Tuesday, April 5, 2011


For decades, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) and other environmental groups have been advocating using and buying organic products. These products are grown using natural means without harmful chemicals. Organic is not necessarily the cheapest or most cost-efficient farming system. Without the use of chemicals, pest management and weed control must be done by hand.

The labor-intensive process is slower and more complex which is why labor costs can be up to 30% higher. But, the overall added benefits of organic farming make it a valuable option which is promoted by the USDA, environmental agencies and many consumers.

Organic Benefits the Environment

When you make an organic choice, you are helping to reduce the toxic levels in the environment. According to the USDA, there are only about 0.5% organic crop and pasture lands in the U.S. This percentage is small compared to the 99.5% that use agricultural chemicals. Imagine all of the synthetic fertilizers not only affecting the food that we eat, but also the health of workers exposed. Even more, consider the exposure once these chemicals start drifting downstream, eventually leading to seas and oceans, affecting marine life and even non-farming communities.

Even low-level exposure to pesticides can cause neurological effects, increase the risk of cancer and decrease fertility.

Choosing organic products also help in building healthy soil. Chemical fertilizers used in farmlands have a top soil loss costing about $40 billion per year.

Organic Benefits You

When you opt for organic foods, your body is able to derive the maximum nutritional levels. The loss of topsoil not only is expensive, but also contributes to the loss of natural nutrients that are found in fruits and vegetables. For instance, fruits and vegetables fertilized with organic compost do not lose their nutritional value and do not absorb harmful chemicals.

Besides increased vitamins and minerals, organic products also taste better when compared to those that were grown using synthetic fertilizers. The researchers at Washington State University conducted taste tests on organic vs. conventional food using organic and inorganic berries. Their findings showed that organic berries tasted sweeter compared to their counterparts. These results support just one more reason why the body benefits when making an organic choice.

Promoting Organic

The government is encouraging farmers to produce USDA organic farms. They use 30% less energy on average, promote healthy water and local habitats, and are safer for those on the farm or downstream from it. However, more help is needed for farmers to sustain organic growing. By supporting organic products, you’ll help to secure this healthier and safer option for your family and future generations

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