For the record, I don’t shop for organic foods because they’re healthier. I shop for them because they’re grown and/or produced without the use of (or with severely limited use of) pesticides.
According to this article in The Telegraph the other day, an amateur entomological society in Germany has been monitoring insect populations at 100 nature preserves in Western Europe since the 1980s. They’ve reported a nearly 80% drop in insect numbers since 2013.
Experts mostly blame intensive agriculture and the use of pesticides over the past 50 years.
I actually thought about “the windscreen phenomenon” this summer when we were visiting family in California. We drove from the Bay Area to Yosemite and never really had to clean the windshield at all. Much of that area is heavy agriculture and livestock; we should have had to clean it several times.
While the article points out that the decline in insects, or the “windscreen phenomenon”, could be from insecticides or it could be from an increase in traffic; it’s hard to argue that since pesticides are designed to destroy insects, they’re a more likely reason than traffic. Additionally, there are more reports available supporting pesticide use as a major culprit for insect population decline. Either way, it’s alarming; or should be. I truly worry for the future of our species on this planet. I know the planet will survive … but will we?