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Why Does Organic Matter?

        Here at Raindance, we don't see organic practices as a fleeting trend. We think that supporting organic agriculture is supporting the return to traditional methods of interacting with the earth. Instead of growing crops in a way that requires harsh chemicals, organic farmers work with the environment and the rhythms of nature so that synthetic pesticides and fertilizers are not needed. In fact, it wasn't until the mid-1900's that the widespread use of chemical pesticides and fertilizers became the norm (many of these developed from funding by the military). After they were introduced, their use spiraled out of control. When Rachel Carson published her 1962 book Silent Spring, where she argued that the public's refusal to challenge misinformation spread by the chemical companies was leading to a mass death of birds, many people became aware that there were serious downsides to synthetic pesticides. In the past few decades, their potential long-term effects have become more clear. We want to briefly explain how some of these synthetic pesticides have been shown to negatively affect the human body and the environment in general. 

       There is more and more research every year that links pesticide exposure with many health issues. For instance, the World Health Organization has recently said that the key ingredient, glyphosate, in the extremely common herbicide Round Up is a "probable human carcinogen." Also, many pesticides are designed to wreak havoc on the nervous system of insects and bugs in order to kill them. The problem is, humans, and other mammals, have the same chemical in their nervous systems that the pesticide is designed to act upon. According to an article titled, The Potential Health Effects of Pesticides published by Penn State University, "All life forms with cholinesterase in their nervous system, such as insects, fish, birds, humans, and other mammals, can be poisoned by these chemicals." These few examples are just scratching the surface of the known problematic interactions of synthetic pesticides and the human body.  
         And it isn't just humans and other mammals that are negatively affected by these toxic chemicals. The soil, the land, and the ecosystem in general can suffer long-lasting damage. Insects and other pests develop a resistance to pesticides, meaning that farmers must constantly increase the amount they use to kill the intended targets. This dependence on raising the levels of synthetic pesticides wreaks havoc on ecosystems. For instance, pesticides are thought to be the culprit behind the disappearance of honey bees across the world. Good, healthy soil is comprised of a multitude of living organisms. Synthetic pesticides can destroy the life in the soil, which in turn makes the land less fertile and depletes it of nutrients and minerals.  

         Many different plants and medicinal herbs have been ancient allies of humanity for as long as people have been around. They can have a tremendously beneficial effect on both mind and body when ingested or applied topically. However, to get the most benefit, and to avoid the things you don't want to put in your body, it becomes imperative to get the most pure and natural form of the plant. Certified organic is a great way to quickly ensure that standards and principals are being followed. Sometimes, great ingredients can't be sourced from certified organic suppliers, but they can be sourced from suppliers who are following the chemical-free spirit and ethos of the organic movement. When sourcing from suppliers who are not certified, it is important to know that the plant is cultivated and processed in a completely natural and chemical-free way (for example the Meadowfoam Oil we use which is all those things and, additionally, local & cold-pressed).