After watching the episode of Satyamev Jayate in which Aamir Khan spoke about the benefits of organic food and farming, I decided to read up on the internet about the psticide levels in our food. And the information I came across really worried me. The fruits and vegetables we buy so carefully, after checking their freshness; are actually laced with pesticides that have many adverse effects on health. No amount of washing and cleaning with water can remove these internal pesticides. According to the Alliance for Sustainable and Holistic Agriculture (ASHA), out of the top 15 most-consumed pesticides in India, 11 figure in the list of 67 globally-banned pesticides. I don’t mean to scare you, but here is a list of pesticides used in India and the advesrse effects they have on the body.
And to me this is a very disturbing piece of information. After all the efforts I take to give my family healthy nutrition and food, it is disappointing to know that the food I buy thinking it’s safe, is really so harmful. Keeping children away from junk food, making sure they eat a balanced diet, inculcating a healthy lifestyle; all the efforts are in vain if the fruits, vegetables, and crops itself are full of pesticides. Where and to whom should we turn to?
And as if this is not enough, I came across a piece of information that highlighted how much higher the levels of pesticide in food in India are when compared to those in European countries.
Though very disturbing, this doesn’t come as a surprise. The reasons are quite obvious.
Most of our farmers are unaware of the adverse effects of pesticides. Those who sell pesticides to them do not train them about the usage levels, precautions, etc. and as a result the farmers tend to use them indiscriminately. Considering the number of middlemen in the chain from the farmers to the consumers, farmers are forced to make do with a paltry amount in return of their efforts. And honestly, I wouldn’t really blame them for ignoring the long-term effects to the soil and falling prey to the lure of using pesticides and increasing their produce. Because in the end, they need to make ends meet too.
If at all anyone is to blame, I think it is us. We urban dwellers are so cut off from agriculture that we fail to realize how much the farmers’ problems are going to affect us. If anyone can help them, it is us, educated folks who have access to information, media, and the laws and regulations in the farmers’ favour. But we don’t even see it as a cause worth supporting!
However, all is not lost! There still are some kind souls among us who realize their duty to the farmers and do their bit to help them survive sustainably and still not compromise on the health and quality of their produce. Few kilometres away from Thane city, in a place called Sajiwali, a sustainable ecosystem thrives. Farmers here get training about sustainable farming, grow organic food, and get 60% of the money earned from sales of their organic products.
This initiative is undertaken by none other than Manas Organic; whose organic products I have talked about in one of my earlier posts. It is really heartening to know that the products you buy are not only better for your health; but also help the farmers who toil hard to grow them. If I can’t actually go and do something for the farmers, at least I can support those who work for their benefit. And for me, buying organic products from Manas Organic seems to be a worthwhile option. I hope to find out soon about how I can buy their products.
What are your concerns about the food you buy? Have you come across any research reports or studies about food safety that have left you distraught and worried? How do you deal with your concerns? Do you consider buying organic products as a viable solution? Let’s talk so we can resolve this together!
Stay Happy. Stay Healthy.
So speaks yours truly...