Pesticides and the Foods We Eat

First let’s begin with a definition of a pesticide. What exactly is it and why do we use them. A pesticide is defined as a substance used for destroying insects or other organisms that are harmful to cultivated plants or animals.

  • Pesticides protect our crops from decimation by insects.

  • Pesticides are a chemical or biological agent.

  • Pesticides helps to increase crop yield.

  • Pesticides cause cancer in living things, people and animals.

  • Pesticides are known to attack the nervous system, because they are a neurotoxin.

  • Neurotoxins break down and destroy the brain, nervous system and the communication between the two.

There are arguably some benefits to using pesticides. Some I have listed above. But the benefits do not come without drawbacks. One benefit is that for every one dollar spent on pesticides 4 dollars worth of crops are saved from pests. That being said let’s explore the drawbacks of pesticides.

  • Environmental effects, pesticides drift when sprayed on crops.

  • The drifting can cause water pollution.

  • Soil contamination

  • Reduction of biodiversity

  • Reduces nitrogen fixation

  • Contributes to the pollinator decline, for example the HoneyBee

  • Destroys habitat for other species, birds

  • Threatens endangered species

  • Pest become resistant to the pesticide

  • Carcinogens/cancer causing

  • Neurotoxin

I think it is important for everyone to understand the impact of pesticides on our lives. It may be hard to comprehend how large the impact really is. This is a controversial issue with both sides having a very good argument. After all, if pests destroy the crops then people go hungry, and hungry people on a global scale go to war with each other for food. This is just the tip of the iceberg. We can choose to go organic, which is much better for you, but do we have the growing power to stop using the pesticides and still feed the world? These are challenging questions that I hope we will be able to answer in the near future.

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