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Posted on May 2, 2010 by

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Organic vs Conventionally Grown Food – Samantha

Organic Food under the USDA’s definition, means it is generally free of synthetic substances; contains no antibiotics and hormones; contains no genetically modified ingredients; has not been irradiated or fertilized with sewage sludge; and was raised without the use of most conventional pesticides.  Eating organic food is a powerful way to ensure that your food has not been genetically modified and will nourish your body.

Conventional foods mean the farmers apply chemical fertilizers to the soil to grow their crops, spray insecticides to get rid of insects and disease,  and spray synthetic herbicides to control weed growth.  Conventional farmers also give their animals antibiotics, growth hormones, and medications to prevent disease and spur growth.  The result is that conventionally grown food is often tainted with chemical residues which can be harmful to humans.

Additionally, research shows that conventional produce tends to have fewer nutrients than organic produce.  Conventional produce (on average) has only 83 percent of the nutrients of organic produce. Studies have found significantly higher levels of antioxidants and nutrients such as iron, calcium, chromium, magnesium, Vitamin C and phosphorus, and significantly less nitrates (a toxin) in organic crops.

Here are 10 significant reasons to buy and eat organic foods:

1.  Choosing organic meat lessens your exposure to antibiotics, synthetic hormones, and drugs that find their way into the animals and ultimately into your body.
2.    The US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) estimates that pesticides pollute the primary drinking source for half the American population.
3.  They are real food, not pesticide factories.  Research shows that foods grown from GMO seeds may continue producing pesticides inside your body once you’ve eaten the food grown from them!
4.   Organic food is earth-supportive (when big business keeps their hands out of it).
5.    Most organic food simply tastes better than the pesticide-grown counterparts.
6.     Organic food is not exposed to gas-ripening like some non-organic fruits and vegetables (like bananas and tomatoes).
7.    Organic farms are safer for farm workers. Research at the Harvard School of Public Health found a 70 percent increase in Parkinson’s disease among people exposed to pesticides.
8.   Organic food supports protecting wildlife habitats.
9.  Eating organic may reduce your cancer risk. The US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) considers 60% of herbicides, 90% of fungicides, and 30% of insecticides are potentially cancer-causing.
10.    Organic food is tried and tested. By some estimates genetically-modified food makes up 80% of the average person’s food consumption.

The Environmental Working Group has recently released their 2010 EWG Shopper’s Guide to Pesticides.  This guide includes the ’15 Dirty Dozen’ foods (foods highest in pesticides) to avoid and the ‘Clean 15’ (conventional foods lowest in pesticides).   It can be found at this link:  15 Dirty Dozen

Additionally:

An experiment published in Science Daily (March 29, 2005) done by the Danish Research Center for Organic Farming found that rats that consumed organic food were healthier than rats that ate conventional diets.  The rats fed organic foods had improved immune systems, better sleeping habits, were leaner, and had a higher vitamin E content in their blood.

According to Dr. Andrew Weil,  “Pesticides are chemicals that are potentially toxic to the nervous system, may disrupt the endocrine system, and may increase risk of cancer and other chronic diseases.” Pesticide exposure may also affect male reproductive function and has been linked to miscarriages in women.

Posted in: Food For Thought