What we eat has such a huge impact on our health, the environment, our lifestyles and our wallets. Following are links to some articles provided by Emma Stuart, from Lettuce Deliver (a Sydney-based organic food home delivery service), written by herself and Andre Leu (Chair, Organic Federation of Australia). Thanks Emma for providing this information.
Organic Food Matters
The Myths of Safe Pesticides
What is Organic
GM The Hidden Science
There are many good reasons to buy organic fruit and veggies, if not organic everything!
- They contain much greater amounts of vitamins and minerals healthy soils full of nutrients creates healthy plants full of nutrients.
On a per-weight basis, average levels of essential minerals were much higher in the organically grown than in the conventionally grown food. The organically grown food averaged 63% higher in calcium, 78% higher in chromium, 73% higher in iron, 118% higher in magnesium, 178% higher in molybdenum, 91% higher in phosphorus, 125% higher in potassium and 60% higher in zinc. The organically raised food averaged 29% lower in mercury than the conventionally raised food.
She concluded that organic produce is nutritionally superior. She compared the composition of vegetables grown simultaneously under different farming conditions, conducting 41 studies with 1,240 comparisons of 35 vitamins and minerals. Organically grown produce was higher in most minerals and vitamins and lower in potentially harmful nitrates, which result from nitrogen fertilizers. The greatest differences among all vegetables tested were in magnesium (organic was 29% higher), vitamin C (27% higher), and iron (21% higher). In fact, organic food had higher amounts of all minerals tested, although the difference was not always statistically significant because of small sample numbers. Organic crops had 15% fewer nitrates than conventionally grown foods and lesser amounts of toxic heavy metals. Worthington also investigated the effect of routine consumption of organically grown fruits and vegetables on the nutritional adequacy of the overall diet. Using the USDA recommendation of five servings of fruits and vegetables a day, she determined that consuming organically grown produce might make the difference between a deficient and an adequate diet.
- They contain higher levels of antioxidants supposedly because if a plant grows in conditions that are too cushy, it never has to produce that antioxidants that fight of disease, pests, etc, that also benefit us later on.
- Pesticides stay around in our bodies this is particularly important for little kids.
A study of two to five-year olds in the US has found that consumption of organic food can have a significant effect on children's pesticide exposure. Scientists at the University of Washington investigated 43 children from the Seattle area who either ate mostly conventionally grown or organic fresh fruit and vegetables and fruit juices. The children eating primarily organic diets had only one-sixth the level of organophosphorus pesticide metabolite concentrations compared with those eating conventional diets.
EPA and USDA reports show that by the time the average child is one year old, the infant will have received the acceptable lifetime dose of eight pesticides from just 20 commonly eaten foods. The Environmental Working Group (non profit research institute) reports that children may receive 35% of their lifetime dose of carcinogenic pesticides by the age of 5.
- They have cancer preventative stuff, and also dont have cancer producing stuff!
Fruits and vegetables grown organically show significantly higher levels of cancer-fighting antioxidants than conventionally grown foods, a new study suggests. The research found that pesticides and herbicides actually thwart the production of phenolics -- chemicals that act as a plant's natural defense and also happen to be good for our health. The study by UC Davis researchers measured antioxidants found in corn, strawberries and a type of blackberry called a marionberry. The results showed a significant increase in antioxidants in organic and sustainably grown foods versus conventionally grown foods: corn was 58.5% higher, marionberries were about 50% higher, strawberries about 19% higher.
- It is better for the planet the idea of organic growing is to enhance the soils; most commercial farming degrades the soils, just taking what it can.
- You are supporting farmers who believe in these principles too. Often these farmers are more local, which is another plus.
I know Ive been slack and not put in references for the quotes above. They are all taken from the link below, which has further links to the relevant research.