We are constantly being told by companies such as Monsanto, that the pesticides used in more conventional farming are harmless, but this farmer disagrees.
Farmer Jim Cochran decide to stop using pesticides and go 100% natural after he found he was being poisoned by the chemicals he was using on his crops.
Jim Cochran now runs the first large-scale organic strawberry farm, after quitting using pesticides 35 years ago. In 1981 Jim noticed a change when he started growing conventional strawberries, and using pesticides like everyone else did.
He said “My eyes started to water, and I started to get all jittery,” he went on. “I said ‘Oh boy, this is not good stuff…We have to get away from this stuff.”
There are an estimated 10-20,000 American farm workers who are poisoned by pesticides like Jim, who ended up suffering from neurological issues for months. Because of the severity of the side effects, Jim decided he was going to stop using pesticides altogether, something which was unheard of at the time.
Jim now owns Swanton Berry Farm, that attracts many visitors due to it's organic status. Organic strawberry farms are extremely rare in the US.
He now uses beneficial bugs, single row planting, crop rotations, and other classic techniques to help grow his strawberries, all methods which have been out-dated but Jim has found them to be very successful.
Jim has been active in trying to make people realise the importance of staying away from pesticides and exposing the conventional market for what it is. He has revealed that one acre of non-organic strawberries uses 300 pounds of pesticides, which is about 1,100 percent more than most crops. Many of the pesticides used on strawberries have been shown to be harmful, with methyl bromide, chloropicrin, and Telone (1,3-D) have all been linked to cancer, developmental problems, and hormone disruption.
Margaret Reeves, PhD the Senior Scientist with Pesticide Action Network has warned that current regulations are not enough; with “over 5.5 million pounds of chloropicrin” used in California alone. The strawberries were found to have over 54 different pesticides, all of which are harmful to humans and the environment.
Cochran is one a kind in his field. Many other farmers are sticking with conventional methods, knowingly selling strawberries they know are contaminated with harmful chemicals for the sake of a little more profit.
Source : organicandhealthy.org