While we’re considering making healthy balanced choices with our food, most of us probably don’t give that much consideration to the very beginning of our food’s journey.
Crops grown on a large scale are frequently sprayed with pesticides and herbicides and I’ve come across some enlightening articles on the use of common pesticides and the potentially devastating effects they can have for people.
Over the years that I’ve been working in nutrition and championing non-toxic living in particular I’ve been following updates around Chlorpyrifos, sometimes referred to as the ‘Coca Cola for growers’ due to its prevalence. This pesticide is widely used in the US and other parts of the world for growing fruit, vegetables, corn, nuts and soybeans.
This fascinating and disconcerting article from The Intercept delves into the link between Chlorpyrifos and autism, highlighting one family’s conviction that their daughter’s autism began during her mother’s pregnancy with heavy crop spraying in the fields around their home:
This Time Magazine article looks at a study of 11 pesticides, including Chlorpyrifos. The findings also highlight an increased risk of autism for the children of women who lived within a 2,000 meter radius of a highly sprayed area. It also warns of exposure through eating the produce treated with these chemicals, I’ve spoken previously about making the choice to eat organic food where possible and findings like these further support that.
I was delighted to see this recent update from Gina Solomon, Clinical Professor of Medicine at the University of California, writing for The Conversation. This pesticide, which has been in use since the mid 60’s, has finally been banned by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency following many years of pressure from environmental groups.
With continued campaigning from organisations such as the Soil Association, I’m hopeful that governments will move away from intensive use of chemicals like these to grow our foods, making the choice to live a non-toxic lifestyle achievable for everyone.