A recent study confirms that organic foods are no more nutritious than foods grown conventionally (referring to produce, not organic meats).
I have seen angry tirades cropping up in the wake of this study; people feeling they’ve been duped and “ripped off” for paying more for organics. I have strong feelings about this particular topic, because I think we may be missing the forest for the trees here, and it’s a real travesty that people are overlooking a key point about buying organic: the chemical pesticides! These chemicals build up in the body over time, causing toxicity, endocrine disruption (read: hormonal imbalance), and even more serious diseases, such as cancer. That’s right, these chemicals contribute to disease over time.
Plus, buying organic means you are contributing to the health of the planet. Pesticides and chemical fertilizers leak into ground water and cause contamination, spreading due to runoff. Also, consider the health of the farm workers who are exposed to high levels of industrial chemicals when they harvest crops (read about it here).
There has been debate about the nutrient levels of organic versus conventional for a long time, but this is just one small facet, in my opinion. Here are the facts: conventional farming uses chemicals, soil that has been depleted of nutrients, and uses ethylene gas to ripen up produce picked before it should be harvested. Would you rather eat a mealy apple that has been gassed to ripen it up on the supermarket shelves, or a crisp apple harvested from a chemical-free orchard, where care has been given to the health of the soil, the crop, the land, and the workers? Organic just tastes better.
We are bombarded by so many different environmental pollutants in modern society, and illness occurs when your body is overwhelmed no longer able to properly detoxify. Eating organic reduces our total toxic load and lowers the risk of serious illness.
I will continue to advise my clients to buy organic for the reasons I state above, and also to support small, local organic farms and prevent ConAgra and other agri-giants from taking over the food industry entirely. [Welcome to a future of genetically modified and chemically-sprayed everything, where food is no longer real food.] The small steps we take now mean everything for our future, our children’s future, and the future of the planet. We as a society need to stop being so myopic and look forward to leaving this place a little better than we found it. And chemical-free living is one way to accomplish this.
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