one green planet
one green planet

It’s funny (or sad) to think that, once upon a time, the “Green Revolution” centered around chemical fertilizers and biocides—pesticides, herbicides, fungicides, insecticides, etc.—as the future of food. By the late 1960s, agriculture had taken a dramatic shift from largely organic to techno.

Of course, at this point, many gardeners have come to reject these petrochemical “solutions” of yesteryear. Science has slowly but certainly revealed that those once-celebrated agrochemicals have seriously negative effects on human health and the environment, and experience has proven that the food produced isn’t as good, nutritionally or scrumptiously.

Biocides and other chemical-based garden additives simply aren’t good for the garden. They cause more permanent or long-lasting damage than any benefit they may seem to provide. There are just so many ways.

Source: Dr. Denise DeBusk Valencia College/Youtube

1. Wind and Water

Biocides rarely get precisely where they are intended to go, and they almost ubiquitously reach places they don’t belong. The wind carries spray application of biocides, often sweeping them into surrounding fields, farms, and forests. Even when biocides make it to the right garden, water will likely wash much of it away, draining into our clean creeks, rivers, and lakes.

2. Groundwater

The best-case scenario with biocides and fertilizers is that they are put where they are intended to go. Unfortunately, when these chemicals are absorbed into the gardens upon which they are implied, they begin a subterranean descent into our groundwater supply, the cleanest water source we have.

Source: Jimi Sol/Youtube

3. Soil Life

What keeps soils naturally fertile are all the creatures, from large rodents to microbes, living in the soil. “Biocide” literally means life (bio) killer (cide). Even if a pesticide kills the pests it’s intended for, it will also kill or sicken lots of other soil life and ultimately rob the ecosystem of its biodiversity. Herbicides will destroy all sorts of plants working to prevent erosion, maintain nutrient cycles, and keep the ecosystem humming.

4. Beneficial Insects and Animals

Amongst the lifeforms that are affected by agrochemicals are beneficial insects like bees and butterflies as well as helpful animals like frogs and lizards. Some of these animals are integral to pollinating the garden, and others are ironically great natural pest control. Of course, even if all the pests die, the beneficial insects and animals have nothing to eat. They are either going to starve out or leave.

Source: MalariaGEN/Youtube

5. Resistance Cycle

As more and more agrochemicals are introduced into an ecosystem, the “weeds” and “pests” they are meant for become increasingly resistant to them. Farmers and gardeners need to use more of the agrochemical, stronger versions of it, and ultimately a new and improved agrochemical. It’s a vicious cycle with more and more reliance on chemical solutions because all of the biological ones—the beneficial insects and animals—have been destroyed.

6. The Production

In reality, gardens have not proven to be more productive with agrochemicals. Due to resistant cycles, soil destruction, and ineffective application, biocides simply aren’t a long-term solution in any garden. With agrochemicals, the cost of production goes up and up, and the cost to the environment gets worse and worse. They may have been sold (and still being sold) as the best way to grow food, but that’s just not the case. The food they produce isn’t even as healthy.

Source: Mark Hyman, MD/Youtube

7. Humans

Pesticides, herbicides, and fungicides are essentially poison. Using them is intentionally putting poison in the garden, the same gardens from which we eat tomatoes, lettuce, cucumbers, corn, potatoes, apples, rice, oats, and every other plant we consume. Even after the veggies and so on have been washed, remnants of these toxins often remain either on or within the food. Humans now suffer all sorts of ailments as a result of agrochemicals, both the farmers using them and consumers eating them.

There are natural ways to add fertility to the soil. There are natural ways of combatting weeds. There are natural ways of, even natural sprays for mitigating pests. And, that’s yet another good reason we shouldn’t be using biocides.

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