Does organic farming mean it does not use pesticides? Does eating organic food products mean we lower our exposure to pesticides? The truth is, pesticides surround us. We use them in farms, in gardens, and even inside our homes. We have been exposed to it all our lives so it’s important to keep the food we take as pesticide-free as possible.
Although it is a common belief that organic farms do not use any form of pesticides, it is wrong to allow the general audience to think that way. Organic farms do use pesticides, only a different kind than the ones we have been accustomed to seeing in conventional farming methods.
Organic farming use naturally-derived pesticides that are safer for the mental and physical well-being of one person. Natural pesticides are considered to be less toxic although some still have health risks, especially if the person is exposed to other chemicals.
But that being said, it is important to note that the exposure to a pesticide when it comes to eating organic produce is still lower than the risk we take when we consume food from conventional farms.
And even if we discover adverse side effects after eating organic food, we cannot directly blame the natural pesticides used in organic farms because our bodies have an accumulated build-up of pesticide exposure because of numerous years of access to food that is treated with pesticides and preserved with chemicals.
There are plenty of health issues that can directly be related to pesticides (chemical and synthetic pesticides, that is). These health issues include headaches, birth defects, and added strain on weakened immune systems. In some studies, even the presence of pesticides in low doses can increase the risk of certain cancers such as leukemia, lymphoma, brain tumors, breast cancer, and prostate cancer.
Children and fetuses, in particular, are the ones most vulnerable to pesticide exposure because their immune systems have not matured yet. Their bodies and brains are still developing so exposure at an early age can cause developmental delays, behavioral disorders, autism, immune system harm, and motor dysfunction.
Pregnant women are, of course, also vulnerable because of the added stress that pesticides can put on their organs. The effects of pesticides can be felt by the fetus even if only the mother was directly exposed to it. The quality of breastmilk may also be affected by the presence of pesticides in the mother’s bloodstream.