Reduce The Toxic Load: Keep Chemicals Out of the Air, Water, Soil and our Bodies
Buying organic food promotes a less toxic environment for all living things. With only 0.5 percent of crop and pasture land in organic, according to USDA that leaves 99.5 percent of farm acres in the U.S. at risk of exposure to noxious agricultural chemicals.
Our bodies are the environment so supporting organic agriculture doesn’t just benefit your family, it helps all families live less toxically.
Reduce if Not Eliminate Off Farm Pollution
Industrial agriculture doesn’t singularly pollute farmland and farm workers; it also wreaks havoc on the environment downstream. Pesticide drift affects non-farm communities with odorless and invisible poisons. Synthetic fertilizer drifting downstream is the main culprit for dead zones in delicate ocean environments, such as the Gulf of Mexico, where its dead zone is now larger than 22,000 square kilometers, an area larger than New Jersey, according to Science magazine, August, 2002
Protect Future Generations
Before a mother first nurses her newborn, the toxic risk from pesticides has already begun. Studies show that infants are exposed to hundreds of harmful chemicals in utero. In fact, our nation is now reaping the results of four generations of exposure to agricultural and industrial chemicals, whose safety was deemed on adult tolerance levels, not on children’s. According to the National Academy of Science, “neurologic and behavioral effects may result from low-level exposure to pesticides.” Numerous studies show that pesticides can adversely affect the nervous system, increase the risk of cancer, and decrease fertility.
Build Healthy Soil
Mono-cropping and chemical fertilizer dependency has taken a toll with a loss of top soil estimated at a cost of $40 billion per year in the U.S., according to David Pimental of Cornell University. Add to this an equally disturbing loss of micro nutrients and minerals in fruits and vegetables. Feeding the soil with organic matter instead of ammonia and other synthetic fertilizers has proven to increase nutrients in produce, with higher levels of vitamins and minerals found in organic food, according to the 2005 study, “Elevating Antioxidant levels in food through organic farming and food processing,” Organic Center State of Science Review (1.05)
Taste Better with Truer Flavor
Scientists now know what we eaters have known all along: organic food often tastes better. It makes sense that strawberries taste yummier when raised in harmony with nature, but researchersat Washington State University just proved this as fact in lab taste trials where the organic berrieswere consistently judged as sweeter. Plus, new research verifies that some organic produce is often lower in nitrates and higher in antioxidants than conventional food. Let the organic feastingbegin!
Assist Family Farmers of all Sizes
According to Organic Farming Research Foundation, as of 2006 there are approximately 10,000 certified organic producers in the U.S. compared to 2500 to 3,000 tracked in 1994. Measured against the two million farms estimated in the U.S. today, organic is still tiny. Family farms that are certified organic farms have a double economic benefit: they are profitable and they farm in harmony with their surrounding environment. Whether the farm is a 4-acre orchard or a 4,000-acre wheat farm, organic is a beneficial practice that is genuinely family-friendly.
Avoid Hasty and Poor Science in Your Food
Interesting to know how swiftly these food technologies were rushed to market, when organic fought for 13 years to become federal law. Eleven years ago, genetically modified food was not part of our food supply; today an astounding 30 percent of our cropland is planted in GMOs. Organic is the only de facto seal of reassurance against these and other modern, lab-produced additions to our food supply, and the only food term with built in inspections and federal regulatory teeth.
In general, organic food costs more than conventional food because of the laborious and time-intensive systems used by the typically smaller organic farms. You may find that the organicagriculture off-set this additional cost. At the same time, there are ways to purchase organicwhile sticking to your expected budget. Consider the following when questioning the price oforganic.
- Organic farmers don’t receive federal subsidies like conventional farmers do. Therefore,the price of organic food reflects the true cost of growing
- The price of conventional food does not reflect the cost of environmental cleanups thatwe pay for through our tax dollars.
- Organic farming is more labor and management intensive.
Eating organic food is the same as eating natural food !
Natural foods do not contain additives or preservatives, but they may contain ingredients thathave been grown with pesticides or are genetically modified. In other words, the ingredients inthe ingredient panel will look familiar, but they have not been produced organically. Naturalfoods are not regulated and do not meet the same criteria that organic foods do.
Taste of Organic Food
Today many organic snack foods taste the same as their conventional counterparts, while most peopleagree that fresh, locally grown organic produce does not compare to the alternative. Even organic producethat is not in season and has been shipped thousands of miles to reach our grocer’s shelves cannotcompare to the produce found in our own back yard or at farmers markets. Taste is certainly an individualmatter, so give organic a try and see what you think!