Yesterday’s Asahi Shinbun’s Tenseijingo column started with a story of a man visiting a high ranked monk for a New Year’s blessing. The man requested the monk to write down something for him, but when he saw what the monk wrote down, he got really upset. It said, “Parents die, children die, and grandchildren die.” The monk calmly said to the enraged man, “It’s natural to have parents die before children, and children before grandchildren. It would be tragic if the order was revered somehow.” So the man thanked the monk and took his blessing and went home happily.
Today, the natural order has been reversed and there have been far too many tragedies all over the world. “Every year 100,000 European children die of diseases caused by the environment,” one of the superimposed statistics at the beginning of the documentary film, Food Beware: The French “Organic” Revolution, caught my eyes. 100,000 tragedies due to the pollution and pesticides…
The film was very inspiring, however, it’s a true footage of a small village of Barjac (located in Southern France) embracing organic way of life. The movement they started has been successful and is spreading to the surrounding villages and towns. Oh, and Barjac is a beautiful place!
Today, I came across this Huffington Post article, “Snobby kids eat organic.” The article opens with a teacher’s story about promoting organic food to kids’ parents, being met with resistance, “I don’t want my kids to grow up snobby” as reasons. This teacher needs a community support, like the one in Barjac, France. It really takes a whole village to fight against the big food businesses that takes control of the governments.
I don’t want to see tragedies around me. I’m sure you don’t, either. So, if you or your loved ones are still skeptic about organic food, why not just avoid the pesticide-laden fruits like conventionally-grown apples and peaches, for example. There’s a convenient list of the worst dozen fruits and vegetables on EWG’s website.
What’s scary about children’s diseases is that their immune system hasn’t developed fully to fight them or go through the sometimes-harsh medical treatments. In “Food Beware” film, a farmer who used to spray pesticides to his orchard mumbled, “..after the third chemotherapy their [children’s] hearts get affected.” Both he and his son got sick from the pesticide, but they were lucky, they got better. There was an interview to a mother who lost one of her daughters to cancer.
Quite possibly, if there is fewer demand for pesticide-laced food, the big food business won’t have a choice but to go toward more environmentally responsible ways of producing food. Somehow, we need to get back the natural order of life.