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Why Go Organic?

Healthy Body, Healthy Planet


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    This article really discredits this website. I tell people that eating organic is a personal choice. There is insufficient evidence to say either way that organic foods are better for you, better tasting or better for the environment. There is plenty of research to say it does none of those and there is some research that says it does do those. It's unfortunate the the author uses a study that is nearly 20 years old - that is significantly outdated.
    Current research shows that all non-organic fruits and vegetables fall within the FDA's safe levels of pesticide and other chemical residue. In fact, with the current washing techniques, the chemical residue is well below the upper safe limit. Organic produce only improves this slightly, but it still contains chemical residue. Taste is purely suggestive, and most people even prefer the taste of non-organic food.
    Coming from the corn-belt and knowing very well the processes that are required to be able to sustain the soil after decades of use, you cannot rely on mother earth alone to be able to maintain the soil's fertility levels. Even then, current farming techniques have been shown to have minimal, if any, effect on the environment.

    Like I said, it is unfortunate that this article taints the credibility of SparkPeople. I constantly check articles that are written against current published research, and so far this website has been great. I felt comfortable recommending people to this website until now.
  • The organic movement should be about sustainability. They way big ag is going now, we will be out of functional/healthy farm land. Watch or read Food Inc.
  • I personally am not entirely into the organic movement but I do believe that the pesticides have harmful side-effects of which we are not completely aware. I do however spend a little extra each month to buy some organic produce and grass-fed meats. My children can taste the difference in the produce and my oldest does not get intestinal distress when she she eats grass-fed beef as opposed to grain-fed beef. I have even noticed that one of my recipes seems less acidic when I use organic items when making it.

    As for depleting soil nutrients, crop rotation is the key to making sure that soil isn't entirely depleted of its nutrients. Some farmers even plant specific crops that are then tilled back into the soil to increase the nutrients in the soil. Most GOOD farmers practice crop rotation whether they are conventional or organic.
  • From what I have read the benefits of organic are relatively minor from a health and nutritional standpoint. A one or two percent difference is hardly worth the price and there are no acknowledged studies I have ever read that says "conventional" farming has ill health effects. Any intensive land use; organic or conventional; will deplete the soil over time without supplimental fertilizing
    Organic farming does have the benefits of helping keep the soils the crops are grown in healthier from the return of available (composted) nutrients to the soil. That may be for some a sufficient reason to focus on organic products.
  • 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!!
    Organic isn't as good for the environment as people think. The soil isn't being fertilized, so after a time, it's got no nutrients. Meaning you have to move to new land.

    Also, can't you just wash your produce? Should do that anyway considering how many hands touch it. A bit of dish soap and water, wash, rinse, dry and eat.
  • 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?
  • Interesting......
  • 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.


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