For decades, long before COVID, a health crisis has been looming. The number of Americans, our family members, struggling with cancer and various health disorders has skyrocketed. Over 50% of our children now have a chronic illness, one out of six have a learning disorder, one out of five Americans has a mental health issue, and one out of two males and one out of three females are expected to get cancer. Our health is, without exaggeration, in a crisis. If these numbers continue to progress as they have for the past twenty years, we are soon headed for a human health apocalypse. No amount of government bailouts, no reduction in taxes, no change of political party or leadership will be able to heal the bodies of our loved ones and remove our pain and grief from loss. No matter how charismatic, no President or Governor will be able to give us our sister or mother back.
It is a national security issue to take steps in our homes daily that protect our families from the environmental problems that contribute to this health crisis. This is why at Moms Across America, we strive daily to empower our network with the information, solutions, and actions they can take to create healthy families and communities. Our government, most food manufacturers, and media outlets are not being responsible. Powerful, well-connected people are actively perpetuating and promoting the poisoning of our food supply, so we must take matters into our own hands.
While many of us can afford to switch to organic, still, most Americans cannot. This injustice only fuels us further. We seek out the science and data to support the systemic change needed through policies and laws that will enable all people of any socioeconomic background or region to have access to safe, nontoxic, non-GMO foods.
Now, new data brings us that fuel.
From the Heartland Health Research Alliance article:
A recently published paper by the Heartland Health Research Alliance (HHRA) written by a team led by the HHRA Executive Director Chuck Benbrook draws on multiple state and federal data sources in comparing the dietary risks stemming from pesticide residues in organic vs. conventionally grown foods. The new paper is entitled “Organic Farming Lessens Reliance on Pesticides and Promotes Public Health by Lowering Dietary Risks” and was published by the European journal Agronomy. Benbrook was joined by co-authors Dr. Susan Kegley and Dr. Brian Baker in conducting the research reported in the paper.
There is good news in the paper’s many data-heavy tables. Organic farms use pesticides far less often and less intensively than on nearby conventional farms growing the same crop.
Click here to listen to Food Integrity Now's interview with Dr. Charles Benbrook about his recent peer-reviewed study published In Agronomy entitled Organic Farming Lessens Reliance on Pesticides and Promotes Public Heath by Lowering Dietary Risks.
Some key points of the paper:
- Organic farmers are nearly three times more likely to plant cover crops and grow green manures.
- Unlike conventional farms, pesticides cannot be, and never are, the only tool used on organic farms to prevent pest losses.
- A case can be made that reliance on managing ecosystems to prevent pest problems is the single most important distinguishing characteristic of organic farms compared to nearby conventionally managed ones.
- Reducing the pesticide residues and their risk in fresh produce is one of the critical societal benefits that would come from the transition to organic, which is the benefit of most concern for many consumers.
- The paper concludes that by converting the 1.2% of US cropland used to grow fruits and vegetables to organic production, the nation’s farmers could cut total pesticides dietary risk by a remarkable 98%.
This is the data we have been waiting for.
We have a solution. A 98% reduction of exposure to toxic chemicals would drastically reduce our health issues in America. Studies show that 90% of childhood cancers are from environmental causes such as pesticides. What if a 98% reduction in exposure to toxins in the food that we consume daily resulted in just a 50% reduction in cancer and chronic illness? That would mean a savings of at least $1.5 trillion a year. A worthy investment to make.
But how could just the 1.2% of the vegetable and fruit cropland account for so much pesticide exposure? Consider data from the Pesticide Action Network that shows that an apple can have, on average, 47 different chemicals on it if it is not organic. This toxic treadmill of chemical cocktails is not sustainable, it is degenerative.
We can fund these farmers to convert to organic, even better, regenerative organic. We can prevent and reduce further loss of our loved ones. In 2020 the US government gave out $50 billion (typically $20 billion) in subsidies to farmers, predominantly growing GMO, synthetic chemically farmed, toxic crops. Requiring that those funds are used to convert to organic with regenerative practices in the coming years, even providing additional funds would be a worthy investment to prevent a catastrophe of human life. If we can give 10 trillion in bailouts to businesses and states because of COVID, we can support our farmers with at least 2 trillion to support their efforts to make our country healthier.
What happens if we do not fund farmers to make the switch?
We must look at the current cost first. Since we cannot place a value on human life, on the moments that are priceless to us, such as our mother being with us as we give birth, our fathers walking us down the aisle, our child living to attend their college graduation, to give birth themselves and experience the profound love of having one’s child... we can only assess the value of health care costs.
The United States health care costs in 2019, pre-COVID, totaled $3.8 trillion. For perspective, a million seconds = 12 days. A billion seconds = 36 years. A trillion seconds = 31,709 years. So 3.8 trillion would be 120,497 years or over 4,819 generations of human lives. We are spending more money on healthcare than is sustainable. We cannot afford to continue to allow toxins in our food supply and subsequently increase the health care costs of our nation. The costs could bankrupt us, diminish our global security and endanger democracy in America.
It’s time for our Senators, Representatives, Governors, Presidents, and policymakers to have the courage to tell Big Ag lobbyists that we can no longer afford their toxic chemicals. As a country we need to demand healthier alternatives and motivate Big Ag to move towards supporting organic instead.
In the meantime, until our government takes action, if you have the means to invest in organic farming and the future of our great nation, please consider Iroquois Valley Farms REIT.
Moms Across America wishes to acknowledge and thank the Heartland Health Research Alliance team and urge our supporters to support their continued endeavors. You can donate to their research here.
You can make a difference!
Click here to send a quick letter to your Representatives and Senators to let them know they MUST take action, and CAN - with this stunning solution to reduce our pesticide consumption by 98% by having only the 1.2% of farmland that grows vegetable and fruit convert to organic.
We can do this!