Organic Foods- Pros and Cons

Organic Foods- Pros and Cons

What is organic food: How is it produced?

The process in most cases starts with organically grown crops so a quick explanation: Organic farming produces crops and rears cattle without the use of chemicals and artificial additives. It is farming the natural way and concentrates on producing a fertile soil.

Animals reared on organic farms are housed properly they have room to move about and behave like animals.They are fed healthy food sources and not those laden with drugs and other chemicals.

So in summary the answer to what is organic food is.…crops and animals produced and fed with natural food and without the use of chemical additives.

What is organic food: How can it benefit me?

To answer this question, I’ll highlight two items:

1. Milk: “When you choose a glass of conventional milk, you are buying into a whole chemical system of agriculture,” says Dr. Greene. People who switch to organic milk typically do so because they are concerned about the antibiotics, artificial hormones and pesticides used in the commercial dairy industry.

One recent United States Department of Agriculture survey found certain pesticides in about 30 percent of conventional milk samples and low levels in only one organic sample.

The level is relatively low compared to some other foods, but many kids consume milk in large quantities.

2. Potatoes: Potatoes are a staple of the American diet — one survey found they account for 30 percent of our overall vegetable consumption.

A simple switch to organic potatoes has the potential to have a big impact because commercially-farmed potatoes are some of the most pesticide- contaminated vegetables. A 2006 U.S.D.A. test found 81 percent of potatoes tested still contained pesticides after being washed and peeled, and the potato has one of the the highest pesticide contents of 43 fruits and vegetables tested, according to the Environmental Working Group.


The first place I go upon entering the grocery store is the produce section. Here is where I do most of my shopping, and inevitably where I tend to spend most of my money. Does that surprise you? It shouldn’t if you buy organic produce. Many people are turned off to the choice of purchasing organic products because they tend to be more expensive. Others, meanwhile, are seeing the benefits of buying organic as a necessity for good health.

The reason for the added expense in terms of organic products is that organic dairy, wheat/grains, meat, and produce farmers are not able to produce the mass quantities that other non-organic farmers can. They follow strict guidelines which require the use of no hormones, antibiotics, or pesticides in order to keep the food safe and healthy.

The increasing demand for organic products by the consumer has resulted in more and more corporate conglomerations capitalizing on this rising trend (and letting nutrition and quality fall by the wayside), but still doing just enough to slap the “organic” symbol on their packaging and charge a premium price.

This results in the consumer standing between two food options (maybe it’s the organic cereal vs. the non organic cereal or even the organic milk vs. the non -organic milk), and trying to decipher if the cost difference is worth the health benefits.


The biggest study ever of organic food was completed in 2007 and found that organic fruit and vegetables contain up to 40% more antioxidants than conventional equivalents, and that the figure was 60% for organic milk. The 4-year study was funded by the European Union and was the largest of its kind ever undertaken.

These results were simply announced to the popular press, and have not yet undergone the rigors of scientific peer review, so conclusiveness of this study is debatable.

Some studies have shown higher nutrient levels in organic fruit and vegetables compared with conventionally grown products. However, due to the difficulty with designing such experiments, the evidence was not considered conclusive.

A 2001 study by researchers at Washington State University concluded, under judgement by a panel of tasters, that organic apples were sweeter. Along with taste and sweetness, the texture as well as firmness of the apples were also rated higher than those grown conventionally. These differences are attributed to the greater soil quality resulting from organic farming techniques compared to those of conventional farming.

However, a 2002 meta-analysis (a review of all past studies on the subject) found no proof that organic food offers greater nutritional values, more consumer safety or any distinguishable difference in taste.

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I am a proud, retired Air Force veteran and father of five. The days here in Kentucky are almost always nice, good for fishing.

I look forward to nice times with my family, and a little success with my internet business.

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