ALL THINGS SMÁRI
April 8th, 2013
The Half-Life of Fake Food
Ignorance, they say, is bliss. But it is a fleeting bliss. In the early 1970s we thought pesticides were no biggie—just short of a miracle. (It was as if cause-and-effect wasn’t a law of nature.) Back then the belief was that soil actually worked as a sponge and “cleaner” of the poisonous chemicals sprayed on food to kill insects. I kid you not! (The U.S. government’s Department of the Interior has further information about pesticides in groundwater here). Ah, the 1970s—you could drive your Corvette seatbelt-free, eat a blemish-free apple, and smoke a Winston cigarette in the lunchroom at work.
What ignorant bliss!
But…the truth is, those “wonder” chemicals didn’t just go bye-bye and dissolve like cotton candy on the tongue in the soil. Nope; because actually, the ground water beneath the soil became contaminated. The soil-as-sponge thingy was, er, so wrong. So, when agricultural businesses stopped using the super-righteous poisons, did that make everything better? (What does your gut say?) Did you know that today, pesticide formulations make up some 20,000 products? (The Kresge Foundation’s research on pesticides and health is online).
It’s shocking that old chemicals find their way into our bodies from once-removed sources like the trace chemicals found in a steak because the cattle ate the pig that ate the chicken that ate the plant sprayed with pesticides. True story (you can read more in Mother Jones here).
And if you think le poison just flushes through the body, somehow metabolized, or that corporations wouldn’t poison us, think again. This stuff is inside of us! And our kids’ bodies, too. High levels of pesticides have been found in children who eat conventionally grown food—not so with those children who eat organic food. Children who eat organic food were found to have far lower levels of residual pesticides in their bodies. You can read more here.
So why do food companies continue to make food that contains poison that then goes into us? Oh, that question. It’s wrong that we have to ask it—frankly, it’s criminal. (The answer, by the way, is that it’s cheaper and more profitable. I blogged about cheap food here.)
So you can see why I choose to do this, make organic yogurt. I do it to make food better. I do it to have impact on the future of food. It was time to take a stand. I do it because I want my son to eat organic food. The word “organic” is part of the name of my company, it’s fundamental and it’s a commitment.
Give me the kind of bliss that comes from knowing, choosing, and eating real food.