I’ve been a farmworker all my life. Here’s why you should buy organic food
Like millions of farmworkers who have labored in America’s fields and orchards, I know what it’s like to grow the food we eat using toxic pesticides. At 12, I worked as a “flag man,” waving in crop-dusting planes that would swoop down close to the plants — and us workers — to blast out a foggy spray of toxins that killed every bug in sight.
Along with the bugs, we were also sprayed.
Nobody told me these clouds of pesticides were dangerous, so I didn’t even wear a handkerchief over my face. My father almost died one time when a hose broke and exposed him to toxic fumes while he was applying ammonia treatments on a farm.
The farmworkers who plant and harvest America’s food are on the frontlines of pesticide harm. Protecting farmworkers from toxic pesticides will require reducing industrial agriculture’s dependence on synthetic chemicals while expanding organic farming.
Read full op-ed here.