Organic Fruits and Vegetables
Organic agriculture gives consumers who wish to avoid genetically modified foods a choice in the marketplace.
The use of genetically engineered seeds and growth hormones, sewage sludge, and irradiation are prohibited under the strict United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) regulations for certified organic fruits and vegetables. Organic farmers build healthy soil without the use of toxic and persistent pesticides and fertilizers, and annual audits of farms and processing facilities are required. All organic food and beverage products sold in the United States, no matter where they were grown, must meet or exceed USDA organic regulations.
Benefits of Organic
HIGHER NUTRIENT LEVELS
The health benefits of cancer-fighting anti-oxidants and more beneficial amino acids, vitamins and minerals in organic foods have been continually shown in studies.
LOWER PESTICIDE RESIDUES
In Organic farming, the USDA prohibits the use of bug killers (pesticides), mold killers (fungicides), and weed killers (synthetic herbicides). The EPA has classified many of these as cancer causing agents.
CHILDREN NEED IT THE MOST
Children’s immature and developing organs, brains, and detoxification and immune systems, plus their larger intake of food per pound of body weight, combine to make them even more susceptible to toxins than adults. Organic agriculture minimizes children’s exposure to toxic and persistent pesticides in the soil in which they play, the air they breathe, the water they drink, and the foods they eat.
Organic food production prohibits many additives – such as preservatives, artificial sweeteners, colorings and flavorings, MSG, hydrogenated fat, and phosphoric acid. Studies have shown that these contribute to hyperactivity in pre-school children.
ANTIBIOTICS IN AGRICULTURE
Because organic practices recognize and respect the powerful nature of antibiotics, human health is protected in the long term. Organic practices also prohibit the use of hormones, antibiotics or other animal drugs in animal feed for the purpose of stimulating the growth or production of livestock. Thus, organic practices avoid the abuse of antibiotics that could have profound consequences for treatment of disease in humans, including the serious dangers of antibiotic-resistant bacteria.
FERTILIZERS and the HEALTH of AQUATIC SYSTEMS
Organic practices help protect ground water supplies and avoid runoff of chemicals that can cause “dead zones” in larger bodies of water. This is the result of organic agriculture which respects the balance of microorganisms in the soil. Organic producers use composted manure and other natural materials, as well as crop rotation, to help improve soil fertility, rather than petroleum-based synthetic fertilizers that can result in an overabundance of nitrogen and phosphorus in the ground.
THE BOTTOM LINE
Increasing one’s intake of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants and decreasing one’s toxin burden can have a significant impact on health, especially when trying to improve or restore health
Organic agriculture builds the health of the soil, providing the foundation for healthy crops. In order to be certified organic, crops must be grown on land free of prohibited substances for at least three years prior to harvest. Crops grown on land in transition to organic (during the first three years after switching from conventional farming) cannot be labeled as organic.
National organic standards require producers to use organic agricultural methods and materials that cover soil fertility, the application of manure, crop rotation, and composting. National organic standards prohibit the use of municipal solid waste and sewage sludge as compost ingredients.
Organic producers also must follow a National List of Acceptable and Prohibited Materials concerning pest control treatments, fertilizers and seed treatments that they use. All agricultural materials must be evaluated for their long-term effects on the environment and not simply whether they are synthetic or natural.