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And being vegetarian may not be as healthy anymore as you think. Imagine getting all those chemical doses in your body and getting them accumulated there. These chemicals stick to the vegetables and fruits and don't get eliminated even with thorough washing or cooking.
The National Pesticide Information Center in the US confirmed that washing vegetables and fruits does not eliminate the chemical pesticides used on them. The site HealthChild.Org had this to say in one of its articles:
According to the National Pesticide Information Center, washing produce reduces pesticide levels but doesn’t completely remove them. Some fruits and vegetables, for example, may have their residues sealed under a coating of shelf-life-extending wax. Others have soft or waxy skins that help chemicals stick to their surfaces.The Connecticut Agricultural Experiment Station confirms the above. Washing does not get rid of all the chemical pesticides used on crops.
The site SustainableBabySteps reported about the dangers of contaminated food on babies and kids. It said researchers at the University of Wisconsin found that chemical fertilizers plus chemical pesticides in food could result to worse health cases. A baby's endocrine, neurological and immune systems may be harmed by contaminated crops, and even experiments done in mice resulted to altered conditions of the same.
The site added that the above side effects may lead to problems in kids' learning abilities and alarming patterns of aggression.
But not only that. Here's the worse picture.
The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) in the US (Office of Pesticide Programs), claimed that 12 of the foremost pesticides used in America contain carcinogenic elements or ingredients said to trigger cancer.
If you think these things are really bad, wait till you hear about "systemic pesticides." These pesticides are designed to seep into the plants and crops (into their internal systems) to poison pests and bugs that eat them. Thus, the chemical poison goes into the produce itself and no amount of washing or cooking will get rid of it.
In fact, tests by the Pesticide Action Network showed that vegetables given these chemical pesticides had big amounts of internal residues left in them. Vegetables tested were broccoli, lettuce, potatoes, sweet peppers, strawberries, and collard greens.
In the Philippines, bad scenarios almost catch up with those in the US. Agrochemical expenses make up some 65% for fertilizers and 18.2% for pesticides. In short, our agriculture is still heavily chemicalized, according to data from GreenPeace. A big percent of vegetables you buy in wet markets or grocery stores are contaminated.
GreenPeace said in one of its articles:
"According to the National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA), 37% of the total water pollution originates from agricultural practices, which include animal waste and fertilizer and pesticide runoff. Water pollution from nitrates derived from fertilizer runoff is more widespread in the Philippines than previously thought."
GreenPeace further said that nitrate poisoning (caused by agrochemicals) in water leads to methemoglobinemia or the blue-baby syndrome in infants below 4 months. The organization added that drinking contaminated water can lead to long-term nitrate side effects like certain cancers.
So, what's the solution?
Buy organic vegetables? It's the obvious remedy, but where can you find organic vegetables in the city? A lot of sellers can simply claim their vegetables are "organic." But how can you be sure, unless you buy from a certified vegetable organic farm?
In fact, not even vegetables grown in the provinces can be organic unless they were really grown with zero chemicals.
There's only one way to make sure you have nothing but organic food (and protect your family from chemicalized food)---grow them yourself right in your own backyard.
Or, right in your home!
Everyone should take this seriously, especially if you live in the city. It's no longer just an option or hobby. Home vegetable gardening---100% organic---is a must. And you can do it easily right now. If you want to know where to buy organic compost and fertilizers in Metro Manila, just use the Contact Form on the sidebar.
Or simply comment below.