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Poison Apples

Pesticides are things we use everyday, whether we just garden as a hobby or make a living off our crops. Do we really know the effect they can have, not only on our environment, but on ourselves?

Each year, thousands of people suffer from the affect of pesticide poisoning. These side effects range from minor headaches to death. I’d always thought an apple a day would keep the doctor away—not bring him.

Pesticides exist on the food we eat everyday; this includes apples and other fruits and vegetables. They’re unavoidable. It’s estimated that five thousand people in China alone suffer from the effects of pesticide poisoning every year. Out of that number, five hundred people die. The poisonous chemicals used on crops, stays on crops. This poses many problems to the consumers who eat the crops: us.

Pesticides that farmers commonly use on their crops have been linked to brain disorders and some types of cancers. Originally meant to kill off pests, pesticides also end up killing us.

So why do we continue to eat poisoned apples and not switch to organic? It’s all about the price. Consumers are demanding more food, forcing farmers to grow more crops. As always, insects will try to eat the farmers’ livelihood, so the farmers will kill off the bugs using pesticides. They aren’t doing anything wrong; pesticides are approved for use on food—although some pesticides are the most deadly poisons known to man. Pesticides allow farmers to grow more crops cheaply, which please consumers. It’s really an endless cycle. The consumers demand, the farmers grow, and the consumers consume, which brings it back to the beginning.

How can we break the cycle and stop playing Snow White? We could start by demanding different food: organic food.

Organic food poses no danger to us—or any other living being—because pesticides aren’t used on them. No pesticides, means no poisons. Eating organic also has many benefits for us AND the environment.

Organic food eliminates pesticide runoff, loss of topsoil, and soil contamination. This means that farmers won’t have to worry about their land becoming unfertile. Consumers would benefit from eating organic as well. On average, organic food is 25% more nutritious than the poison apples we typically consume. Organic eating also had the potential to lower the likeliness of getting cancer, diabetes, allergies, and migraines. Sounds much better than eating poisonous apples that would give us those health issues, doesn’t it? So, why haven’t we switched to organic produce if it’s so much better for us?

It all goes back to the price. Organic food isn’t exactly easy to grow in bulk—mainly because of the bugs that pesticides are used to eliminate. Without pesticide usage, farmers already know that they are going to lose crops and have less than their non-organic competitors. This drives up the price of organic food, making it more expensive than pesticide produce. It’s the cycle all over again. But, aren’t a few dollars (which help the economy) worth less than your health?

We, the consumers, are the ones who decide what we buy. It’s up to us what role we play, whether it’s Snow White or the charming prince. It’s our choice. Poison apples or organic produce?



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FayrouzThis teenager is a 'regular' and has contributed a lot of work, comments and/or forum posts, and has received many votes and high ratings over a long period of time. This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. said...
Dec. 29, 2011 at 1:05 pm:
I like how you are very strong about your opinion, but I have to disagree: organic food is expensive..6 bucks a gallon for organic milk?? 4 dollars for three organic tomatoes?? I think that we can use pesticides on our produce...just make sure that the health effect is minimized. I know I won't buy organic food until it is cheaper for sure. Anyway, it would be nice if you cited your sources, just for credibility :) even though I believe you!
 
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