Alternative Cures

  and Natural Health Remedies

In the nineth of our series of informative articles reated to alternative cures, in the second part of our three part mini-series on food, we look at the so-called healthy alternative to meat - fruit and vegetables.


The food we buy in shops and supermarkets, from markets stalls and even farm shops all has one thing in common. It is killing us. Meat has become so unhealthy for many reasons. Fruit and vegetables are full of toxic chemicals. Is it any wonder our children are having behavioural problems and we are the unhealthiest generation in modern times? In the second of this three part mini-series, we’ll take a closer look at the problems associated with the current crop spaying epidemic that threatens to send us all to a early and disease ridden grave.

Part 2: Healthy Fruit and Vegetables?

When my generation were growing up in the 1960s, there were none of the fast food outlets that seem to proliferate in every high street and shopping mall. Our mothers used to have to queue up at the greengrocer's to get their quota of fresh fruit and vegetables that were the mainstay of every home cooked meal we ate together as a family every evening. But even then, the rot had begun to set in with the advances being made in the insecticides and fertilisers that farmers of the 1950s were beginning to use.

In preference to long hours of labour intensive tilling of the land and the wastage caused by insect damage to crops, those pioneering farmers began to see the potential for much greater profits gained from using the new breed of insecticide known as DichloroDiphenylTrichloroethane, or DDT. The insecticidal properties of DDT were originally discovered by the Swiss scientist Paul Müller who worked for the pharmaceutical company J.R. Geigy in 1942. Its use became more widespread in the 1950's right up until the 1970's when its potential toxicity and environmentally hazardous nature was fully understood. Many western countries banned it from use, but even today there are many developing countries that still use DDT to spray crops with. In fact it has recently been discovered that DDT is effective in controlling the malaria carrying mosquito.

DDT belongs to the genre of pesticides known as organochlorines. It has been shown to bioaccumulate in humans where it mimics certain hormones and can therefore disrupt the endocrine system. It has also been shown to have carcinogenic (cancer causing) properties. As it is very fat soluble, DDT is also known to still be present today in many dairy and meat products in both the US and the UK and Europe.

However, these effects are small compared with the potential harm that can be caused by modern, organophosphate pesticides. These are derived from phosphoric and similar acids and have a number of health risks associated with them. They can include headache, exhaustion, mental confusion and blurred vision, sweating, excessive salivation, chest tightness, muscle twitches and abdominal cramps. It must be stressed that these symptoms are associated with elevated dosages of these pesticides. The amount of pesticide laden produce an average person consumes will not generally be great enough to cause these, although the long term effects of continued exposure to them are not known (or at least they have not been made publicly known at the time of writing).

Tests for residues of pesticides that remain in different fruit and vegetables that consumers buy in shops, markets and supermarkets result in varying and often contradictory levels. In other words, you could pick up two apples sitting side by side in a supermarket display and one could have almost no residue and the other could contain a far higher amount.

The average person would have no way of knowing just how much pesticide residue is present in that healthy looking pile of fruit and vegetables in their supermarket trolley. The amount and type of pesticide residue present in an item depends on the farm of origin, the country of origin, the time of picking, the ripeness at time of picking, the handling, storage and transport conditions along with a host of other variables. One country will allow a certain quota of crop spraying and a list of pesticides that another might restrict. Don't be fooled into thinking that just because your fruit is produced locally that it is less likely to be free of certain poisons. Many countries like the US, UK and many other European countries all use a lethal cocktail of over twenty different types of pesticides over the growing cycle of certain crops. The levels and frequency of spraying are overseen by the country's relevant government bodies but is ultimately controlled by the individual farmer in conjunction with the local environmental inspectorate.

So it really is a lottery as to how much of these chemicals you are ingesting yourself or feeding to your family on a daily basis, while being duped into believing you are creating healthy meals. With much fresh produce, there are no labels to read, no list of harmful or otherwise ingredients or additives to base your choice on. You are taking a chance on the integrity of the massive supermarket chain that is selling you that produce and making a healthy (for them) profit out of you.

In the next and final part of this three part mini-series on food, we will look at the viable alternative to mass produced, intensively (and some would say inhumanely) farmed produce, known to millions as organic food.

Author: Terry Didcott

Word Count: 880
Date Submitted: 9th June 2007

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