The main concept of organic gardening is growing vegetables, fruits, herbs, crops, and other plants without the use of chemical fertilizers. Organic gardening means that we need to buy seeds guaranteed to be free from genetic contamination.
One of the purposes we do organic gardening, aside from the fact that it adds appeal to our homes and backyard, is that through it, we can harvest safe to consume food sources.
If we look at how this type of gardening benefits us and the environment, we also find out it also helps address worldwide concerns regarding food safety and security. It is the solution to hunger and food scarcity.
At first, we do not feel the existence of these concerns because grocery stores are never short of food supplies and products. Baby foods, baking and cooking ingredients, and preserved goods are always available to the consumers. We tend to forget looking at the product’s label most of the time. Even if we do, we may find nothing unusual about the product.
Let us go back to the importance of communication. Because most large companies are not that transparent, some are doubtful whether or not the product is safe to consume (even if it is approved by authorities). We are not sure whether it is made from organic food sources or a product of genetic engineering.
Some of us could have heard of the term “GM, genetic engineering, or biotechnology”, while others don’t have the slightest idea about it. Genetic engineering enables scientists and experts to modify, alter, silence, intensify, or replicate the genes of a plant, bacteria, and other living organisms. We have to keep in mind that through GE, plants do not reproduce naturally. Scientists do this to make the plant weather-resistant or pesticide-resistant. GE also enables for the creation of a plant that is resistant to viral and bacterial infestation. We see there is nothing wrong with it, while others see there is.
What is wrong with genetic engineering?
First, we do not know what the GE products’ effects are on our health. Since it is human, not nature, that replicates the specific plant variety, we can only think of the product as something artificial. We do not know if GE products are safe for those with immune system problems, including those with allergy. We may not notice that these products have a long-term effect on the DNA or cells of humans. We may get sterile or may not be able to have an offspring because of the GE product’s effect on our reproductive organs. We never know if GE products have hidden side effects on humans, whether they are short-term or long-term.
We may wonder why we are obese while others are malnourished. Obesity may result from too much consumption of processed foods. These include flour, shortening, and the likes processed to discard the food source’s nutrients. These could be the ingredients in a cake. Needless to say, flour and refined products may be made from corn or sugar beets. It is possible that some taco shells are made from GM corns.
Malnutrition is a continually existing issue. This is not new to us. People trying to fight hunger have no choice, but to consume cheap food sources, and these are the ones without much nutritional value. These are the GM staple foods that include corn and rice.
The proof that there is food shortage is the continued practice of genetic engineering. Scientists see this as the only way to meet the demands of the growing population. Using GE is just an excuse of large companies to address food scarcity. They do it to profit, and monopolize the market.
Second, GE plants can interbreed, or can spread to non-GE environments. This is not a good scenario as this interbreeding may not be safe for the ecosystem. Once these GE seeds spread to wide areas of a land, they can never be removed by any means.
Is there anything we can do to ensure that the products we consume are safe and nutritious?
There is one thing we can do, and this is creating our own organic garden. We have the option to become one of those doing organic gardening with a purpose. Through this, we can access organic food sources for a long period of time. This guarantees that we are free from allergies. We lessen the chances of becoming obese if we consume these fruits, veggies, and even herbs.
Organic gardening benefits the ecosystem, too. We help prevent soil erosion because with organic gardening, we only use small tools and our hands to plant the seeds. Plowing in agriculture causes massive destruction of the soil. The nutrients in it are washed away together with the soil and chemical fertilizers when flooding and erosion occurs.
If we are all just aware of what is happening in our environment and the food supply, we will opt for better and natural means to address health and environmental issues.