Sunday, April 15, 2007

Is Organic Healthier?

If you live in Maine, Village Soup reported that there will be a presentation "Healthy Eating for You and Your Planet," April 22 at the Jackson Memorial Library in Tenants Harbor, Maine.

So that got me to wondering -- Is organic food healthier food? Now of course, my first instict was to think that it must be, but since the government tells us there is no danger in these genetically modified foods, I thought I would do a little research.

Once again, big surprise, I have found that while the government hasn't told us the whole truth. While nothing is proven that organic foods are safer, plenty is suspected, including that the food is more nutritious. Also, illegal pesticides (which were banned because they were considered so dangerous) have been found in America's food supply. No big surprise, since we still produce them for foreign countries who haven't taken the steps we have to stay safe.

From "Organic Eating - Why Bother?" here are the top five reasons to eat organic:\

1. Fresh organic produce contains on average 50% more vitamins, minerals, enzymes and other micronutrients than intensively farmed produce.

2. If you eat dairy or meat products, eating organic has never been more essential to safeguard your health. Intensively reared dairy cows and farm animals are fed dangerous antibiotics, growth hormones, anti-parasite drugs and many other medicines on a daily basis, whether they have an illness or not. These drugs are passed directly onto the consumers of their dairy or meat, which contribute to meat related diseases like coronaries and high blood pressure.

3. Organic produce simply tastes better. Fruit and vegetables are much more full of flavor. Experiment with an organic carrot and a conventionally grown carrot. Which is sweeter?

4. Organic food is not really more expensive than intensively farmed foods, as we pay for conventional foods through our taxes. We spend billions of dollars every year cleaning up the mess that agrochemicals make in our natural water supply.

5. The few extra cents you pay for organic food may save you hundreds, if not thousands of dollars in doctors’ bills.

Note, not only to be get the chemicals through our food, but then we let them leach into our water supply. Yet the big food companies don't seem enthusiastic to hop on the organic bandwagon? How come? Is it because they can sell us cheaply produced goods, make more money, then let us clean up the mess? Why is the government spending tax money to clean up our land and water supplies instead of holding the companies that put the chemicals in the ground responsible?

Okay, I'm off my soapbox. I also want to point out to readers, that a 2003 study actually found more pesticides in the urine of children who ate traditional foods. While the food industry pooh-poohed the findings, claiming that no one could prove the extra pesticides were actually harmful, I think the research shows that we do need to be more careful about what we take into our bodies.

For those who feel organic food is just too expensive, one wife and mother who is training to be a naturopathic physician, shopped processed for her family for one week. The next week she shopped organic. She reported with careful planning, the organic food bill was less expensive by more than $1!

However, if you still believe you can't afford to buy all of your food organic, below is a list of different fruits and vegetables and their pesticide content. If you can only afford a few organic vegetables, try picking from the top of the list, where the produce has higher concentrations of pesticides. You could still reduce the amount of pesticides in your body and increase your health and safety.

Pesticide rating compared to stawberries. Source: Environment Working Group and the Nutrition Action Health letter, Center for Science in the Public Interest.


Anonymous said...



Anonymous said...

no duhhh


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