Why We Should Eat Organic Food!
- Protect Future Generations
Children receive four times the exposure than an adult to at least
eight widely used cancer-causing pesticides in food. The food choice
you make now will impact your child's health in the future.
- Prevent Soil Erosion
The Soil Conservation Service estimates that more than three billion
tons of topsoil are eroded from United States croplands each year,
seven times faster than it can accumulate naturally. Soil is the foundation
of the food chain in organic farming, but in conventional farming,
the soil is used more as a medium for holding plants in a vertical
position so they can be chemically fertilized. As a result, American
and Canadian farms are suffering from the worst soil erosion in history.
- Protect Water Quality
Water makes up two-thirds of our body mass and covers three-fourths
of the planet. Despite its importance, the Environmental Protection
Agency estimates pesticides contaminate the ground water in 38 states,
polluting the primary source of drinking water for more than half
the country's population.
- Save Energy
Farms have changed drastically in the last three generations, from
the family-based small businesses dependent on human energy to large
scale factory farms highly dependent on fossil fuels. Modern farming
methods use more petroleum than any other single industry, consuming
12 percent of the country's total energy supply. More energy is now
used to produce synthetic fertilizers than to till, cultivate, and
harvest all the crops in the United States. Organic farming is still
mainly based on labor-intensive practices such as weeding by hand
and using green manures and crop covers rather than synthetic inputs.
- Keep Chemicals off Your Plate
Many pesticides approved for use by the EPA were registered before
extensive research linking these chemicals to cancer and other diseases
had been established. Now the EPA considers that 60% of all herbicides,
90% of all fungicides and 30% insecticides are carcinogenic. A 1987
National Academy of Sciences report estimates that pesticides might
be causing almost 1.5 million extra cases of cancer among Americans.
Pesticides are implicated in birth defects, nerve damage, cancer,
and genetic mutation.
- Protect Farm Workers Health
A National Cancer Institute study found that farmers exposed to herbicides
were six times more likely to develop cancer than non-farmers. In
California, reported pesticide poisonings among farm workers have
risen an average of 14% a year since 1973, and doubled between 1975
and 1985. Farm workers' health also is a serious problem in developing
nations, where pesticides can be poorly regulated. An estimated one
million people are poisoned annually by pesticides. Several of the
pesticides banned from use in the United States are still manufactured
here for export to other countries.
- Help Small Farmers
Although growing numbers of large scale farms are making the conversion
to organic practices, most organic farms are small independently-owned
and operated family farms of less than 100 acres. It's estimated that
the United States has lost more than 650,000 family farms in the past
decade. With the US Department of Agriculture predicting that half
of this country's farm production will come from 1% of farms by the
year 2000, organic farming could become one of the few hopes left
for family farms.
- Support a True Economy
Although organic food might seem more expensive than conventional
foods, conventional food prices do not reflect hidden cost borne by
taxpayers, including nearly $74 billion in federal subsidies in 1988.
Other hidden costs include pesticide regulation and testing, hazardous
waste disposal and clean up, and environmental damage.
- Promote Biodiversity
Mono cropping is the practice of planting large plots of land with
the same crop year after year. While this approach tripled farm production
between 1950 and 1970, the lack of natural diversity of plant life
has left the soil lacking in natural minerals and nutrients. To replace
the nutrients, chemical fertilizers are used, often in increasing
- Taste Better Flavor
There's a good reason many chefs use organic foods in their recipes.
They taste better. Organic farming starts with the nutrients of the
soil which eventually leads to the nourishment of the plant and ultimately
Why We Should Have Our Children Eat Organic Food.
A 1993 published report by The National Academy of Science entitled,
"Pesticides in the Diets of Infants and Children" has concluded that
current government pesticide standards do not protect the health of
- Since babies bodies are immature, and immune and detoxification
systems are in a state of development, there is a greater vulnerability
- Pound for pound, babies eat two to four times more vegetables and
fruits than adults and so are exposed to a higher proportion of possible
- The health effects of chronic low level exposure to pesticide residues
are still unknown.
Another released report, "Pesticides in Children's Food" by the Environmental
Working Group, concluded that the largest contribution to a person's
lifetime risk of cancer from pesticide residues occurs during childhood.
Apart from your baby's health, a more indirect reason to feed your
children organic food is the fact that it supports the growth of organic
farming. This in turn helps protect the health of the environment -
keep pesticides out of the earth and water supply - and will help preserve
the planet for them and their children.
The long term savings found in good health and a clean environment
can more than offset the added costs of organic foods in the long run.