Monday, September 12, 2011

Musings: Pile on the Poisons

The full moon, which I watched rise from a purple-black mass and beam a shimmering path across a dappled sea, had long since been swallowed by the thick bank of gray atop Waialeale when the dogs and I went walking this dawn beneath a pale sprinkling of stars.

The moon is in Pisces, which I have always found to be a fine time for planting, and sure enough, some of the taro huli that I tucked into the soil yesterday morning had already begun to leaf by day’s end. Every time I look out there, I think of how I was told I had to use poison to get the guinea grass under control. Instead, I dug it up and created an organic garden.

When are we going to stop drenching the `aina with poison? Especially since new research published in the respected journal Pediatrics has linked pesticides in food to Attention Deficit Hyperactive Disorder (ADHD). According to an article published on

Children with substantially higher levels of a breakdown product of neurotoxic organophosphate pesticides were twice as likely to be diagnosed with ADHD.

"It's mainly exposure through food. Diet is the driver," says pediatrician and public health expert Phil Landrigan, MD, professor and chair of the department of community and preventive medicine at Mount Sinai School of Medicine in New York City. "For most people, diet is the predominant source. It's been shown that people who switch to an organic diet knock down the levels of pesticide by-products in their urine by 85 to 90 percent."

The study looked at organophosphates, a class of pesticides that includes the ubiquitous Roundup, which is sprayed so wantonly all over our beautiful island.

The problem is compounded by the proliferation of genetically modified food — pretty much all the corn and soy products found in the supermarket — because those crops are engineered to withstand massive applications of Roundup.

Just something to think about as our “leaders” continue to embrace the GMO-intensive, pesticide-drenched seed industry that has taken over the Westside.

The article reports the conclusion of university researchers: parents should buy organic for their kids.

That's great, except organics generally cost more. So it’s the rich people’s kids who get to stay healthy and the poor people’s kids who get to consume the pesticide-contaminated food that makes them prone to develop ADHD, which in turn makes it hard for them to do well in school and gets them branded as troublemakers and too often results in a prescription for some sort of drug that will further screw up their health and thus their lives....

Of course, the production of these poisons has its own downside — tons of molten slag — as a photo and caption in Discover pointed out:

The slag, which typically includes some radioactive uranium and radium in addition to calcium minerals, is the waste product from the conversion of phosphate ore to phosphorus. Monsanto operates the only such plant in the United States and uses the phosphorus to produce glyphosate, the main ingredient in the herbicide Roundup. According to the EPA, each pound of phosphorus produced generates about four pounds of slag. Monsanto’s Soda Springs plant produces more than 200 million pounds of phosphorus each year.

Ah, yes. Better living through chemicals.

As for me, I'll just keep digging up the guinea grass, one clump at a time.


Anonymous said...

It is good, i think, to consider when using astrological signs......that western astrology is 2000 years behind the times. If one actually takes the time to look at the position of the stars, the sun, and the will find that the signs now actually begin about one month later than they did at the time of jesus. Pisces now begins just before the spring equinox. Kauai is the perfect place for learning more about the starry heavens above.....we are so blessed with such a clear and beautiful night sky!!

Anonymous said...

Pesticides: another by-product of the ubiquitous militrary-industtrial=pharmaceutical complex. Yes, it's another great day for Monsanto and another feather in its cap(ital)!

Anonymous said...

"Rich people eat organic...poor people eat [junk]...."

I know plenty "poor" people eating well and plenty "rich" people eating junk...

Our family is not rich. We instead choose to drive cars that are 15 years old, live in a simple, low rent home and spend more money on food so that we can eat very well.

Perhaps we need to educate the lower income people on how to eat healthy and how to shop for food? Processed food, even cheap kind, can be very expensive.

Anonymous said...

You are not growing anything "Organic" if you use water from the County water supply.Chlorine in every drop.The major difference between first and third world water supply is....chlorine. I doubt even todays rain water is "Organic".