8 Reasons to Avoid Glyphosate Sprayed Food

[Guest Post from Emily Uebergang of The Urban Ecolife.]


The chemical Glyphosate is more commonly known for its presence in the herbicide spray Roundup®; the most widely used herbicide across the globe.

  • Genetically Engineered (GE) crop are ‘Roundup® ready’ which means that they've been genetically modified in such a way to withstand the ill effects of glyphosate.

    Whilst the manufacturer of the product, Monsanto, may deem the product as safe, you will come to learn that the effects of glyphosate are widespread; from environmental damage to its ill effect on our health.


Here are 8 reasons to avoid glyphosate sprayed food and opt for organic and sustainably produced fruits and vegetables, instead.

1. Roundup® is deemed as an environmental hazard

Monsanto was found to be guilty of false advertising by the French Courts in its claim that Roundup is ‘safe’, ‘biodegradable’ and ‘non-harmful to human health’, deeming it as an environmental hazard in the European Union.

What makes it safe for other countries?



2. Glyphosate is damaging to ecosystems

From spray drift that carries the toxins through the air, to runoff that pollutes the waterways and causes harm to aquatic life due to its high water solubility; glyphosate has a significant ecological footprint on the planet.

  • Take for example the fact that the use of glyphosate sprays have been directly linked to the decline of the Monarch Butterfly.

    It’s used to kill off Milkweed around crop; the only plant matter that the Monarch caterpillar is able to eat. By killing off it’s main food source, population numbers have dramatically fallen over the years. You can read more about this here.

 

3. Glyphosate negatively impacts the soil

Glyphosate accumulates in the soil over time and decreases the amount of organic soil matter, known as humus, which is crucial for sustainable plant growth and regeneration. Subsequently, there’s a need for synthetic fertilizers to replenish lost nutrients in order to actually grow anything. This reliability on external inputs is both costly and damaging to the environment and our health. This leads us to the next point.

4. The use of glyphosate in agriculture is unsustainable

With the continual use of glyphosate, mutations in weeds are inevitable as they adapt and become resistant over time.

  • Studies have calculated that over “23 species of weeds have been recorded, forcing Monsanto to acknowledge the problem and protect their profits by declaring that their warranty does not cover yield losses (Source).”

    Consequently, this requires further synthetic inputs in the form of stronger, more harsher herbicides; a costly cycle that simply leaves the environment and the farmer worse off.


Don’t you think time and energy is better spent finding more sustainable ways to manage and support agriculture to grow food for the future?

5. Glyphosate causes nutritional deficiencies in humans

Glyphosate targets the particular pathway (the shikimic acid pathway) of bacteria in your body, effecting how they metabolize essential amino acids (ones that can’t be produced internally and must be extracted from what you eat).

Simplistically, you are relying on the ability of your gut microbes to effectively process the food you eat in order for these nutrients to be bioavailable for your body to absorb.

  • Glyphosate inhibits this process.

 

6. It damages your gut and causes chronic health problems

Consuming glyphosate causes an imbalance in your gut microbes which allow pathogens to outnumber the beneficial bacteria, otherwise known as the condition ‘gut dysbiosis.’ (Source).

When the bad pathogens outnumber the good guys, your body essentially becomes a breeding ground for a host of chronic health problems such as food allergies, gluten intolerance, leaky gut and inflammation.

This in turn instigates many health problem seen in the Western world, such as obesity, diabetes, heart disease, autism, gastrointestinal disorders, infertility and even cancer.

7. Glyphosate inhibits your body’s natural ability to detoxify itself

Consequently, it’s a prime instigator in promoting an unfavorable environment for your beneficial gut bacteria which are also competing with the already increasing amounts of by-toxins (such as ammonia) being produced by the pathogens.

  • Glyphosate promotes the growth of pathogens in the gut!

 

8. It’s been attributed to the rising rates of Autism

Autism in the US was a rare case of 1 in 100,000 some 30 years ago. This has significantly risen to 1 in 50 children now!

Excessive levels of ammonia in the body, a byproduct of when your microbes break down glyphosate, is known to contribute to inflammation of the brain. Research into the blood samples of Autistic children show that they have significantly higher levels of ammonia to that of the general population.

 

I hope this helps you to understand the bigger picture why the use of glyphosate in agriculture is both unsustainable and harmful to our health.

  • By supporting local organic and sustainable farmers through Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) projects, which also often help to make organic food more affordable, or by shopping at local farmers markets and avoiding Genetically Modified foods, you will decrease your exposure to these toxins and will be doing your health, and the environment, a service.


 Emily Uebergang is an urban hippie who’s on a mission to help city dwellers design and live more sustainable lifestyles. Sharing her love for mother nature, real food and sustainability, she writes like she’s out to try and save the world or something.

She blogs at The Urban Ecolife. You can also follow her on Facebook or Google+.

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