Organically Grown vs. Chemically Grown Foods
Cost to the consumer
Costs to the producer
quality A 21-year study comparing organic and conventional farming found improved
quality of the soil under organic cultivation. Organic soils
Studies show organically grown crops contain more minerals, vitamins, and other healthy compounds than conventional crops. For example, tests on organically grown berries and corn showed they contain up to 58 percent more polyphenolics (natural antioxidants that help protect consumers against cell damage that can lead to heart disease and cancer). A 2005 Newcastle University report found that organically produced food had higher levels of specific antioxidants and lower mycotoxins than conventionally produced. And an Australian study found that conventionally grown fruit and vegetables had ten times less mineral content than fruit and vegetables grown organically.
Governmental and scientific studies have shown a wide variety of health and environmental problems caused by the toxic effects of common agricultural chemicals. For example, conventional growing had 60% more nitrate leached into groundwater over a 5-year period than in the organic systems. Pesticides have been shown to deplete beneficial micro-organisms in the soil, increase harmful fungi, and cause pests to develop pesticide resistance leading to more pesticide use.
Agricultural chemicals can accumulate in the soil, in the food we eat, and in our bodies, and combine with other chemicals leading to chronic illnesses, such as allergies, asthma, arthritis, chronic fatigue, gastrointestinal disorders, hormone and reproductive damage, birth defects, cancer, brain and nervous system damage, behavioral abnormalities, skin diseases, lung and respiratory problems, and other gland and organ damage. Children, the chronically ill, and the elderly are at greatest risk of pesticide poisoning. A 1999, Consumers Union study found that conventionally grown peaches, winter squash, apples, grapes, spinach, pears, and green beans had some of the highest Toxicity Index ratings, and therefore, recommended purchasing these foods organically grown
Conventionally grown foods may also use any of the following harmful
Organic food is grown without synthetic chemical pesticides and synthetic fertilizers. Organic farming critics say using manure can cause health problems, but untreated manure is not allowed in certified organic agriculture. The treated manure (composted) used in organic farming provides necessary nutrients for the crops, and is safe (composting process kills harmful pathogens). Organic growing can actually reduce soil toxicity caused by chemical growing.
Taste - A 2001 Washington apple study rated organic growing techniques higher in taste, texture, and firmness compared to those of conventional farming. Case studies of organic practices show dramatic reduction in pests and diseases, increases in yields, soil quality, nutritional content, and organics just taste better! Organics don't have to add the artificial chemical flavorings to make them taste good. Just compare a conventionally grown tomato to a fresh picked organic tomato and taste the difference. Here's an example:
FRESH PICKED ORGANIC SUMMER DELIGHT
TOMATOES, diced CUCUMBERS, thinly sliced
ZUCCHINI, grated BASIL, GREEN ONIONS, and/or PARSLEY, finely chopped
Top with LEMON JUICE, freshly
squeezed, OLIVE OIL, and BRAGG'S AMINOS
Copyright © Laurie Lynch, N.D., 2008-2011