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Tag Archive for: ‘amphibians’
Canary in the Vegetable patch

You may be familiar with the use of a Canary to warn miners in coal mines when toxic levels of gas or the lack of O2 was imminent.  The bird would sing it’s happy song until a problem was present and then it would either die or at least stop singing which was a warning to the miners that there was a problem and to get the hell out.  The canary was much more sensitive to the change in the environment than the miners.   Today of course we have electronic sensors to warn of such problems, but nature has and always will be the best indicator of problems to which humans as the top of the food chain should pay close attention to.


frog

Turtles, Frogs and Fish are the Canaries of our crops and waters

Amphibians, not unlike the canary, are many times more sensitive to chemicals and changes in the water chemistry and soil make up than are humans.  When large populations of amphibians start to die or move to other more suitable locations we NEED TO PAY ATTENTION!

Sad when we change our eating habits only to find our vegetables are tainted too!

It makes me mad to do all the research into finding a more healthy diet only to find that the so called “good” things we eat have problems too.  Farmers and scientists have been partnered up for years to find ways to grow fruits and vegetables larger, more quickly and with more nutrition than ever before.  It isn’t surprising then to imagine that some of these partnerships could get carried away with their experiments and approach the “Frankenstein” level of experimentation.

Scientists now are finding ways to kill pests and weeds but also make growing easier for the farmer resulting in producing more yield per acre than ever before.

crop-duster-mtopper

Growing food isn’t easy

It may seem that growing food is as easy as putting it in the ground and adding water and maybe some fertilizer.  You then wait, and when nature is done growing the seed you gather your crop and sell it.  Not so much.  First of all, changes are being made even in the seeds and the way the ground, or soil is being handled.  There are genetically altered seeds that can be cast upon un-tilled soil.  Not only that, but the farmer doesn’t worry about weeds hogging the nutrients from the crop.  All the farmer has to do is have a crop duster spray the entire crop with Round-up.  Oh, you might be thinking, Round-Up kills everything.  It is a herbicide after all.  Not any more.  There are genetically altered crops that are “Round-Up Ready”, meaning that the crop itself is resistant to Round-Up while the weeds around it die.  Seems great doesn’t it?  Just wait.  There will be huge problems.  Already the base chemical in Round-Up, Glyphosate, can be detected in the rain in many states like Nebraska and Kansas where large amounts of crops are treated this way.  Soon there will be weeds that are resistant to glyphosate just like there are rats and roaches that are resistant to the poisons humans use on them.  I won’t bore you with why there are diseases resistant to antibiotics.

So that I don’t lose your attention, I will try to get to the point.  Fast forward to the teams of farmers and scientists who are bored with making faster growing, larger producing crops.  There are still some problems to address in the growing cycle.  Under certain conditions crops can be damaged by fungus that can stunt the growth or even kill a plant.  This happen mostly on crops that are low to the ground and leafy, such as lettuce, strawberries, kale, beets and such.

Fungicides Kill Amphibians Quickly! Are our Children Next?

A chemical fungicide commonly used on the crops I mentioned before, called pyraclostrobin, has been shown to kill amphibians in as fast as MINUTES!

Residues of this chemical are found on non-organic supermarket greens and berries.. In the US, chemicals are often approved for farming or industrial use without adequate research to make clear what their health effect might be. Current findings show even minuscule exposures to certain chemicals at important times in human development such as, in utero and in early childhood, in particular, could affect a person’s life and health decades down the line, or even that of possible future generations.

dog pooping in yard

family playing in yard

Doesn’t Effect You?

From Health Hazards of Pesticides by Leah Zerbe – Rodale

According to the Minnesota Department of Health, in addition to its use as a fungicide, pyraclostrobin is used for its ability to speed the growth of plants. It’s also a go-to fungus killer for lawns and golf courses, a potential problem because rainstorms create runoff from the grass that can carry the amphibian-killing chemical into surface waters.

Frogs around the globe are facing extreme extinction pressure, and this new study provides insight into one of the possible major contributors to these amphibians’ decline. Aside from pyraclostrobin, British researchers also looked at other common fungicides, herbicides, and insecticides. Another startling finding? The insect-killing chemical dimethoate, an insecticide sometimes found on spinach, killed about 40 percent of exposed frogs within a seven-day period.

Plus, if you or your lawn company are using a spray treatment on your grass, just think of the danger it potentially has for your children, who play in the yard, or your pets who walk across it, then lick their paws.

Short term Solution

There are many things that need to be done about this problem, but YOU are the most important key to change.  First, you need to be aware that there is a problem.  Hopefully I’ve helped with that in this article.  Then, right away, today, next time at the market, buy organically grown food of all kinds.

 

I could write for days on this subject, but I’ve been told to “leave them wanting more”, so if you have a burning question or would like to make a statement, please respond to this post. – jughandle