Environmental protection is a health issue, but how often do we really think of all the ways that fact holds true? We know that carbon monoxide and other air contaminants are dangerous, we also know that water contamination is a real concern, and we’re aware of the various chemicals and poisons that can cause diseases that kill. These are all immediately recognizable problems, but environmental protection goes much deeper than that. It is even an issue for our food supply.
Even the organic gardener is not completely free of poisons and contaminants in the environment. Pollution has long been in our rainwater, waterways and the soils that are used to grow our food. Even over farming the land has created a health problem where vitamin and nutrient content of food is concerned. Many health experts recommend everyone take vitamin supplements, regardless of how well balanced and healthy a person’s diet is. This is because even the best grown food is not as nutritious as it was a hundred years ago.
Genetically altered crops often cause cross contamination to other crops as seeds blow on the wind. Dangerous fertilizers can infect a neighboring farm that is organic in the same way. Although these types of contamination are minor, it is still an illustration of how we’ve tainted the entire environment by not keeping health standards at the forefront in the first place. Health and environmental concerns will continue to be at the forefront of public debate long after we right our practices because many of the effects of an unprotected environment will take years to purge from the earth. The more people who do even their small part to protect the earth, the faster the shift to responsible living will come about.