Farming was organic before farmers began using pesticides and herbicides to increase yields at lower prices. However, there is a price to pay for these changes.
When it rains these chemicals can run off and pollute nearby waterways, impacting plant and wildlife in fields, and recreational areas. Some of these pesticides contain potentially toxic chemicals that can cause various health problems. Fortunately, the EPA conducts environmental and health risk assessments to determine what risks are posed by pesticide on plants, wildlife, fish and our health.
In addition, the use of chemicals in the cattle and poultry Industries are getting more attention with increased concern about their impact on the food we consume. In cattle feed lots, antibiotics are used as feed additives to increase rate of growth and improve feed efficiency. However, there is a growing concern that the use of these antibiotics may give rise to new strains of bacteria resistant to other antibiotics used to treatment sick livestock, and also may pass new bacteria strains to humans. Chemicals used in raising poultry are also a concern.
The Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine (PCRM.Org) warns that most consumers are unaware that feces, toxic chemicals, superbugs, carcinogens, and cholesterol are likely hiding in food they eat. Fortunately, we can choose to decrease the impact of chemicals on the environment and our health.
We can limit pesticide and fertilizer use in gardens, and when caring for our trees, shrubs, and flower beds. We can fertilize by composting grass clippings, fall leaves and vegetable scraps from the kitchen. We can use organic rather than synthetic fertilizers. We can shop for organic foods, even though they may be more expensive. We can buy locally. The Longview Farmers Market, located at the corner of Cotton and High Streets, is open from 7:30 to 11:30 Saturday mornings.
It provides the opportunity to buy produce directly from the producers and to ask which chemicals were used to raise their produce. No products in the Farmers Market are purchased wholesale and resold.