Food today is not what it used to be. We like to think that when we are eating, that we are consuming wholesome grains and vitamin rich vegetables. Realistically, we are eating nutritionally empty foods filled with chemicals from pesticides, herbicides and fertilizers. If you eat non-organic celery, you could be consuming up to 67 different chemicals and even washing your produce does little to insure that those nasty counterparts are washed away. In a study performed by the USDA, even power washing vegetables and fruits didn’t remove the harmful hitchhikers. Many chemicals are absorbed into the fruit or vegetable when pesticides are sprayed several times over the growth cycle of the plant. Pesticides are only one part of the problem. Inorganic or synthetic fertilizers are used in mass quantities as farmers try to replenish the soil devoid of any nutrients left to grow the plant, leaving chemical remnants in the produce and still failing to replace what Mother Nature originally intended.
The health impact of consuming pesticides still isn’t completely known but the government says that pesticides in low amounts won’t harm you. However there are studies that show a link between pesticides and health problems such as cancer, attention-deficit (hyperactivity) disorder in children and nervous system disorders. Some studies suggest that pesticide exposure can even weaken immune systems. Dr. Philip Landrigan, chairman of the department of preventive medicine at Mount Sinai School of Medicine in New York says that children are the most vulnerable.
Why should we even take that risk? Pesticides are designed to kill things and come with all kinds of horrific labels and warnings for handling. Yet we eat them. It just doesn’t make sense. Workers are covered from head to toe in chemical suites with respirators and gloves and in some instances have to go through special detox/cleanup procedures after handling. But the government and big agribusiness want consumers to think its ok.
Another huge benefit in eating organic is that organic standards do not allow GMO or genetically modified crops or ingredients. Corporate moguls like Monsanto have gained approval for GM crops such as alfalfa, corn, soy and more. So not only should consumers be concerned about the produce they eat, but also what is being fed the livestock that becomes the meat and dairy products we then call breakfast, lunch and dinner.
So, how does aquaponics relate to all this? Aquaponically grown produce is 100% chemical and synthetic free. It is absolutely pure, unadulterated food. The fish can not tolerate the chemicals, so why should we?