Is your certified organic product truly organic?
Some experts are now saying no because the water used in organic products is frequently contaminated by inorganic chemicals, such as synthetic fertilizers, pesticides, and herbicides, and heavy metals, such as mercury and lead. People buy organic products to avoid these chemical contaminants and reduce their exposure in the first place. Is our water supply ensuring that they will always be there?
As it turns out, many contaminants that people try to avoid by purchasing organic, toxin-free products can be found in the water used to make that product. For example, many people recommend washing organic produce in filtered water because if it is washed in unfiltered tap water, then the contaminants you were trying to avoid will then transfer to the food. This advice makes sense. So why is tap water considered safe to use in production of organic products? And safe enough for these products to keep their organic certification?
Inorganic pollutants are frequently released from chemical industries, such as refineries, fertilizers, and pharmaceuticals, and run off and contaminate our water supplies. Heavy metals and inorganic pollutants continue to have higher concentrations in our water supply than allowed. Not only are they nonbiodegradable and continue to persist in the environment, they also continue to persist in the organic products we purchase.
Examples of inorganic contaminants include: fluoride, arsenic, lead, copper, chromium, mercury, and cyanide. These contaminants can get into water from natural sources as well as industrial processes. An example of the adverse effects can be found in fluoride. Increased accumulation of fluoride allows high levels of aluminum to be absorbed, which can lead to high chances of Alzheimer’s and other diseases. Absorption of these chemicals over time can lead to increased risks of cancer, impaired brain function, Alzheimer’s, and other diseases.
The major sources of organic pollution in water come from pesticides and industrial wastes. These can cause serious health problems, such as cancers, hormonal disruption, and nervous system disorders. Pesticides mainly damage the liver and the nervous system.
Heavy metals and other inorganic pollutants in our water have the potential to create adverse physical reactions, such as sluggishness and headaches all the way to cancers and other diseases. Whether it’s through ingestion through drinking water or absorption through a product, the accumulation of these pollutants continues to build up and burden the human body. So what’s the answer?
Better water treatment is a matter that is important to the environment’s health as well as our own health. Should organic certification require higher standards for the water used? Or should water treatment plants focus on cleaner, chemical-free tap water? Even plant-based, organic products with carefully-sourced ingredients will never truly be toxin-free if they include contaminated water.
What are your thoughts on this problem? Is there a solution?
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