I admit that I am quite a fan of organic food and often find myself having to defend buying it. Although I certainly don’t buy everything organic. I just think that fewer chemicals must be a better thing and through the work I am doing, I come across so much research done into the effects of environmental chemicals on fertility. They are actually known as ‘gender-benders’. Two years ago the Food Standards Agency released the results of a large study looking at whether organic food was actually better for you and the conclusion was no. Then last year a big EU funded study came to the exact opposite conclusion.
The other day I read in the paper that organic eggs are actually worse for you than battery because these hens that are allowed to wander about pecking at this and that and breathing polluted air contain more dangerous chemicals than hens that are stuffed into pens (who are presumably just full of stress hormones and who knows what’s in their food). Sales of organic food have substantially dropped recently although I have noticed that the price differential on some things has actually narrowed a bit. But, in many ways eating organic food is a much wider concept than whether it is any better for you nutritionally. Animal welfare is a big thing and I was especially moved by hearing a radio programme about the decline of bees possibly being related to the fact they are consuming so many pesticides, which affects their fertility too. People working in the production of food are also affected and particularly in developing countries where there is often a serious health impact. Much of the research on male fertility and pesticide use comes from these countries. Actually never mind developing countries, it’s not so great in the developed; whilst looking for something else I came across an article in the Ecologist about the ‘Immokalee babies’ (tried to put in the link but failed!). Pretty horrifying. My uncle is absolutely convinced that his years of farming and handling chemicals has caused his chronic and debilitating psoriasis on his hands.