Many of us choose organic food first and foremost because we want to avoid unnecessary exposure to potentially harmful chemical residues on our food. Great idea!
Now, take a minute to think about the non-organic farmers and field workers out working in the fields with the sun, the soil, the plants…and the chemicals. They’re exposed to these pesticides at a higher level than those of us who eat non-organic food. Our choice to support organic agriculture not only helps us avoid those residues, it helps foster a safer work environment for the people who work so hard to bring us all this delicious food — and their families, too.
Read a story from our Chief Farmer, Otto Kramm (who started his career as a conventional farmer), about his fear of bringing chemicals home on his pants. (Meet some of the other 200 dedicated organic farmers we work with on our Meet Our Farmers page.)
Scientists are finding strong links between workplace exposure to pesticides and a wide range of serious health problems — which, the Pesticide Action Network says, weren’t seen before the advent of conventional industrial chemical agriculture — including birth defects linked to pesticides in surface water, developmental delays, autism and Parkinson’s disease. And in 2010, the President’s Cancer Panel reported that pesticide exposure is linked to a wide range of cancers, from the brain to the reproductive system, as well as Hodgkins and non-Hodgkins lymphomas. Higher rates of prostate cancer, melanoma and other skin cancers were found in people with jobs like farmers, pesticide applicators, crop duster pilots and manufacturing workers. (Get the full report, “Reducing Our Environmental Cancer Risk: What We Can Do Now,” here.)
Organic farmers use sophisticated soil science and a deep understanding of their land to create rich, fertile soil and a vibrant, balanced ecosystem that supports strong crops. And they do it without exposing themselves, their local ecosystems or the people who enjoy their harvest to the potentially harmful effects of powerful conventional agricultural chemicals.
Thank you for supporting us in producing the healthiest food possible and creating a more protective work environment for our farmers.