Nanoparticles: What are they? Why should we care?

The more I continue to pay attention to the food I’m choosing for my family, the more and more I’m convinced that if I don’t grow the food myself, we just shouldn’t be eating it.  Ok, I know that is a bit overboard, but every time I turn around I learn about what the food industry is putting in and on our food.  Whether to grow it, kill the weeds, protect it from bugs, help it travel longer distances, or sit on the shelves longer, the food industry is helping to shape how we think about food: Always fresh and readily available with various options when we desire it.  It’s how the conventional food system has evolved to be so reliant on GMOs and feed farms.  How many of you have picked up a tomato and thought, *sigh* tomatoes just don’t taste the way they did when I was a kid.  You would be right, most grocery store produce has to travel a ridiculous distance so that we can have our red tomato year round.  To answer our demand for constant access to all things, the food industry worked with the tomato’s genetics and supplied gasses in the packaging to make it look like it will taste good.  But alas, it is not the same as the one grown in your grandmother’s garden.

So what is the food system relying on next?  Nanoparticles.  According to this article from Grist, they are teeny tiny particles that, while they may come from safe sources, they can start to behave slightly differently.  More importantly, your body can start to act differently in the presence of these nanoparticles.

As a juicer, you might be echoing my own, “Whew!  Good thing we don’t eat that junk!”.  Then you read the part about how they are going to start using nanoparticles in the coating of bananas.  “Wait!  We eat bananas.”  Funny thing is that I do still buy conventional foods from time to time.  Bananas are occasionally one of my borderline foods since we don’t eat the skin.  But if they are going to start coating it with nanoparticles, do I want to expose my son to holding a coated banana?  The larger question then becomes: Would I even know if they did use nanoparticles on the banana?

I’ve had my toe in the organic water for a while, time to plunge in completely and put ALL my money where my heart is.

What about you?  Do you buy strictly organic produce?  If so, why?


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