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Bittman: organic isn't just for parents; it's for non-Scrooges and patriots

Mark Bittman cuts through the industry-funded anti-organic frenzy created this year to squash Prop 37 in California, which would have required labeling genetically modified food (GMO). Bittman rightly says we know even more about the effects of pesticides now than we did fifty years ago, when Rachel Carson published Silent Spring. He cites several catalysts for his column: Pesticides: Now More Than Ever:
  • The American Association of Pediatrics warning parents about pesticides increasing the risk of brain tumors, leukemia, lower I.Q.s, autism, and more
  • A new study shows that pregnant women exposed to pesticides are more likely to have children who become obese
  • Our increased understanding that GMO crops led to more pesticide use

 Bittman then reminds readers of a study that estimates:

... organic food production would reduce our overall exposure to pesticides by 97 percent; that is, all but eliminate it.

He concludes by saying, "If I were of child-rearing age now, or the parent of young children, I would make every effort to buy organic food."  


I'll take that a step further: even though I don't and won't have kids, I'm happy to vote with my fork for a world in which other people's children—my fellow Earthlings—are born with fewer birth defects and are able to live up to their potential: with higher I.Q.s and fewer physical and behavioral problems. Why support good schools if you don't also support good brains? You'd have to be a real Scrooge and not much of a patriot to prefer saving a little money even though it puts everyone at risk.  Going organic is not just a way to minimize the risks Bittman mentions. It also helps slow global warming and prevent drought-related famines.  It's one thing if you truly can't get or afford organic food. It's quite another to eat out, buy sodas and processed food, waste food, and eat expensive ingredients and then reach past the organic and sustainably grown offerings to save a few cents.


Vote with your wallet and your fork for a better world. Buy organic.


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