metal plow, planting hybrid seeds that have been bred over decades for resistance, applying chemicals–organic or not–with mechanized sprayers, employing irrigation systems, weeding fields with hoes mass-produced on the other side of the world, just looking at a vast forest and envisioning fields–these are only a few examples of how agriculture at its core remains an industrial process centered on the efficient production of commodities.”
At this point he is trying to say that non-organic agrifarming and organic farming are on the same playing field, chemically and in regards to their impact on the environment. He states that the chemicals we may ingest from either organic or non organic foods are the same, only some are naturally occurring, and others are synthetically produced. I read this portion of the book to Zack, my son, who is majoring in chemistry. His comment, “does the author know about endocrine disruptors?”
Check out what the NRDC, says about where endocrine disruptors can be found….pesticides. http://www.nrdc.org/health/effects/qendoc.asp#exposure (copy and paste)
Finally, mcWilliams states, “organic agriculture struggles with its own demons of chemical dependency. The fact that farmers have been applying natural chemicals to agricultural systems for thousands of years does not mean that those applications are innocuous, especially when they’re used to promote the interests of commercialized organic agriculture.”
Folks, I have to tell you. I’d rather consume a ‘chemical’ that’s been used for thousands of years (tried and true)…and is still effectively, then use a chemical pesticide that not only can cause cancer but also can cause feminization, reproductive problems and anomalies in reproductive organs.
What do you think about chemicals used in organic farming? Anyone know what they are?