Environmental science reveals that the manufacture and use of synthetic organic compounds such as insecticides, pesticides and plasticizers are commonplace worldwide. Many of these chemicals are chlorinated hydrocarbons, a group of substances that is known to be generally poisonous to forms of life. Of greater concern though is that chlorinated hydrocarbons are carcinogenic (cancer producing) and thus, long-term exposure by users to even diluted doses increases the risk of cancer. Post-application exposure may occur during scouting, irrigation, cultivation, harvesting and the handling of seeds. Consumers of crops which have extensive chemical treatments can suffer a cumulative effect, with the potential to cause brain damage. Chlorinated hydrocarbons are among the leading causes of acute insecticide poisoning for humans and wildlife.
It should be noted that the world over, an increasing number of managers of farms are returning to natural farming. Common people are planting carrots around garages, lettuce in tubs on fire escapes, beets and cabbage in their flower beds and chives and herbs indoors.
Even vacant lots are being rented or loaned for communal planting. Research also reveals that when food costs rise, so does interest in nutrition. Nothing tastes better or is more nourishing than naturally grown fruits and vegetables ‒ vegetables rushed to the pot and steamed in very little water for just a few minutes. And yes, even eaten raw.
In tropical Guyana we can lead the way. With production from unutilised and under-utilised land space we can prevent and remedy our own ill-health caused by consuming contaminated food.
So the festive season is once again upon us.
Let us get back to eating wholesome food – not only now, but always.
We are what we eat…health is wealth
Fitz H Ogle
Association of Guyana