Should I really buy Organic? I am asked this question often and have read study after study. The debate will continue forever. The studies from commercial growers say there is no difference yet the organic growers say yes there is a difference.
Just the facts
So, let’s just look at this from a purely logical point of view, OK? The real question you must ask yourself after reading this is, which one has the potential to make me sick and increase my risk for illness and disease? If one does, do your best to limit or avoid them.
What does organic mean? Organic means that the produce (plants) isn’t exposed to commercial toxic fertilizers, pesticides or fungicides and the crops are rotated and managed to promote soil and land conservation. Organic soil is fertilized with natural fertilizers such as peat and manure and may have close to 100 different nutrients. Guess how many nutrients traditional commercial fertilizers have? Get this, only three (3). Commercial fertilizer consists of nitrogen, phosphorous and potash (potassium). In addition, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) considers 60 percent of herbicides, 90 percent of fungicides, and 30 percent of insecticides to be carcinogenic. Organic produce has a 5 digit code beginning with the number 9. An organic vegetable would have a code like “94639”.
Plants get minerals from the soil which allows them to make other nutrients. Also plants that grow under natural controls for bugs, weeds and fungi versus that of commercial pesticides, herbaacides and fungicides produce more antioxidants and phytonutrients. They have to produce more of these healthy compounds to protect themselves for their natural enemies. So would you rather eat plants grown in soil with three (3) minerals or close to 100? Remember you are what you eat.
Organic Livestock isn’t given hormones, antibiotics, or exposed to pesticides, fertilizers and fungicides and are allowed to eat natural foods from their environment. Free-range organic livestock means that the animals have the ability to roam about and eat what is naturally in their environment in addition to no exposure to those nasty chemicals. Commercial livestock is given commercial feed which is made from various commercial grains, other animal parts and food like chemicals. I would equate commercial livestock feed to fast food for us humans. Commercially raised animals also have much higher rates of bacterial and fecal contamination.
Organic produce is grown in soil with close to 100 different nutrients and commercial produce is grown in soil with only 3. Organic produce is not exposed to toxic chemicals. Commercial produce is exposed to many toxic chemicals that you can absorb. These toxic chemicals are stored in your fat and can be hard to detox. They stay in your body for years and continue to accumulate potentially causing disease and illness. .
Organic free-range livestock is fed natural foods grown in organic conditions and not exposed to toxic chemicals. They also have much less stress. Stock animals under stress release stress hormones and histamines that you absorb when you eat them. Commercially raised animals have much higher rates of contamination.
Here are some key differences between conventional farming and organic farming:
|Apply chemical fertilizers to promote plant growth.||Apply natural fertilizers, such as manure or compost, to feed soil and plants.|
|Spray synthetic insecticides to reduce pests and disease.||Spray pesticides from natural sources; use beneficial insects and birds, mating disruption or traps to reduce pests and disease.|
|Use synthetic herbicides to manage weeds.||Use environmentally-generated plant-killing compounds; rotate crops, till, hand weed or mulch to manage weeds.|
|Give animals antibiotics, growth hormones and medications to prevent disease and spur growth.||Give animals organic feed and allow them access to the outdoors. Use preventive measures — such as rotational grazing, a balanced diet and clean housing — to help minimize disease.|
If you buy commercial produce please wash them very well.
Studies have linked pesticides to the following health conditions.
- Fertility problems
- Brain tumors
- Childhood leukemia
- Non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma
- Birth defects
- Irritation to skin and eyes
- Hormone or endocrine system problems
- Nervous system damage
These are the foods you should buy organic if possible. They are the ones most often sprayed with pesticides.
- Sweet Bell Pepper
- Grapes – Imported
- Collard Greens
Always wash your produce, even organic just to be sure to remove any unwanted critters or chemicals!
MINERAL COMPARISON OF FOODS GROWN ORGANICALLY VS. CONVENTIONAL CHEMICAL (SYNTHETIC FERTILIZER) PRODUCTION
The amount of each chemical element is expressed in milligrams per 100 grams dry weight for the first four elements, then in parts per million for the three trace elements. The Table below is based on research at Rutgers University, NJ, USA. source, http://www.wellnesschronicles.com/
The choice is yours. I am just the messenger.
Wally Bishop C.N.C.
The contents of this blog is not and should not be considered medical advice. This blog is for informational purposes only. Always consult with your doctor before making any dietary or lifestyle changes. Never quit taking prescription medications unless advised to do so by your doctor.
- How to Make Your Own Organic Flower Fertilizer (proflowers.com)
- Organic Food: Is it Worth the Cost and Committment? (thenourishingnutritionist.wordpress.com)
- The Environmentally-Friendly Yard and Garden (everydayhealth.com)