Organic Vegetable Gardening: Eat Healthy and Save Money by Growing Your Own Food

According the to United States Environmental Protection Agency, there are over 20,000 pesticides containing 620 active ingredients on the market in the US. More than 1,000,000,000 (One billion) pounds of active ingredients in conventional pesticides are applied each year in the United States. That’s over three pounds for every man, woman, and child who is a citizen of the United States. That in itself is alarming. Even more alarming is the government’s information on the potential health effects of pesticides. I am quoting the EPA’s own FAQ here: ‘The health effects of pesticides depend on the type of pesticide. Some, such as the organophosphates and carbamates, affect the nervous system. Other may irritate the skin of eyes. Some pesticides may be carcinogens. Others may affect the hormone or endocrine system in the body.’ Stay away from the commercially grown food! Save money and eat healthy and – grow your own organic food!!

The EPA is in charge of our safety from pesticides. They get a large helping hand from the manufacturers of the pesticides. The EPA is charged with setting maximum levels of pesticides likely to be found in food. That is not a typo, I took it straight from an EPA page…’maximum levels likely to be found in food’…not actually found in food, but likely to be found. ‘The EPA accomplishes this by requiring pesticide manufacturers to submit data that answer basic questions about what residues are present in foods and in what quantities.’ The manufacturers submit data regarding the residues of pesticides found on crops grown in the field when applied using the highest rate allowed by the product label. So the manufacturer of the pesticide delivers the data to the EPA and the EPA decides on how much pesticide is okay for us to eat. I love the taste of orthophosphates in the morning! Do you trust the pesticide manufacturers with the safety of your food? If not, the only way to make sure that our food supply is safer is to grow you own organic food.

The EPA also requires a battery of toxicity tests in laboratory animals to determine a pesticide’s potential for causing adverse health effects, such as cancer, birth defects, and adverse effects on the nervous system or other organs. Tests are conducted for both short-term (acute) and long-term (chronic) toxicity. For chronic effects other than cancer, laboratory animals are exposed to different doses of a pesticide to determine the level at which no adverse effects occur. This level is divided by an uncertainty or “safety” factor (usually 100) to account for the uncertainty of extrapolating from laboratory animals to humans and for individual human differences in sensitivity. The resulting figure, termed the Reference Dose, is the level of exposure that EPA judges an individual could be exposed to on a daily basis for a lifetime with minimal probability of experiencing any adverse effect. [Quoted from EPA Factsheet].

So let me get this straight, the EPA finds a pesticide that makes us sick and then they decide how much of that we can eat. Who checks on the farms? Who checks at the grocery store? Anybody want some tainted peanuts? I am not saying that the EPA is bad. They do a commendable job. I think that we should be surprised that there are not more serious health problems and outbreaks of food related illness;but how many chronic illnesses and adverse health effects are the cause of pesticide exposure over the course of a lifetime? Could neurological disorders be the result of exposure to organophosphates and carbamates? How would you know? If you grow your own food, you know exactly what was put on it. You know exactly what your children are eating! What if you could save money growing your own organic vegetables at home? You can! Read a book and go outside! Feed your children healthy food and lower your grocery bill. You can do it. You just have to go out in the yard and get started!

John C. Shelton is a recovering attorney, husband, father of two, and newbie blogger. After 15 years in the wilderness (lawyers, on whole are a cranky lot) he is listening to his muse. I love to garden and improve my environment. As an added benefit, I can save money at the same time. We all want to live better for less. I can help you live better and save money.

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