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Pesticides used in organic farming? - Dhamma Wheel

Pesticides used in organic farming?

Exploring Theravāda's connections to other paths. What can we learn from other traditions, religions and philosophies?
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Lazy_eye
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Pesticides used in organic farming?

Postby Lazy_eye » Fri Jun 11, 2010 5:57 pm

[Note: this is a cross-posting; original message is at Dharmawheel]

Ok, Mr. Naive here thought that when I go to the store and buy organic vegetables, I am getting something which was produced without the use of toxic pesticides. However, it appears this is not the case.

Pesticides can be used in organic farming as long as they are "natural" rather than "synthetic". But of course this distinction tells us nothing about whether the pesticides are actually harmful. Lots of things in nature are toxic to humans. And because some natural pesticides are not as efficient, we're faced with the possibility that organic farmers use them in massive quantities, thus endangering our health even more than is the case with the non-organic equivalents.

So here's my question: where can I get specific information about specific organic products and what pesticides were used?

Where can I find products which were not produced using any form of pesticide? Have any comparisons been done showing the relative dangers of different types of pesticides, whether synthetic or organic?

I'm willing to make the effort and choose organic products if they are actually beneficial, but it's a bit ridiculous to spend the extra money if they're just as toxic as the mass-production stuff, no?

Thoughts, pointers, resources appreciated.... and apologies for the undoubtedly high ignorance levels on display in what I've written above.

LE

PeterB
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Re: Pesticides used in organic farming?

Postby PeterB » Fri Jun 11, 2010 6:36 pm

A dilution of nicotine is frequently used as it breaks down quickly into non toxic compounds.
As are highly toxic compounds of vegetable origin used as insecticides.
Its advisable to wash all fruit and veg before eating even so called " organically grown " produce.
Its actually a nomenclature that will not bear too close an examination..

Mawkish1983
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Re: Pesticides used in organic farming?

Postby Mawkish1983 » Fri Jun 11, 2010 6:55 pm

Why not have a go at growing your own? Probably the best way. I tried, and failed :)

Mukunda
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Re: Pesticides used in organic farming?

Postby Mukunda » Fri Jun 11, 2010 7:26 pm

To make things even more complicated, different certifying organizations have different standards. :cookoo:

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Rui Sousa
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Re: Pesticides used in organic farming?

Postby Rui Sousa » Fri Jun 11, 2010 7:59 pm

It is very hard to farm anything without using pesticides and fertilizers.

All I can grow in my backyard is lettuce, and they don't look as green and healthy as what you see on vegetable stands. Mine usually have lots of spiders, caterpillars, snails and flies. Last year I tried to grow broccoli, but all I could do was to give very substantial meals to hundreds of snails. Since I refused to use pesticides that would kill the snails, I ate no broccoli :)

Each country as different legislation on organic/biological food, but as far as i know the focus of legislators is avoiding toxic substances to be ingested by humans, they do not have concerns for pests. Therefor homemade, or not processed, pesticides are usually accepted in organic/biological food, but for the bugs poison is poison, and they will get killed for us to have our food, be it vegetable or animal.

I believe that is way the Buddha urged people to join the Holy Life, and not to stop eating meat. Vegetables may not be as bloody as a steak, but there is also killing involved in vegetable farming.
With Metta

Mukunda
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Re: Pesticides used in organic farming?

Postby Mukunda » Fri Jun 11, 2010 8:59 pm


Mawkish1983
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Re: Pesticides used in organic farming?

Postby Mawkish1983 » Fri Jun 11, 2010 9:06 pm

'not to eat' doesn't equal 'to not eat'. It might have been clearer to have said 'the Buddha didn't urge people to become vegetarian'.

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Rui Sousa
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Re: Pesticides used in organic farming?

Postby Rui Sousa » Fri Jun 11, 2010 9:25 pm

With Metta

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Annapurna
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Re: Pesticides used in organic farming?

Postby Annapurna » Fri Jun 11, 2010 9:58 pm

http://www.schmuckzauberei.blogspot.com/

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cooran
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Re: Pesticides used in organic farming?

Postby cooran » Fri Jun 11, 2010 10:11 pm

Hello Annapurna,

Thanks for your info.

Just to clarify if you don't mind .... which of the pesticides you mention (which are harmless to beings in human form) kill beings presently in other forms - I think you mentioned lice?

It would be good to know of more deterrents which don't kill, but simply make the plant unattractive to insects.

with metta
Chris
---The trouble is that you think you have time---
---Worry is the Interest, paid in advance, on a debt you may never owe---
---It's not what happens to you in life that is important ~ it's what you do with it ---

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Annapurna
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Re: Pesticides used in organic farming?

Postby Annapurna » Fri Jun 11, 2010 10:25 pm

http://www.schmuckzauberei.blogspot.com/

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cooran
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Re: Pesticides used in organic farming?

Postby cooran » Fri Jun 11, 2010 10:32 pm

Thanks Anna - my son and his partner (not buddhists) are starting a vegetable garden soon (and a herb garden) - so I'm hoping to encourage them in the best direction.

with metta
Chris
---The trouble is that you think you have time---
---Worry is the Interest, paid in advance, on a debt you may never owe---
---It's not what happens to you in life that is important ~ it's what you do with it ---

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Annapurna
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Re: Pesticides used in organic farming?

Postby Annapurna » Fri Jun 11, 2010 10:40 pm

Oh! Now I get it, it's late and I'm almost :zzz:

Nicotine kills.

Pyrethrum kills.

Nettle kills.

The worst stuff is traps with glue.

They suffer so long, until they pass, caught in the glue, wriggling. I hate that.

************************************************************************

Repellents: Lavender, Crab Apple, ---I will have to look it up, to be honest, because I don't need it a lot.

Using no poisons here attracts birds and insects which keep other creatures at bay.

Sometimes there are problems, but usually as soon as something appears, something else appears too.

I just use a bit of fertilizer, cut and mow, and water.

I discovered bad slug damage on plants snd was unhappy.

I caught a handful of them and carried them away, but this morning I found hedgehog shit on the walkway...I guess somebody is busy at night.
http://www.schmuckzauberei.blogspot.com/

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Annapurna
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Re: Pesticides used in organic farming?

Postby Annapurna » Fri Jun 11, 2010 10:44 pm

http://www.schmuckzauberei.blogspot.com/

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Lazy_eye
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Re: Pesticides used in organic farming?

Postby Lazy_eye » Sat Jun 12, 2010 3:54 am

Thanks everyone -- this is exactly the kind of specific info I was looking for. Anna, I replied to you over at dharmawheel.

What I'm getting here is that although organic farming also uses pesticides, the non-synthetic, natural types used break down more quickly, leave fewer residues and in general are less toxic to humans. Is that correct?

I had overlooked the first precept angle when I wrote the OP, but this is important too. I doubt the problem can be avoided in commercial organic farming due to cost and labor issues. Maybe homesteading is the better choice, at least for those who can be successful at it.

Namaste,

LE

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mikenz66
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Re: Pesticides used in organic farming?

Postby mikenz66 » Sat Jun 12, 2010 4:06 am


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Annapurna
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Re: Pesticides used in organic farming?

Postby Annapurna » Sat Jun 12, 2010 7:51 am

Last edited by Annapurna on Sat Jun 12, 2010 8:41 am, edited 1 time in total.
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PeterB
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Re: Pesticides used in organic farming?

Postby PeterB » Sat Jun 12, 2010 8:24 am


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Annapurna
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Re: Pesticides used in organic farming?

Postby Annapurna » Sat Jun 12, 2010 8:48 am

You're right Peter, deaths can't be avoided, we would have to give up driving [fast] too, if we look at how many insects die in collisions.

I think what matters in terms of breaking the first precept or not is:

Intention.

The first precept is only broken if we kill with intention, right?

If we step on an ant without even noticing, we had no intention to kill. Precept not broken, or?

:shrug:

Anna
http://www.schmuckzauberei.blogspot.com/

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Annapurna
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Re: Pesticides used in organic farming?

Postby Annapurna » Sat Jun 12, 2010 8:51 am

Peter, what do you do against snails and slugs?

I used to use a killer but now I am blocked. I hate touching them, if they don't have a little house to live in, but pull myself together and collect them, only-I never catch them all like the killers.

What to do? :shrug:
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