Dangerous Chemical Absorption in Large Crops
"Farming looks mighty easy when your plow is a pencil and you're a thousand miles from the corn field." -Dwight D. Eisenhower, 34th President of the United States
Unfortunately, big companies grow the majority of the crops consumed by Americans, and big companies use a variety of chemicals on their crops. Because of this, these crops will always have some absorption expectations. Whether the chemicals in question were used to prevent weeds from growing, insects from damaging the crops, or to create larger hardier vegetables, they are still chemicals and they may still be dangerous. Methods used to distribute chemicals include everything from:
- Genetically modifying crops: wherein seeds have actually been altered by injecting certain chemicals into the nucleus of the seed
Methods used to disperse chemicals on the ground as well as the crop fields several times throughout the growing season. To be fair, the Environmental Protection Agency determines whether crop chemicals are considered safe before they are applied, and in most cases the chemicals perform the intended job quite well. What consumers are concerned about, however, is what happens to the human body once these genetically altered and/or pesticide sprayed crops have been ingested. Are they still safe to eat?
Genetically Modified Crops
Genetically modified (GM) crops have been extensively studied since 1972 and researchers have found that GM crops are a simple idea that may have opened up a really complex can of worms. When a seed is genetically modified, the seed is altered through use of molecular biology techniques. In other words, the seeds are no longer "natural" as they have been changed inside a laboratory by a human. The whole idea behind GM seeds is to enhance the desired traits within the seeds. For instance, crops can be modified to be resistant to certain insects.
Unfortunately, no one knows exactly what ingesting GM seeds in the long run might do to change or alter human life. The upside is that this procedure usually works well. The downside is that in at least one study, the bacteria or chemical that has been injected into the GM seeds was found growing and thriving within the intestinal tracts of one in eight of the tested individuals who had previously ingested the crops.
Now in Stores
Unfortunately, since the United States does not require that food labels reveal which products are genetically modified, the majority of the world has already been exposed to this new form of contamination. If you are concerned, check the PLU codes on produce stickers:
- Conventionally Grown - produce stickers have four numbers typically, but when they have five, the numbers will always begin with "8".
- Organically Grown - produce has five numbers, starting with the number nine.
Of the many crops cultivated in the world today, some 40 species have been converted into GM crops. Included in that number are soy, corn, cottonseed, canola, and squashes. While not all farmers use genetically modified crops, even their crops are at risk as genetically modified crops may crossbreed with them. The concern is that eventually all crops will become genetically modified, and therefore none of the crops will be natural.
Chemical Absorption By Farmers and Animals
Pesticides kill insects and larvae that we consider pests. Unfortunately, along with the insects, many other small critters are being harmed. Additionally, employees who work on farms where crops are grown and harvested are exposed to an overabundance of chemicals. Workers are encouraged to wear protective clothing, including a face shield, goggles, gloves, a hat, and a full protective suit whenever pesticides are involved. Pesticide residue is also found on and in crops after harvest and passed on to the consumer. Many people don't realize that even when the vegetables or fruits have been washed and peeled, dangerous amounts of chemicals may still remain inside the produce.
Chemicals in Natural Fertilizer
Recent findings even show chemicals may even be added to our food sources through natural fertilizer or animal manure! Antibiotics and other medications ingested by sick farm animals are found in the manure used to fertilize some crops.