Is Making Organic Choice in Foods a Healthy
Choice Or is it a waste of money?
If making organic choice is not a healthy choice...
then what is?
Would you make an organic choice if you're convinced it can enhance the health of your family?
This question is relevant in light of a recent research from Stanford University
This report says that buying organic does not confer any health benefits
Because according to this Stanford organic food research, there is no health advantage in making organic choice in foods over regular foods
The Envireonmental Working Group [EWG] has compiled a list of fruits and vegetables with the most and least pesticide residues. It calls this list, The Dirty Dozen!
Here is the link, for 2013, to making healthy choices in foods from the EWG
Organic Produce-money down the drain?
The extra price of organic food is just a waste of money, according to this research
This research, done by Stanford's Center for Health Policy, is causing so much controversy
Because for years a lot of us who have been making, and continue to make a healthy choice as far as nutrion is concerned, thought we are the healthier for it
Well, I am not an expert, and I'll admit that Stanford University is a prestigious institution, but I suspect these researchers must have been consuming too many pesticide-laden foods- I am entilted to my opinion, Am I not?
Needless to say, a lot of people strongly disagree with the conclusions of this "research."
Would the researchers also argue that, by extension, organic beauty products are no healthier than their petroleum derived counterparts?
The weakness of this research is brought into focus by the fact that this "research" only lasted for 2 years-such data of a few years is so incomplete as to be grossly unreliable
If this research had wanted to debunk the wisdom of an organic product choices, it would need far more greater data collected over many years
Coming out strongly against the conclusion of this research-which some see as an assault on organic choice-also is the Soil Association of the United Kingdom
Even if such a prestigious organization had not come out against this research, there are some of us who would not change making organic choice in our diet. We know how eating healthy makes us feel
What this research fails to take into account is government research, [United States Department of Agriculture] that documented the ever declining levels of nutrition in foods over the last 5 decades
And this is directly linked to the poor health of the soil
The argument of the researchers is-yes, regular foods have pesticides, but that 38% of the foods have pesticide levels within the safety limits of the EPA [Environmental Protection Agency, U.S]
Which still leaves 68%!
Which means in the absence of an organic choice, you'll still be consuming foods, 68% of which exceeds the safe limits of pesticide content
But ask yourself this: What level of a poison is safe?
And what is the effect of long term consumption?
Isn't it possible for these chemicals to accumulate to dangerous levels over time?
What are the advantages of organic food production?
First, what is an oganic food and how does it differ from regular foods?
There are several ways in which organic farming differs from inorganic
Organic foods by definition must not have been sprayed with pesticides
Organic food crops can NOT be grown from genetically modified [GMO] seeds
Organic food crops must not have been fertilized with synthetic/inorganic fertilizers-fertilizers if any must be organic fertilizers
We know that the residues of pesticides actually accompany non-organic foods to the supermarket
In fact, a whole industry has even developed around produce wash. A produce wash is supposed to wash away these pesticide residues on non-organic foods
Some of us suspect that this is just one shot in the war over control of food worldwide.
Control food, and you control everything, no guns needed
Don't think there are concerted efforts to control foods? Get this documentary, The Future of Foods and see for yourself
Seed companies such as Monsanto, are busy trying to destroy native seeds, and substituting their genetically modified seeds instead
This company has been busy suing, bullying and intimidating farmers into buying their seeds, which several researches had shown are unhealthy
People making organic choices in their foods do not figure into their plan-a plan in which profits trump people's health
But the people can look to the government to protect them against this kind of abuse, right?
FARMAGEDDON, a documentary by Linda Faillace, tells the story of how THE GOVERNMENT forced family farmers to stop supplying healthy foods to their communities!!!
Hard to believe? See with your own eyes
But it might not always be possible to wash away all the pesticides sprayed on foods.
This is especially true of soft foods such as berries, where the pesticides could penetrate beyond the surface
People who consider JUICING a part of their healthy lifestyle shoud be concerned about pesticides, because all the pesticides in the fruits and vegetables end up in their juices
No pesticide at all is better than a few, especially when an organic choice is available
Common sense dictates that food grown on healthy soil would of neccessity, be healthier than that damaged by synthetics; it's just common sense
This is one case, at least, in which common sense trumps a vaunted research-research that we are now learning may NOT be as independent as it would have us believe
We know organic produce reduces our exposure to pesticides-even this research conceeds as much
We also know that organic foods taste better
What else do we know?
Oh! organic farming reduces poisonous run-offs into streams and rivers
These run-offs kill fish, pollute rivers and destroy people's livelihood and even their water supply
Before I forget, here is another advantage of organic choice: Organic farming preserves the fertility of the soil, prevents erosion and improves health
Why not organic-even the government wants to know
In case you think only nuts, and over the hill hippies are concerned about organic choices and pesticides, here is something to think about:
Did you know the USDA [United States Department of Agriculture] publishes a list of foods sprayed with pesticides, in the order of the number of pesticides sprayed on them?
And would you believe the healthy apple has the highest number of pesticides sprayed on it?
Did you also know that, in the '60s, the U.S Department of Agriculture research, showed that 37% of the States agricultural soils, were deficient in zinc
Did you know also that there was a government report that said a lot of Americans are deficient in ZINC?
You don't think it could have something to do with the low level of this mineral in our soils, do you?
And it is not just zinc the soils are deficient in
This Stanford research also fails to acknowledge government [United States Department of Agriculture] research, that documented the ever declining levels of nutrition in foods over the last 5 decades, as a result of the low levels of nutrients in the soil
It is estimated that it takes years-as long as decades in some cases-for organic farming to restore soil nutrients to their healthy levels after they've been depleted by unhealthy farming practices
Why are these facts important to the government if they do not affect the nutritional quality of foods?
Oh, here is another fact:
The Cancer Panel-a panel convened by president Obama in 2010-recommended that people eat organic foods!
Before we go on, let's look at just one of the pesticides sprayed on food tha end up on your dinner table...
This has been banned in Europe. It is considered a risk factor for endocrine impairment in animals and humans
Remember, pesticides are mostly organo-phosphates-a class of chemiccals that has been implicated as a risk factor for lower IQ in children of pregnant women exposed to them
This is the result of research from-NOT one institution- but from THREE-count them-three, equally prestigious institutions, namely:
- Columbia University
- Mount Sinai Hospital
- University of California, Berkely
So, there are overwhelming researches to back up the healthy claims of an organic choice
We all believe that an organic choice confers great health advantages
We may not all have college degrees, or be able to secure research grant money like Stanford University has access to
There is something we all have, and that is common sense and experience
So, let's put that common sense to use, shall we
Let's see if organic choice confers any health benefits as compared to non-organic
Organic food choices-a result of common sense
AND.....keep in mind that this is NOT even an original research.
NO! The researchers just analyzed previous researches-over 200 of them, we are told- and then drew some inferences from these reviews!
Well, I could observe the sky for one day, and infer that the sun moves from east to west too!!!
Guess what, I would be wrong
Humans who consume pesticide sprayed foods would have ingested some of these pesticides, and the more of these foods they consume, and the longer they consume them, the more the accumulation of these poisons in ther bodies.
Now, these pesticides are supposed to kill pests-they are poisonous to them
If they are poisonous to pests, could they also be poisonous to humans, especially when they are ingested over an extended period?
Sure, the government has set the maximum allowable levels of these pesticides
The government [United States] also allows a maximum of two maggots per one can of spaghetti!
And what level of a poison is safe?
And how about the dispersion of these poisons into the environment during spraying
Scientists determined a few decades ago that what a plant needs to thrive, are a combination of a few chemicals. So they went into their laboratory, and synthesized a chemical soup of these ingredients.
Unfortunately, this is a wrong reasoning and a faulty understanding of agriculture and soil science.
You cannot synthesize nitrogen-fixing bacteria in a beaker
You can not manufacture worms that help aerate the soil, however sophisticated your knowledge or equipments
Today, that's what most fertilizers are made of.
These are mostly nitrates and petroleum derived products
Would you believe that governments monitor and restrict the sale of nitrates, to make sure only those who have legitimate uses for them can purchase them?
Because nitrates are a class of ingredients in explosives, and can be used to make bombs!
Now, do you want this kind of product near what you put in your mouth?
The soil consists of many nutients that the plant uses to produce the food we eat, and these nutrients are organic, or should be
But the soil also contains a lot of other things that cannot be synthesized in a laboratory
Consider also the fact that non-organic foods are grown in a monoculture fashion-that is the same crop is planted on the same plot of land, year after year-then you do not have to be an expert to realize the crops produced will have less nutrients than in organic foods
The implication of this is that, with each planting, the soil will have less and less of the same nutrients the plant uses the most
Which means the food produced would contain less nutrition with each harvest
But the pesticide and artificial fertilizer manfacturers would counter that, this is why fertilizers are neccessary
But this is a bogus argument
Remember that these are artificial fertilizers. Artificial fertilizers, is a term for what are essentially synthetic chemicals. They are poorly arbsorbed and poorly used by the plant. And no one, regarless of what they claim, actually know their long tern side effects
And when people are sick from these pesticides, the causes might be attributed to other factors
So, use some more, the manufacturer would say
How about using none at all?
No one can argue with a straight face that a product, produced with pipettes, beakers and bunsen burners is the same as that produced by nature!
In fact, in a bow to common sense that I keep on hammering on, the Stanford research conceeded that...
What is organic and why is ir healthier?
- Consuming organic foods reduces exposure to pesticides by 30%! Organic choice does offer health advantages after all
I'll take that healthy advantage over an inorganic choice any day, even if that's all it confers, but that's not all
- The research also conceeded that there is a higher level of Omega-3 in organic milk than regular milk
Can we also infer-using their concession on milk as a guide...
that organic foods would also have more nutrients than foods drenched in pesticides and synthetic fertilizers?
Is organic living under assault-and if so, by who?
Coincidentally, a few days after this study came out in early September 2012, another study came out to say that Omega-3 offers no health advantage for your heart
This was even a bigger surprise to a lot of people who had thought that that question had been settled
What's going on here?
I'll answer that question later on in this piece-at least I'll tell you what I think, which is in line with what a lot of people think
The study also conceeded that eating organic foods may lower ones exposure to pesticide residues- and more significantly, anti-biotic resistant bacteria.
What are the advantages of organic foods?
What this means is that if you make an organic choice as a lifestyle, you're less likely to be infected by bacteria that may kill you, because anti-biotics are losing their efficacy against infectious bacteria that constantly mutate to stay ahead of any anti-biotics man can come up with.
If you ever contract these diseases, you are more likely to die than get well.
This fact alone, is the greatest argument for making an organic choice when it comes to something that goes into your mouth
How, in the face of this fact, can anyone say that an organic choice does not confer any health advantages? Unless of course either...
- There is a hidden agenda
- This research is not really independent
- And this qoute: Two studies reported significant lower urinary pesticides levels among children consuming organic versus conventional diets Another concession by this research
This research had made enough concession to organic choice as to undermine their own research!
What is organic farming?
Organic choice farming, on the other hand
- Are grown in multi-culture environment in which different plants are planted on the land
These different plants take diffeerent nutrients from the soil and help the soil recover faster
- The land may be left fallow for a few years-also so the soil can more fertile, and allow the growth of soil organisms that help plants thrive
- Crop rotation also involves farming methods in which different crops are planted. Different plants take different nutrients from the soil. This helps the soil to recover
- There is the practice of planting nitrogen fixing plants such as legumes to help the soil recover faster and produce better and more nutritious harvest the next time around
- And the use of organic fertilizers
This should suggest to any one, that organic foods will have more nutrition, because there is more nutrients in the soil for the plant to draw on
Or there is a concerted effort to drive organic choices from the market place
Dangers of not practicing organic farming
But here is another problem.....
Pesticides sprayed to kill pests also kill nitrogen fixing bacteria, worms and other soil organisms
These organisms are very important for plant growth and healthy food production
Worms help in the aeration, fertility, cohesion, irrigation of the soil. This in turn, is directly related to the nutrition of the crops grown on such soil, and in preventing soil erosion
Soil erosion had caused low harvests and famines in human history
If there is not enough minerals , nitrogen-fixing bacteria, and oxygen in the soil, the food crops grown on them would be less nutritious!
Again, it's just common sense!!
If you do not make an organic choice for you and your family, you would have given consent by default, for others to make food decisions for you
But, listen to this...
There are also indirect costs in the use of pesticides and artificial fertilizers
Pesticides have been implicated in the collapse of bee colonies
Why should you care about that...?
And how does that relate to organic choices?
For several reasons, really:
- Bees are responsible for pollinating a lot of our food crops. The less bees there are, the fewer the number of plants polllinated
- If bees are being killed off by pesticides, is it far fetched to assume that humans may also be dying, albeit at a slower rate, as a result of these pesticides?
- Bee products are some of the healthiest products on earth-bee pollen,bee propolis, honey, royal jelly.
Here is another concern-pesticides and artificial fertillizers are carried into rivers by run offs.
Fertilizers and pesticides contribute to the acidity and pollution of rivers and even water supplies for humans
Now, what do you think would happen to fishes in these polluted rivers?
That's right-they die, devastating fishery in affected areas
So, you see, we should all make organic choice, not because it's "hip," but because our health, ability to feed ourselves, and the health of the planet may depend on it
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