Organic?








Why organic? Is it really that important to buy organic? This is a question some of you may be asking. So what are the pros and cons?

Most people in the United States go through their local grocery store or super market and never speculate what that big, red tomato or pound of ground beef has gone through before it hits the shelf. Most don’t question whether it’s been genetically altered, has hormones, or even if it’s enveloped with pesticides. Much of our food today is not simply grown with the nurture of water, and Mother Nature dealing with the rest. For instance, our food is incorporated with GMO, or Genetically Modified Organisms. Also, pesticides are frequently used, and hormones are in our beef and milk. So the pros and cons are very important.

Rows of Apple Trees at an Organic Farm
Rows of Apple Trees at an Organic Farm

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, Eightfish
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Genetically altered foods are not a new idea. David Jefferis states in BioTech Frontiers of Medicine that “Biotech food is not new. In 1992, tobacco farmers in China planted crops with altered genes that had greater disease resistance. Two years later, “Flavr Savr” tomatoes were planted in the U.S. The tomatoes were modified so they did not soften and rot as quickly as normal tomatoes. Since then, many other genetically modified, or GM, crops have been planted.” It was also in 1992 that the U.S. Department of Agriculture permitted Calgene Incorporated to proceed with commercializing its Flavr Savr tomato by authorizing Petition No. 92-196-01P. In addition, as early as 1987 there were five field-test sites for modified plants, which included everything from tobacco to Kentucky bluegrass to spruce trees to geraniums.

Considering this part of America’s overall history, although GM crops have been around for awhile, various people believe that the creation of these manipulated plants is progressing too rapidly. According to the article, Organic Matters, scientists are still debating over whether it’s prudent to eat food containing GMOs. A little over a decade ago these were not part of our food supply. In just this short period of time, 30 percent of our cropland has been cultivated with genetically altered seeds. As much as 80 percent of the food in our super markets contain GMOs. It’s a massive amount of change in a short period of time. So the debate goes on.

Pile of Organic Apples
Pile of Organic Apples

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Kennedy, Taylor...
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Are genetically altered plants valuable for the environment and our well-being, or detrimental? BioTech Frontiers of Medicine states that, “GM foods have raised controversy. Some people say GM crops are better for the environment, because plants with built in resistance to disease do not need as many pesticides. Other people worry, that strange genes may damage the environment. Some feel that not enough research has been done on the long-term affects these foods have on humans.” Evidently, scientists don’t know the long term effects of these new organisms on the planet or our bodies. They do know that new proteins have been introduced into our food supply. The concern that some people have is the introduction of new allergens. Facts have shown that food allergies are on the upswing. For example, childhood allergies to peanuts have doubled between 1997 and 2002, according to data published in the Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology (2003, vol. 112, no. 6). And thus, scientists don’t know if it is actually due to GMOs. The segment of our population that is most sensitive to modifications in the environment is children and pregnant women. Even most Americans don’t think that GMOs are completely safe. Over 60 percent don’t even think that they have eaten any, according to a 2003 study, but the fact is that Americans eat them everyday mostly in processed food.

Three Red Organic Pears
Three Red Organic Pears

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Syer, Jonathan
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Equally important is the issue of whether Americans, and citizens of any country for that matter, should have the freedom to choose between unaltered food and GM food. The United States does not require that processed food be labeled that it contains GMOs, so for the consumer to avoid them they are forced to chose organic over non-organic. Moreover, the giant Biotech Company, Mansanto, a subsidiary of Pharmacia Corporation, is testing genetically modified crops worldwide, and many are angered because of their regulations. Each bag of genetically altered seeds has a technology fee tacked on and binding contracts are required. As stated by David Cregan, of County Cork, Ireland, where farmers are plundering Mansanto’s test fields of potatoes, “They can tell you what to grow and where to grow it.”

At the same time, plants with genetically engineered herbicide tolerance have an appeal to some farmers. It does to farmer Richard Fitgerald, who has a farm near Loughane in County Cork. Crops in Ireland perennially fall victim to disease and weeds, because of the country’s stretching wetland. Herbicide spraying keeps his field uncluttered from weeds; Mansanto has inserted genes to create herbicide tolerance to their product, Roundup. Richard says, “If it turns out to be good, it would mean that you can control your weeds. Let’s be clear; there is no proof that it will be good for us. And the seed might be expensive. But we have to try it.”

Free Range Organic Pig Sow with Piglets, Wiltshire, UK
Free Range Organic Pig Sow with Piglets, Wiltshire, UK

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Rich, T.j.
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Furthermore, some advocates of genetically altered food, according to the article The Organic Myth, deem that organic food has a higher risk of causing harm to the consumer. Organic farmers rely on composted manure to enrich their fields. These advocates state that the manure creates a flourishing breeding ground for E. coli, which is capable of killing people, if ingested. They conclude that today’s herbicides, pesticides, and fungicides are not harmful to the consumer, because they are largely biodegradable and promptly break down into harmless molecules. In contrast, they argue that bacteria and fungus are a greater risk.

For all that, supporters of organic are convinced that herbicides, pesticides, and fungicides do pose a problem to the consumer by polluting our food and our environment. According to the article, Organic Matters, at the 2005 international congress on Organic Farming, Food Quality, and Human Health, Newcastle University professor Carlo Leifer, Ph.D. gave evidence that grass-based organic cattle diets reduced the risk of E. coli contamination. He stated that the risk was increased with grain-based conventional diets. Second, apples pose a contamination problem. They rank second highest on pesticide-contamination lists. Apple orchards are generally sprayed with organophosphate pesticides, nerve agents that studies have linked to increased attention problems in children and decreased intelligence. Moreover, potatoes are oftentimes sprayed with fungicides to avoid mold growth during storage, which can disrupt endocrine systems. Last, pesticides reduce legume crop yields, according to the results of a study done at the University of Oregon. The researchers concluded that chemical signaling between plants and rhizobia are disrupted by pesticides and contaminates.

Autumnal Display of Pumpkins Against Virginia Creeper at Organic Farm Shop, Cumbria, UK
Autumnal Display of Pumpkins Against Virginia Creeper at Organic Farm Shop, Cumbria, UK

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Toon, Steve & Ann
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Furthermore, researchers’ findings on contaminates aren’t much different today than twenty years ago. In 1988, the EPA reported that ground water in 32 states was contaminated with 74 different agricultural chemicals. In 1994, according to Al Gore in his introduction in the book Silent Spring, DDT and PCBs are essentially banned in the United States; however, pesticides that mimic the female hormone estrogen are plentiful and raising intense new concerns. These pollutants lead to reduced fertility, testicular and breast cancer, and malformations of the genital organs, according to research from Scotland, Germany, and Michigan. Testicular cancer has risen by approximately 50 percent in the 20 years prior to 1994, while sperm counts worldwide have declined 50 percent.

In addition, John R. Lee, M.D. explains, in his book What Your Doctor May Not Tell You About Menopause, about xenoestrogens, foreign substances originating outside the body that have hormone-like and estrogen-like activity in the body. These compounds are derived from petrochemicals and are a basic part of our everyday lives; petroleum fuels, plastics, microchips, medicines, clothing, foods, soaps, pesticides, and perfumes. They improve our quality of life; even so, pollute our air, water, soil, and even our bodies. They cause reproductive abnormalities, including steadily increasing numbers of cancers of the reproductive tract, infertility, low sperm counts, and the feminization of males.

Organic Honey Running into a Honey Jar
Organic Honey Running into a Honey Jar

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Blundell, Paul
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Then, Theo Colburn, Ph.D., senior scientist and manager of the Wildlife and Contaminants Project at the World Wildlife Fund explains the consequences on a large number of wildlife species. She conveyed the observations of increasing reproductive abnormalities in adults and embryos of these species, decreasing populations, and the implications for humans. The world was alerted to the dangers of environmental petrochemicals that “mimic and/or interfere with female and male hormones, thereby modifying development and reproduction.”

Dr. John Lee gives further evidence of the polluting power of xenoestrogens. He states that xenoestrogens are fat soluble and nonbiodegradable. They are difficult to avoid because of their wide spread use. Animal fats, particularly red meat and dairy fat, is the major source of oral intake of the xenoestrogens. Animals are exposed when they eat grains tainted with pesticides, and besides are often given estrogenic substances to fatten them up for market. The xenoestrogens accumulate in their fat, and when the consumer eats the meat or dairy, they accumulate in the fatty tissues of the brain, breast, and liver. This causes estrogen dominance and the symptoms of too much estrogen.

Organic Dairy Farm
Organic Dairy Farm

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Yang, Eric
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Equally important is the findings of Sumpter and Charles Tyler of Brunel University in Uxbridge, England. They exposed trout to treated sewage at a variety of sites and found the fish tested positive for high amounts of a chemical called vitellogenin, indicating the fish had been exposed to an excess of estrogen. The Tylers theorized that the source of the xenoestrogens must be coming from the urine of women taking birth control pills containing the synthetic estrogen ethinylestradiol (EE), when they were unable to find an industrial source. They tested the theory and found that nanogram amounts of EE caused vitellogenin levels to spike in the trout. Synthetic hormones are being dumped into the waterways all over Europe and North America and have entered the food chain. This discovery was of immense importance.

Dr. Lee goes on to explain that nonylphenols aren’t the only xenoestrogens. He maintains that nearly all petrochemical herbicides, pesticides, and fungicides are potent xenoetrogens, and that billions of pounds are spread on our fruits and vegetables every year. The doctor says when we eat a piece of fruit or vegetable, we get a small dose of the chemical. He is convinced that everyone should eat organic and demand organic. “The more we, as consumers, demand organic produce, the more likely it is to be grown that way,” he states. He says that when organic farmers first started growing their produce that way the fruits and vegetables tended to be undersized and unattractive. However, after getting a couple decades of practice under their belts, their produce is just as pleasing to look at and more flavorful, because it is grown in lush, healthy soil.

Organic Fruits
Organic Fruits

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Yang, Eric
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Finally, the book, One Good Apple, tells us that pesticides are everywhere, not just on our food. It’s in the soil, air, and water. It’s in the rain, snow, and fog. The noxious chemicals are carried around the world by wind and ocean currents. It has even been detected at the North Pole and the South Pole. Unbelievingly, these toxic substances have been found in new born babies and mother’s milk.

In Silent Spring, Mr. Gore also expresses that fact that mutation is also a problem with pesticides. He reveals the fact that many pesticides don’t cause the number of pests to decline. They do at first, but in the end the pests adapt to the chemicals and mutation occurs. Then, the pesticides are useless.

Mutation is not only a problem with pesticides. The use of antibiotics, which can also cause mutation, is another pressing issue with our food supply. Antibiotics are routinely used in the processing of beef, chicken, milk and eggs. Scientists warn that the use of antibiotics in these foods will lead to treatment-resistant bacteria, according to the article Organic Matters. When one needs to be treated for an infection, the antibiotic may not work anymore or have to be used in greater quantities, increasing the chance of undesirable side effects. Examples are diarrhea or stomach upset.

Organic Farming Is Used to Restore the Productivity of the Soil
Organic Farming Is Used to Restore the Productivity of the Soil

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Richardson, Jim
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Another ponderous issue to debate is the existence of hormone in the food supply. Cows are administered growth hormones, recombinant bovine somatotropin (rBST) or recombinant bovine growth hormone (rBGH) to increase milk production. The FDA depends on pasteurization to kill off bacteria, hormones, and antibiotics. However, the concern is that the effects of these growth hormones haven’t been adequately studied, according to the article, Organic Matters.

On the other side of the coin, there is the issue of growth hormones being given to chickens. According to the FDA document, The Use of Steroid Hormones For Growth Promotion In Food-Producing Animals, written in 2002; there are no steroids approved for use in poultry. Some consumers believe that the rapid growth seen in today’s chickens is due to the use of hormones. Chickens grow more rapidly because they have been bred to do so, scientific studies have documented, not because of hormones.

Woven Basket Full of Organic Brown Eggs on Straw
Woven Basket Full of Organic Brown Eggs on Straw

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Despite the fact that chickens aren’t given hormones, there is the issue of whether organic, or free range, eggs are better than those gathered from chickens kept in confined areas. According to the journal article, Meet Real Free-Range Eggs, eggs in our supermarkets that have come from chickens in factory farms are inferior to eggs laid by chickens raised on pasture. In 2007, The Mother Earth News tested eggs from 14 flocks across the country that were produced by pasture raised chickens. They compared this data with U.S. Department of Agriculture nutrient data for commercial eggs. They concluded that eggs from chickens raised on pasture may contain; 1/3 less cholesterol, 3/4 less saturated fat, 2/3 more vitamin A, 2 times more omega-3 fatty acids, 3 times more vitamin E, and 7 times more beta carotene. These results were similar to results from a 2005 study.

In addition to these findings, several other studies also conclude that true free-range eggs, where the chickens actually feed and roam on pasture, are more nutritious. In 1974, the British Journal of Nutrition found that pastured eggs had 50 percent more folic acid and 70 percent more vitamin B12 than factory eggs. In 1988, Artemis Simopoulos, co-author of The Omega Diet, found pastured eggs in Greece had 13 times more omega-3 fatty acids than commercial eggs. In 1998, Animal Feed Science and Technology found that pastured eggs had higher omega-3s and vitamin E than factory eggs. In 1999, Barb Gorski at Pennsylvania State University found that pasture eggs had 10 percent less fat, 34 percent less cholesterol, 40 percent more vitamin A, and 4 times more omega-3s. Finally, in 2003, Heather Karsten at Pennsylvania State University compared eggs from two groups. One group was factory eggs and the other group was fed on mixed grass and legume pasture. The eggs had similar fat and cholesterol levels. However, the pastured eggs had 3 times more omega-3s, 220 percent more vitamin E, and 62 percent more vitamin A than the caged chickens.

Gardener Washing Home Grown Organic Carrots, 'Early Nantes' Variety under Garden Tap, Norfolk, UK
Gardener Washing Home Grown Organic Carrots, 'Early Nantes' Variety under Garden Tap, Norfolk, UK

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Smith, Gary
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So why organic ? Is it really that important to buy organic? I think the numbers speak for themselves.

I have given you both the pros and the cons. I personally believe that organic is the best and, in fact, very important for our overall health. That is why I offer retailers that offer you organic products and sustainable agriculture.

I overheard one of my daughter’s friends the other day. She was commenting on my organic carrots. She said to Erin, my carrots are all the same size and shape and they're all smooth on the surface and your Mom’s carrots are different sizes and shapes, and aren’t all smooth. I thought that was a pretty profound observation and said a lot about organic versus non-organic. Nature doesn’t produce plants that are all identical.....

Home Grown Organic Beetroot, 'Detroit' in Blue Wooden Trug Beside Vegeteble Plot, Norfolk, UK
Home Grown Organic Beetroot, 'Detroit' in Blue Wooden Trug Beside Vegeteble Plot, Norfolk, UK

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Smith, Gary
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10 Things Monsanto Does Not Want You To Know... Genetic engineering is a radical technology that breaks down genetic barriers between humans, plants and animals. Once released, these genetically modified organisms (GMOs)can easily spread and interbreed with other organisms, and they are virtually impossible to recall back to the laboratory. Free! Click Here!


Everything You Need to Know About Living an Organic Lifestyle is Revealed in One Convenient, Inexpensive eBook! The Ultimate Organic Lifestyle Click Here!


The Ultimate, 'Take-You-By-The-Hand' Manual For Creating & Managing Your Own Organic Food Garden - Even If You Know Nothing About Organic Gardening, eBook! Organic Food Gardening Beginners Manual
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The Healthy Dining Guide To Local Restaurants Serving: Organic, Grass-fed, Seasonal, Local, Clean Food Hundreds of listings across the United States to help you find that hidden gem down the street, eBook Healthy Eats Here! Click Here!


There is lots of other scientific evidence regarding organic foods and your health. This is the tip of the iceberg. Are you fed up with trying to stay away from additives?

So.....

What Are You Doing to Go Organic & Avoid GMO's & Chemicals?
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Found some incredible fact? Share your story, tip or review about organics!




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