Thursday, 30 July 2009

On my organic soapbox

This morning started so well.

I woke too early, as usual, and did a few rows of knitting in bed until such time as I could justifiably risk waking the rest of the household - knitting with organic cotton, of course.

I went down to enjoy my usual breakfast of organic Weetabix, topped with organic dried fruits and nuts and on most days a few organically grown raspberries from my garden. I took the newspaper from the letter box and there and then - mid mouthful - my nice day stopped. The front page article purported that there is no nutritional benefit from organic foods!

I was, I am, incensed. The article admits the report is only one of several and another one contradicting this evidence is soon likely to follow, and it admits that good quality data to back up any study is hard to come by, but haven't they all totally missed the point. It's not what is in the organic fruit, dairy produce, cotton etc that we buy it for, it's what's left out!

Personally I don't want to eat food with chemicals in it and I extend that reasoning to my crafting.

I have written about the effects of chemicals on the production of crafting materials on my website

The website, I'm afraid is no longer updated as it is so much quicker to show you what I'm working on in this blog, but the article will stay there for the foreseeable future.

However, if you just want a short taster, the reason I was knitting with organic cotton this morning is this:

"Cotton production is one of the world’s most chemically intensive agricultural processes. It covers just 2.5% of the earth’s agricultural land but uses approximately 22.5% of the world’s insecticides and 10% of the world’s pesticides. Its production damages wildlife, contributes to climate change and contaminates water supplies.
20,000 people die each year from pesticide poisoning, many in cotton production. Another 3 million suffer side-effects from the pesticide residues including cancer, birth defects, respiratory problems, infertility and sterility. A single teaspoon of Aldicarb, the second most used pesticide in cotton production, on the skin can kill an adult. Two thirds of cotton is grown in developing countries where the people are least able to get medical to treat the side effects."

So please, next time you are buying yarn, consider buying organic.

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