More than just a pretty surface: are firmer vegetables hazardous?
When picking vegetables, people usually go for the prettiest of them all. However, some locals believe that the ‘prettier’ it appears, the more hazardous it may be.
Sherefel Rosalejos, a manager of an organic farm in Dalaguete, Cebu usually thinks twice when a vegetable is too smooth on the outside, and when she doesn’t have an idea where it came from, Inquirer said.
“Heavy application of chemical pesticides and synthetic fertilizers are still the current practice of some conventional farmers,” the 33-year old said.
“Some farmers do not even eat their own crops because they know very well the amount of chemicals that they have sprayed on their vegetables.”
Conventional farming is known for its prevalent use of synthetic chemical fertilizers, genetically modified organisms, pesticides, herbicides, and many more artificial techniques.
Meanwhile, advocates of organic farming believe that the consumption of food from conventional farming has no benefits and may cause harm for the body, including possible risks of diseases like cancer, Inqirer reported.
Redelosa, who hails from a mountain community in Cebu City, says that up until he was in his mid-50s, he was among the farmers who heavily use chemicals. Two years ago, he took part in the Sirao Farmers’ Association and has since then joined trainings on Good Agricultural Practices (GAP).
Redelosa also said in the report that he has heard stories about some farmers soaking their vegetables such as ampalaya in a pail of chemical treatments, a few days before harvesting to make them appear firmer and more appealing, but it’s something he has never done. He didn’t want to take the likelihood of his family ingesting the chemically treated vegetables.
“Mahilo unya akong kaliwat (My family might get sick)” he said.