Over the weekend, I read this CNN article about Project TENDR.
Project TENDR is group of scientists, doctors and health professionals from a wide range of fields related to the physical, mental and developmental health of children and parents-to-be. They came together to talk about the risks of exposure to environmental chemicals.
We are witnessing an alarming increase in learning and behavioral problems in children. Parents report that 1 in 6 children in the United States, 17% more than a decade ago, have a developmental disability, including learning disabilities, ADHD, autism, and other developmental delays
Project TENDR just released a call to action about the need to limit exposure to modern chemicals. Specifically they talked about the risk of these chemicals to brain development and a new approach to how we evaluate the harm they cause.
I especially liked their 'Regrettable Substitution' section, right on the very first page. Here at TC Farm, we've talked about this sort of thing before: How after a generation, a chemical is finally proven to be unsafe and banned, the company often just replaces it with a nearly identical, untested chemical rather than make a wholesale change to the chemistry. The cycle repeats with no safety improvement. Now water bottles all say 'BPA free' even though they use a possibly more toxic chemical instead. The same thing happens in food too!
We wrote about one of those key chemicals used in our Hidden Costs of Packaging article (where we laid out the case for why TC Farm is careful to source plastics free of phthalates). What I didn't realize was that, in addition to the serious health impacts we discussed, these chemicals that leach into your food from the plastics used may also cause lower IQ.
Another fact I didn't realize is that there has been a strong consensus since all the way back in 2010 that a class of pesticides that makes up about 50% of the ones used in conventional agriculture have strong links to Autism and ADHD.
Remember they are probably using even more of these pesticides in "non-GMO" food unless it is actually raised organically. (Just because the label says "non-GMO" doesn't mean that your family is automatically safer.)
I just wish all the other farms with pictures of 'happy pigs' or talking about their 'pasture raised' eggs would start using feed free of these chemicals. Why are they using poison in our food to save a couple of bucks?
Is it really better to have "local" food if they are using these chemicals and putting our families and local environment at risk?
So the next time someone asks: "Does organic really matter?" I hope you can share this post and help nudge our society in a direction that's a little bit safer...