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World Report View

Are we consuming food or poison?

by Poonam Bhatt | 18-08-2019 01:21 recommendations 0 recommendations

“We are what we eat “

Food is any nutritious substance that is consumed in order to maintain life and growth. However, the increasing trend to over use chemical fertilizer and pesticides has caused this idea to challenge its literal definition on the ground of “poisonous substances” being consumed. It has led to question about whether humans are eating food or poison.

 Have you ever wondered what processes the food goes through before it reaches your plates or what you are actually eating along with food?

Food is a fundamental human right and a need, where food quality and safety are important aspects of that right. However this right is not being put into action in terms of quality and safety.

Our first source of nutrition is mother’s milk from which most of the physical and mental development of a child starts. It is believed that a, mother’s milk is the safest food for a child. To dig deep into this, a research was conducted on a mother’s milk in IT Kanpur, India by Dr. Rashmi Sanghi where the samples of milk were taken and tested. This research showed a shocking amount of the pesticides named ‘endosulfan’  and ‘chlorphyrifos’ which were found to be 800 times and nearly 400 times  respectively, which is more than Acceptable Daily Intake (ADI). Let’s not forget that an immature infant is consuming that milk which can delay its normal body function severely. The question is where does this pesticide come from? The answer is simple, the food the mother intakes. When not even the purest form of nutrition i.e. mother’s milk, is free from deadly chemicals how can you expect the food in your tables to be free from chemicals?

The soft drinks and bottled water were found with pesticide residues. Recently, the department of Food Technology and Quality control (DFTQC) in Nepal has found the packaged milk sold in Kathmandu is adulterated with chemicals such as washing soda and detergent chemicals to prevent the milk from curdling. Processed milk is found to be contaminated with synthetic milk in many parts of the world. In addition, noodles have been found to contain heavy metals i.e. lead yet nobody disclosed how this metal got into the noodles. When tested, it showed the ingredients had been contaminated which indirectly connects it to the agricultural land where they were grown and harvested.  The news was leaked in the newspapers which horrified people but eventually it was forgotten and no actions were taken.

It’s not only about pesticides, the eggs we buy in the market; they are haploid eggs and are produced using estrogen. When consumed, the hormones in the eggs advances puberty in women, creates gynecological, and has increased the breast development in men. People tend to choose healthy looking, shiny, ripened fruits at cheapest price to eat. However, little do we know that the uniformly yellow ripened bananas and off-season mangoes are carbon ripened which is purely a chemical poison to one’s health. This debate can be clearly won when the farmers refuse to eat their own products in the market rather they separately grow and store a healthy variety of food for themselves.

Most people are familiar with California Apples, which is exported to many counties and brought to the consumers, let’s spare a moment to think about how these apples are kept fresh for so long? Those apples are delicious and juicy from the inside but are wax coated so that they can be kept fresh for a longer duration of time. Watermelons are another fruit that is not an original, they are injected with color and growth hormones to make them have a redder flesh and grow larger. This can also be seen in common vegetables such as, bottle gourd which mature the very next day, and are refrigerated, the pointed gourd where green coloration is added. All of these changes and chemicals indirectly and directly affect human health.  

Nowadays, genetically modified foods are being introduced like ‘Bt brinjal’. To reduce the surplus of pesticides to the environment scientists thought why not produce pesticides in plants themselves so that whichever insect eats the plants will die. What happens to people when they consume the food that can kill insects?

After all these examples, everyone should really think, is it food that is being eaten or poison? With plenty of examples to know what is actually being consumed it is taken too casually and the dots not connected. We think if we buy food at a repeatable place or eat in a good hotel, that it’s safe, this is untrue. Our food is only healthy as it is grown. Only 1% of the pesticides used in agriculture actually kill the insects, the other 99% run off into the water supplies affecting the environment and stay of the food people eat. People will spend large amount of money on clothes, houses, beauty products, etc but want food at the cheapest possible price, ignoring the organic foods which are also available in the market due to their high price.

It is said, ‘Health is wealth.’ So, it’s high time people make the right choice about their food so as to be healthy. We need to understand what agriculture leaves before it comes to our plate. IPM practices and sustainable agriculture approach can be applied to reduce the use of chemical fertilizers. Farmers need to know the right dose of fertilizers and the right time to harvest crops after the use of pesticides or other chemicals. Organic farming should be highly encouraged. The upcoming agriculturists need to be part of the solution rather than part of the problem. The end-of-pipe solution doesn’t work. Change is needed for both farmers and consumers, otherwise, the future is bleak.

 

Poonam Bhatt

B.Sc. Agriculture

Himalayan College Of Agricultural Sciences and Technology (HICAST)

PoonamBhatt

  • Nepal Youth Poonam Bhatt

3 Comments

Sandhya Adhikari

  • Sandhya Adhikari says :
    Hello poonam sis,
    Indeed you had clearly presented about the presence of pesticides and its residues on every daily consuming food items. Of course this is the burning issues that we must look forward for its consequences.
    Keep writing such a beautiful report
    Green Cheers!!!
    Posted 19-08-2019 10:27

Nishan kc

  • Nishan kc says :
    @Poonam, Exactly indeed nowdays I think we are consuming poison because the extensive use of pestisides in all product that has made this circumstance.
    Nice report. Keep writing!
    Cheers!

    Posted 19-08-2019 01:59

Patrick  Obumselu

  • Patrick Obumselu says :
    This is a serious issue we need to look into. Am so shocked at pesticide residues can be found in breast milk sample
    Posted 18-08-2019 07:30

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