Thursday, January 7, 2010

Our Chemical Friends

Pesticides are awesome.

WAIT! Don't leave all you noble environmentalists, I'm going somewhere with this, and believe it or not, pesticides are good for the earth.

Pesticides have recieved a bad rap over the years and, hey, why not. Afterall they are chemicals and chemicals are harmful. I mean I would never, no matter how much money you gave me, chug a bottle of Windex or anything.

But then again who in their right mind would drink Windex. So people keep on spraying it on windows to provide that streak-free shine and everyone is happy.

I believe that pesticides are the same as Windex, if you use them correctly no one should be hurt, and they provide a lot of benefits.

Without pesticides our world would probably be a lot different and I'm betting a lot worse off. That apple you ate today or thoes bananas and strawberries you used in your smoothie probably werent mushy or bruised or worm infested rigtht? That's the work of pesticides. That also goes for the food that goes to food banks and to people in other nations that can't afford fruit and vegetables regularly. Pesticides help yield more of those crops so more people can eat.

Now I'll be the first to admit that pesticides can be very dangerous and cause tremendous health problems. BUT thats only if they are used irresponsibly and incorrectly. Eating too much salt can also have adverse effects on the body, as Supersize proved, and so can a lot of other things, chemical or not. So pesticides aren't the big bad bullies on the playground, they are just like any other kid.

Well how about those organic alternatives, they seem pretty good and healthy? And sometimes its true, some farmers actually grow their stuff without anything except good ol' fertilizer, water and sun, but many others use so-called "organic substances" to get that nice crisp look on that lettuce. The problem with these substances is that they aren't tested anywhere near as rigourously as the chemical ones and may even be a lot more dangerous.

Let me give you a snapshot of how carefully chemical pesticides are tested. After 10 years and around $200 million of testing its decided whether the product is safe for the market. The level of chemical in the pesticide is 1000 times less then the highest safe amount for humans. That is like figuring that the fastest speed limit that is safe on the highway is 100 km/hr and then reducing the speed limit to 0.1 km/hr. that would make it a heck of a lot harder to get in an accident eh?

And pesticides can also reduce global warming. Yep that's right help REDUCE global warming. Strong healthy grass and foliage (made so by pesticides) can suck in a lot more of that nasty carbon floating around out there then unhealthy foliage, or none at all.

And if not for pesticides then where would industries like golf be. In the drink, thats where. Billions of dollars of GDP would be lost, jobs gone in a blink of an eye and we would have no Tiger Woods to gossip about. What would we ever do then to occupy our time?

So pesticides aren't all that bad. I think the negative stereotypes come from misinformation. From the very begginging we are taught that chemicals are bad and therefore pesticides are too. A lot of us don't even bother to question that. But we're all guilty of accepting things as they are sometimes. But maybe we should question things more. That doesn't mean that there's a conspiracy or scandal behind everything, it simply means know the facts, do some research.

So get to know pesticides a little more. And who knows, you might even end up liking them.


  1. awesome entry marc! I definitely did not see the positives that come with using pesticides at all... thanks for expanding my horizons! haha seriously though, great entry :D

  2. You are absolutely correct about not just accepting what might seem like legitimate comments without looking at both sides. Pesticides are tested and approved by Health Canada and when used correctly there is no evidence that they pose a hazard to human health. Like most other things in life, I'm sure they can be abused but that doesn't mean that the 90% of the population or more that wouldn't abuse these products shouldn't have access to them. Keep on posting (but check your spelling!!!)

  3. I love how you make important issues so interesting! And funny... the windex analogy was brilliant :)