Step into any grocery store and you are sure to be bombarded with signs promoting the health benefits of going organic. “Eat healthy by going organic” is a common calling-card for all sorts of foods endorsing the advantages of switching to diet filled with organic foods. It seems to make sense to switch to organic foods, but unfortunately, research findings concerning the health benefits of an organic diet isn’t discussed and most consumers would probably be surprised at the factual findings.
What Exactly Does it Mean to be Organic?
When most people think about what makes a certain food organic they probably assume the product is grown without chemicals and this isn’t true. Conventional farming practices use a host of synthetic chemicals to control pests, weeds and fertilize crops, many of which contained known carcinogens.
The Environmental Protection Agency notes that 60 percent of herbicides, 30 percent of insecticides and 90 percent of synthetic chemicals contain carcinogens with high enough levels to pose higher health risks to infants and children. Therefore, it’s important to makes sure all your produce, organic and not is washed thoroughly before consuming.
Organic farming practices use botanical and mineral-based chemicals to control problems such as weeds, pests and fertilize plants. Some of these chemicals are highly toxic, but they break down quicker than synthetic types and carry the same type of cautionary labels as their synthetic cousins. Colorado State University notes, “Just as the more common chemicals are given toxicity ratings -- CAUTION, WARNING or DANGER -- so are chemicals from botanical and mineral-bearing sources. "CAUTION" means low toxicity or co...
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... ability to fight these infections.” The university also state, “The only way for consumers to avoid poultry exposed to these drugs is through certified antibiotic-free or USDA-certified organic meat.”
Ellen Huckabay, a regional agent with the Alabama Cooperative Extension Service states, “Research shows that there is little to no benefit of eating organic produce instead of conventionally grown food. Organic food may have less pesticide residues, but it’s not always 100 percent pesticide free. I prefer to buy locally grown produce at Farmer’s Markets. I’d rather know who grew my food than purchase organic anything from another country.”
Whether you decide to go with the total organic mindset or opt to combine organic with conventionally grown products, remember to purchase fruits and vegetables in season, thoroughly wash your produce and carefully read the labels.
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