In the last week, I've had two male friends make comments with regard to environmental concerns or pesticide use. One, a farmer, declared that agricultural chemicals were not a real concern because of the low amounts that end up in the food. I didn't take him to task because I knew my energy would be wasted. We can debate the pros and cons till his cows come home, but the scientific evidence is more than clear. That truth might make him more than a tad bit uncomfortable and I have no doubt it is disparaged in the circles he runs in. The older I get, the more I am amazed at how powerful cognitive dissonance is. Yet if we are to grow as human beings and as a society, we sometimes have to force ourselves to think outside our present state of knowledge; to go beyond our comfort zones and push ourselves to examine previously held beliefs.
Some of my more conservative friends find comfort in traditional beliefs and the status quo. I'll be the first to admit that outlook has merit in certain instances. At the same time, I don't want them to be blindsided and come to full awareness with the illness of a beloved grandchild or be shocked with their first realization and outrage while watching the suffering of a friend.
“every day, 610,000 children ages one through five eat a dose of neurotoxic organophosphate insecticides (OPs) that the government deems unsafe. Some 6,000 of these children exceed the government’s safe daily dose of these pesticides by a factor of ten or more.
In an article for Healthy Child, Jane Shepard writes -
"The fruits and vegetables that are so crucial to health are compromised by ongoing pesticide contamination. If you eat conventional food you are eating combinations of pesticides known or suspected to cause brain and nervous system damage, cancer, and disruption of the endocrine and immune systems. The Environmental Working Group (EWG), a non-profit research organization, analyzed government pesticide records and food consumption data and reported that “every day, 610,000 children ages one through five eat a dose of neurotoxic organophosphate insecticides (OPs) that the government deems unsafe. Some 6,000 of these children exceed the government’s safe daily dose of these pesticides by a factor of ten or more. More than half of the 610,000 children exposed to an unsafe dose of OP insecticides each day, get that dose by eating an apple, apple sauce or apple juice. Some apples are so toxic that just one bite can deliver an unsafe dose of OPs to a child under five.” Another analysis showed that every day, more than a quarter million American children ages one through five eat a combination of 20 different pesticides. More than one million children ages one through five eat at least 15 pesticides on any given day.13 "