Monday, July 09, 2007

Yes Organic is Better!

I followed a link from somewhere and wound up on the ABC news site on an article titled:
Is Going Organic Really Better for You? More Natural, More Expensive Produce May Offer Little Additional Health Incentive
It is a very misleading title to say the least. For instance in just the first few paragraphs it points out a new study...

Now comes a study in the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry that finds otherwise.

Organic tomatoes were found to have nearly twice the level of two compounds, quercetin and kaempferol, as traditionally grown tomatoes. These compounds, part of a group called flavonoids, which are just a subclass of antioxidants, have been linked to a reduction in heart disease risk, so higher levels in food would seem to be a good thing.

Might not something about new research showing the benefits of organic food been a better title? The rest of the article is just the same old stuff about how expensive organic food is and so forth. It does mention that the important thing is to first eat your proper quantity of fruits and vegetables everyday and then worry about the organic. Overall the tone of the article is kind of dismissive of trying to eat organic and in at least one instance states that expecting everyone to to do is impossible since we don't have enough farmland to grow that much food. Wrong. Currently only a fraction of a percent of the arable land in this country is producing organic food and it has been shown repeatedly that an integrated organic farm can be more productive than a non organic one and produce higher quality food with less cost and a far less impact on the environment. In several recent studies it has shown that pasture raised or grass fed beef is higher in Omega 3 fatty acid and has less cholesterol than the factory farm beef.

These articles always leave out some of the important things about organic and natural foods. They are other reasons aside from good nutrition and healthy food to eat natural and organic.

Foods grown in harmony with the natural way of things do not have a negative impact on the environment. No nitrogen fertilizers are needed that consume huge quantities of oil to produce. No pesticides are broadcast over thousands of acres at a time killing everything that gets in its way. Beef, pork and poultry that are raised in pastures and in the open eating their natural foods like grass, etc. have no downside impact on the environment plus the animals are healthier, happier and better sources of food for humans than the factory farmed animals that are stuffed by the thousands together and fed grains which are not their natural food and which in turn makes them sick. Because they become sick from stress and unnatural food they have to be pumped up with antibiotics and other drugs so that they can live long enough to be slaughtered. We won't even talk about the tons of waste these factory farms create.

The last page says "If you really want to try eating organic then here are some tips..." Implying that if you are crazy enough then...

These subtle "hit pieces" will also never point out how much better organic and especially locally grown produce tastes than the stuff trucked or flown in from who knows where at a tremendous cost in energy.

Yes, currently organic is usually more expensive that conventionally grown fruits and vegetables but the more we support it now by paying a few cents more the faster the industry will grow and as it does it will become more competitive with conventionally farmed food.

We all need to try and buy locally grown food and organic where possible and remember to eat in season. If it is blackberry season in your area by all means go hog wild but if it's not and your only source of blackberries is from Chile then consider another option or better yet buy a bunch when they are in season and can or freeze some for when they are not.

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