A lot of misleading facts in that article. It states that conventional farmers are 6 times more likely to get certain cancers than non-farmers. What the author fails to mention is that organic farmers are also exposed to a much higher cancer risk than non-farmers, most of it attributable to skin cancer.
Also there is no evidence that nitrogen in the atmosphere causes global warming. The high rate of growth of conventional farming produce has been shown to consume more carbon dioxide from the air than organic produce, which helps against global warming.
Great article. Organic growers replenish the soil using compost made from the by products of what they produce, the plant material that we don't eat, such as leaves and stems. They do use organic manure from organically raised livestock which is why there is a shortage of it, there are not enough organic livestock producers. They also use nutrients from the sea to help replenish their soil. They do not user synthetic fertelizers which only add 3 nutrients to the soil, not enough to sustain the soil over a period of several years.
Another method of organic growers is to plant "nitrogen fixers" such as legumes. The roots from these plants produce nitrogen to help support the soil, another method of organic farmers is to plant rye or other grasses then tilling it under before it matures to add nutrients back into the soil.
Every organic farmer that I know, including myself, has a compost pile. Discarded plant material and organic manure are left to decompose and used as fertalizer in fields and gardens.
If you do your homework you will find that the great dust bowl of the early 1900s during the great depression was not caused intierly by drought, it was caused,in part, by the destruction of the top soil. There were not enough nutrients to support any crops, not even weeds which would have at least held the soil in place. Our native soil is so depleated that it's a wonder it supports anything.
Organic growers support the soil, not just the crops they grow. They know that if they want to continue to produce healthy crops, they have to take care of the soil too. And by not using pesticides they protect the environment. They don't kill the bees and butterflys which polinate the crops. Pestecides are non selective thay kill everything, including people, why do you think there are warning lables on all pestecides and the poison control center phone number included on the packaging?
We are what we eat and I choose to eat as healthy as possible, I choose not to eat poison or synthetic foods if I can help it.
I think this is a great article. You say that buying all organic is so expensive...and I know, it is quite a bit more... but keep in mind that the more the masses buy organically, the more the prices will go down. All the chemicals, antibiotics etc that are used in non-Organic products are a part of the reason that so many people get Cancer and other diseases. Your body doesn't want to continue to have to process these toxins in your body, it wants to do other things like burn fat.
Do you want to pay for organic food now or pay for doctors/hospitals later?
Remember, people are going to tell you what favors them, not always what is right. If I owned a non-Organic farm, I would tell you that buying Organic is not worthwhile as well, protecting myself. Understandable. But, that doesn't mean it's just as good or better than organic products.
And as far as meat goes, even if you don't care about your health from eating non-Organic meat, do you care about animals be treated horribly on "Big Business" farms?
If you haven't already, watch the Documentary "Food Inc", it'll change the way you think about what you're putting in your mouth.
How can you fight that "Natural" isn't best? I don't understand that.
Many have commented that the price of buying organic is out of their budgets. This is where having a garden is so beneficial. I am a Master Gardener and our goal is to teach people how to grow a few things in a small garden. You would be surprised just how much you can grow in a small place. And it's all about replenishing the soil in that small garden so that it does not get depleted of nutients. A simple thing like mulching your leaves in a bagger lawn mower and then throwing the ground leaves on your garden bed it a sustainable practice that does not cost hardly anthing. Everyone has trees and leaves. If you are growing some of your own vegtables, you know that they are safe. What I can not grow myself, I purchase at at Farmer's Market. If you want to learn how to start a small garden, ask a Master Gardener. You can find them through your local extension office. Happy Gardening!!
I heard a lecture given by an organic farmer a couple weeks ago. He said that an organic farm uses 4 times the amount of diesel fuel to harvest the same yield as a conventional farm. So maybe organic produce isn't making a healthier planet. A wise consumer realizes that everyone is selling something. There's always a gimmick.
"if all farmers went organic, there would not be enough of the litter/manure to fertilize the fields "
That's one of the problems... that people think farming lives in a vacuum! Where do you get manure? From the livestock you ALSO raise. Nothing in nature lives in a vacuum, why do people think farmers should?
Well, so much for the American farmer. Organic sounds good, but if all farmers went organic, there would not be enough of the litter/manure to fertilize the fields (there is a shortage now for those farmers who want to use it). They don't make enough money to hire the "weeding" manually. If we all went organic, the consumer would be unable to afford anything in the grocery store. Trust me, I know. I have lived on a farm for 20 years. We have no outside income other than this farm.
I'm switching over to organic veg and meats too. Why? There are just too many chemicals and hormones in conventional food.
SacredAmulet mentions the early on set of puberty in girls, but that's only the beginning. Girls as young as 9 are having periods. There is (in the region of) 200% increase in hormon-related cancers - breast, cervix, testicular, prostrate etc. 1 in 7 couple are now infertile.
. . . and that's just the hormonal side of things.
There are lots of companies making lots of money by endangering our health.
I firmly believe that we are led to believe that conventionally grown food is good for us, especially meat and dairy, because of agribusiness and those special interests making a huge profit off of our health and that of the planet.
I'm vegan, thus avoiding the meat and dairy issues, which are for sure the most disturbing. It is no coincidence that when girls drink more conventional milk, they have an earlier puberty than girls who drink organic milk or who are vegan. The average age for a vegan to have puberty is about 13. That would be considered normal in past times, before the advent of all these hormones they give to cows to make them produce more milk. Today, it's not uncommon for 10 year old girls to have their first period. I was 11, and drinking conventional milk at the time.
These trends are disturbing.
Organic food though is just way out of my budget range right now. I buy organic where I must, such as in the case of berries, however cannot spend $5 on a bag of frozen cherries.
3/16/2010 6:36:05 PM
For a long time it was assumed that the amount of nutrition in vegetables was determined by the vegetable's genes not by the way it was grown; they working theory being that if the vegetables didn't have everything they need they wouldn't grow well. Because of this for the longest time organic and chemically grown vegetables were never compared.
Organic vegetables often do have more vitamins but in addition they also have much higher levels of the phytochemical we know prevent disease. Plants use these chemicals to fight pests and infection and when they are not protected by chemical pesticides they produce more of their own chemicals.
As far as climate change goes, the vast majority of climate scientists do believe that mankind's release of carbon into the environment from burning fossil fuels is changing our climate. The skeptics are the fringe view but they are so well funded by the industries who have the most to loose from carbon limits that many people think the jury is still out. Just like tobacco companies bankrolled any doctor or scientist who would say that tobacco isn't dangerous or harmful energy companies are bankrolling climate change skeptics.
There is a difference between climate and weather. Anyone who doesn't understand this lacks the knowledge to have any kind of intelligent conversation about climate change.
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