There is a continuing debate regarding whether organic produce differs from conventional produce. Some corporations deeply invested in the conventional methods (chemicals vs natural) spend a lot of money trying to convince the public and our legislators, that their product is beneficial, not harmful, and just as good as the organic. Based on common sense, research, and other countries’ findings….our “conventional methods of producing vegetables, fruits and farm animals” are not always overly healthly or beneficial and are not adequate substitutes for organic products.
Why is organic better than conventional?
- Little to no pesticides. Many claim the amount of pesticides in a piece of fruit or vegetable is negligible, however, the combined effect of all the chemicals we encounter is not negligible. Experts are voicing their concerns about the effect of chemical combinations, particularly those that effect hormones. Further, the number of pesticides and herbicides used today far exceeds what was used 20 years ago. Those who are most vulnerable to heavy pesticide residue are children and those with compromised immune systems.
- Sustainable Farming practices. Responsible, sustainable farming practices result in:
1) Healthier soils (more vitamins/minerals/enzymes),
2) Ripe produce (more vitamins/minerals/antioxidants),
3) Farming responsibly (healthier for the farm workers, ensuring adequate natural resources for future generations).
- Science Reveals Organic is Better than Conventional – A recent study revealed that organic produce was higher in antioxidants than conventional produce. The difference was significant…60% more for organic…which means eating 5 servings of organic produce is equivalent to 7 or more servings of conventional produce in terms of antioxidants. This doesn’t even address the difference in chemicals and pesticides. This contradicts earlier (smaller) studies negating the benefits of organic produce.
- Little to No Genetically Modified Components (0 to < 5%). The argument rages on about whether GMOs are dangerous. Companies heavily invested in these products have spent millions convincing congress that we don’t need labeling, that GMOs are safe. Their contention is based on short term studies that are very unlikely to provide honest results. Already, many European and Asian countries are banning the use of GMOs and blocking imports that contain GMOs. In the U.S. today 95+% of Soy is GMO, 90+% of corn is GMO and the GMO plants are cross pollinating with organics thus wiping out the benefit of the organic produce.
I urge everyone to become more informed and look into any studies purporting the benefits of GMOs and conventional produce. I have come to distrust many of the things I‘ve read due to the poor research methods, biased research and the millions of dollars at stake for companies and campaigns alike. You can learn a great deal by following the Environmental Working Groups (EWG) website. The produce a list produce to purchase organically (due to heavy pesticide loads) and the produce that does not have to be organic if you have to choose. (http://www.ewg.org/). And perhaps most importantly, get to know the source of your food choices. Buy locally when possible and get to know the farmer, ask questions, visit their property. Not only is local better in terms of less energy waste, you get the produce quicker which means more vitamins!