It was many moons ago, in a life that was never quite meant to be, that I finally realised what it was we needed to do with my grandad’s farm.
You see 20 years ago I was very comfortable working away for the biotech industry in the UK, working in a laboratory researching different chemicals for this and that.
I am a scientist turned organic farmer and I have a very healthy respect for science. But there is one thing I do not agree with, it just does not make any sense to me, and that is the whole scale blanket application of chemicals on our food.
Chemicals that are meant for a laboratory should stay there, and if they are toxic to some life then generally speaking, they will be toxic to other life, it isn’t even that chemicals are ‘bad’ it is the prevalence and ubiquity of them in our food chain and our environment that is harmful.
They are in our food and they are not good for us, and they are not good for life in the countryside either, they really aren’t. Take a family of chemicals called the neonicotinoids, deemed safe for years, but then it was found that they do irreparable damage to bees and other insects. How, on any level, can using a chemical like that as a blanket spray across our countryside be justified?
Many of these chemicals do not just sit on the outside of the plant, they are systemic by nature. That means they are absorbed into the plant and do their damage from the inside out, so unfortunately simply washing veg and fruit doesn’t remove them.
Some produce are more heavily sprayed than others and two that regularly feature in the ‘dirty dozen’ are kale and spinach – which is ironic as both grow very well in organic systems. Eating organic of course is one of the easiest and best ways to avoid this unhealthy exposure.
It is possible to grow great food without the use of chemicals, it is a little harder, it takes a little more attention and planning, it requires more labour but isn’t it worth it in the end?
Surely the production of food in a way that contributes to our health and the health of the planet, a way that enhances and protects biodiversity, a way that encourages working with nature rather than against it must be the best way to grow food?
Thank you for taking a good hard look at how your food is produced and choosing to embrace and support organic – a healthier way of farming for us and our planet.
Have a look at our full range of organic fruit, veg and groceries here and why not consider making your life easy with a weekly fruit and veg box from us?