Self-Sufficient Living | Homesteading | Gardening

Glyphosate: The Silent Threat

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Glyphosate is a broad-spectrum herbicide that is found in Roundup weed killer – produced by Monsanto – and is the most commonly used brand among farmers around the world. The reason most farmers use Roundup is because they are planting Roundup Ready GMO crops. This means that the crops are genetically altered so that farmers can spray them over and over with Roundup but the crops themselves will never suffer because they’re resistant to the herbicide, but everything else around it (weeds, insects, some small animals) will die.

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In recent years, the Institute for Responsible Technology has done a lot to educate the public about the dangers of GMO foods and Roundup/Glyphosate. Glyphosate specifically contributes to nutritional deficiencies and system toxicity overload, linking it to numerous health problems such as IBS, Crohn’s Disease, obesity, depression, cancer, Parkinson’s Disease, infertility, and others. You can get more information about the specific health risks here.

I won’t even mention the problems with mixing up DNA cocktails and injecting them into our food. I’ll save that one for another time.

We at selfsufficient.com encourage you to turn to other means to limit weeds and remove pests from your crops. Part of being self sufficient is taking care of your health and planting GMO seeds and using Roundup isn’t doing that. I personally recommend discovering the beauty and strength of heirloom seeds. Baker Creek (rareseeds.com) and many others lead the way against GMO crops. I usually buy from a combination of Baker’s Creek, Grower’s Network, and Richter’s each year to get everything I want for medicinal or vegetable/fruit seeds.

Using a barrier method for weeds on a smaller scale garden is always a great option, meaning you lay down heavy mulch or mulch and landscaping fabric over your beds or rows and plant through that to avoid weeding as much. Simple items like wood ashes, soap, or sesame oil can eliminate most pests on your vegetable crops. We’ve listed some resources below that will also work for larger farms too.

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In the grocery store, you can limit your exposure of glyphosate by selecting your food more carefully. Anything non-GMO is a great way to start since it’s less likely to have been sprayed with Roundup and can be cheaper than food marked as organic, but organic is also another option. It doesn’t mean it hasn’t been sprayed with some type of chemical, but the danger level of organic foods are drastically lower than conventional food. Just looking at pesticide exposure alone is frightening when you consider that these chemicals are made to work on the nervous systems of insects. Does that mean it won’t also affect our nervous systems? If you think about where the pesticides are stored in the human body (adipose, or fatty tissue) and then look at what our nervous system is primarily comprised of (50-70% fat) then it’s more likely we will be negatively affected by pesticides in our food and environment.

Pesticides can’t easily be washed away, either. The dangers of pesticides to farming families around the world is well known to scientists, who still don’t seem to be terribly interested in studying it. Then there’s the environmental damage that pesticide run-off has done to the global fishing industry: large dead zones where no fish can be found ruins many local economies as well as the health of the people.

Organic foods that are raised properly (meaning that the soil is enriched and it’s not some limp hydroponics nightmare) is so much more nutritious for your body. Stanford did a study a few years ago claiming that there was no difference between conventional and organic produce but I don’t believe that they tested things properly when I can tell the difference in nutrients just by tasting. There are also other studies available that look at factors more closely.

If you aren’t sure what food is or is not GMO, the NonGMO Project can help with printable, up to date lists.

Resources and References:

http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2013/06/09/monsantoroundup-herbicide.aspx

http://www.nytimes.com/1987/08/23/us/farming-without-chemicals-age-old-technologies-becoming-state-of-art.html?pagewanted=all

http://blogs.worldwatch.org/nourishingtheplanet/five-ways-to-get-rid-of-pests-without-using-chemicals/

http://www.networx.com/article/11-ways-to-control-weeds-without-chemica

http://modernfarmer.com/2015/01/magical-new-way-fight-weeds-without-herbicides/

http://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/nutrition-and-healthy-eating/in-depth/organic-food/art-20043880

What’s your take on this? Have you studied either for or against pesticides or Monsanto? Please share your thoughts below.

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