Recently, UK newspapers covered a landmark report published by the European Parliament. The report warns of the increasing evidence of the dangers of insecticides and pesticides and backs organic foods.
Here, our resident Enivronmental Scientist Tim Field offers his views on why we welcome the study here at Daylesford.
Be it fruit, vegetables, cereals, pulses, meat or dairy – nourishing food provides the building blocks for growth, development and good health through life. It is why we celebrate organic food for its higher levels of good things – like Omega 3 fatty acids and flavonoids – and less of the bad, like pesticide residues.
Pesticides and other biocides are specifically designed to disrupt biological activity to protect crops. It may come as no surprise that the disruptive properties of biocides are not always restricted to the target species (the pest) and there is increasing concern that residues from insecticides are contributing to a range of problems including harm to the brain, falling IQ of the population, the cause of some cancers and harm to the reproductive system. Recently published research commissioned by the European Parliament’s Scientific Foresight Unit are the latest to identify the risks of pesticides. Daylesford welcomes the study; although not conclusive, it does recognise the value of eating organic for lower levels of pesticide exposure.
Observations from the farm this month are enough to reaffirm this thought.
Otters marking their territory on the river bank; a lizard perched on the beehives warming in the morning sun; fifty buzzards and red kites circling the freshly mown sainfoin fields.
Over the past century these species have seen dramatic population crashes – attributed in part to the increasing usage of complex biocides. It is heartening, and reassuring, to see such species abundance and diversity thrive on the Daylesford Farm; a symbol of a clean environment from which I shall gladly eat my lunch.
For more insights from Tim, read his Farm & Field Volume 1 blog.
This initiative supports the UN Sustainable Development Goals.