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Most conventional farming methods today are increasingly dependent on chemicals. The toxic chemicals are used for various reasons, (for example quicker production purposes, pesticides, keeping food fresher longer, the list goes on) and no matter the reason, those chemicals end up in our soil. Rain falls and causes all of these chemicals to move from the source, such as a farm, and it seeps into streams, rivers, soil, and more. The damage these toxins do are something to be concerned about.

According to Grower’s Organic, these conventional methods have adversely affected soil quality, water purity, biodiversity, safety and health of both animals and humans, survival of family farms, and knowledge of where and how our food is being made.

Just to paint a picture of the damage I’m talking about, here is an example. A recent study by the German Research Centre for Environmental Health has found that the repeated application of manure that is contaminated with antibiotics causes irreparable damage and change to the composition of bacteria in our soil. The antibiotic used in many farming industries, sulfadiazine, commonly referred to as SDZ, was the main focus of this study. It is one of the most commonly used antibiotics in animal husbandry, and it leads to a decrease in beneficial soil bacteria, but at the same time increases the bacteria that is harmful to humans.

Professor Michael Schloter, head of Research Unit Environmental Genomics at Helmholtz Zentrum München, explained “The number of microbes living in the soil that are harmful to humans increased under the experimental conditions of the study.”

He continues, “reaching consequences for human health. We are in continous contact with these microorganisms, and the probability of contracting an infection increases accordingly. This applies particularly to diseases of the respiratory system and the lungs, as bacteria are spread through the air and inhaled.

Many of the bacteria are resistant to commonly used antibiotics, making treatment more difficult and putting humans at more of a health risk.

Professor Schloter suggests, “We must therefore urgently develop a new mindset as regards the use of antibiotics in animal husbandry.”

Long story short, if all farming was organic and did not include these chemical dependent methods, this would not be an issue.

Organic farming is a safe and healthy alternative to chemical and conventional farming. Organic farming is simply a method of farming that coincides with nature, rather than altering and controlling it. It encourages biodiversity, water and soil quality, there is no risk of chemicals, pesticides, or animal antibiotics that cause bacteria growth, it minimalizes farmer and consumer health risks, and it encourages the maintaining of a sustainable and growing ecosystem.

So, next time you are driving by a local food stand or have the option to take the easy way out and buy from a non-organic source, ask yourself this; is my consumption of this product helping or hurting the environment?

If you are choosing organic food, the answer will always be a proud, loud, and positive one.