Why to go organic

This morning I came across this guest post on Focus Organic listing 10 reasons to go organic.

It is interesting reading, although I’d love to see the author’s sources referenced.

My biggest reasons are his #1 (pesticides are killers, ergo likely not good for your body either), #5 (protect water from excess pesticides, because they kill living things in the waterways), #7 (organic farms are better for wildlife) and #9 (workers on organic farms are not exposed to scary levels of pesticides).

His #4 is argued by some meat producers:

If you eat dairy or meat products, going organic is essential to safeguarding your family’s health. Traditional, non-organic raised dairy cows and farm animals are fed a dangerous cocktail of anti-biotics, growth promoting drugs, anti-parasite drugs and many other medicines on a daily basis, whether they are sick or not. These drugs are passed directly onto the consumers of their dairy produce or meat.

Many producers say these things are not in their meat products. Many environmentalists believe otherwise.

But I do believe #4 is valid — choose organic meat and dairy whenever possible — because of the fact that some pesticides are fat-soluble, meaning they are concentrated in animal fat. You could undo your organic-produce-eating by absorbing pesticides from conventional meat and dairy.  Because of this situation, the U.S. government actually recommends that consumers trim fat from meat and skin from poultry and fish.

I also buy organic to support farmers who are trying to do the right thing by our health, our planet and the natural order of things.

EDITED: Just after I posted this, I came across this post with a link to a new study that found organic farming can be more productive than conventional methods – fascinating reading.

Why do you — or don’t you — buy organic?

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5 thoughts on “Why to go organic

  1. Patricia says:

    I buy organic when I can. It used to be all the time, now however because of the higher cost and my lower finances, I only buy some organic items. Anything that has a skin on it that I will eat, including potatoes, I buy organic. I have read that the skin is where much of the chemicals stay and I don’t like chemicals at all. Also, any support we give to organic and sustainable farming makes a positive statement to the business of agriculture.

  2. erin says:

    Generally, we try to always buy organic. We have 3 small children and feel it is extremely important to keep the toxic burden down in their little bodies. Sometimes, if there is no organic option for something, we will just buy something else. One thing I absolutely only eat organic is strawberries as I have heard they use quite a bit of pesticides on conventional ones.

  3. L'an says:

    Like everyone else, I buy organic when I can. The flavor is so much better when it comes to organic fruits. Other things, where the flavor isn’t as much of an issue (think, potatoes or onions), the thought of the concentration of chemicals and pesticides ooks me out so unless there is a huge price differential I’ll always opt organic. I also think it is really important to support the farmers who are going organic, because they’re the ones who are doing what they can to maintain our ecosystem and, call me crazy, I think our ecosystem is on the verge of needing to be listed as “most endangered” if it isn’t already.

    I have bought things that aren’t certified organic when they are local, on the logic that a local farmer practicing sustainable agriculture is more important than a certified organic agribusiness doing monoculture five states away.

    That said, even knowing what I know about pesticides and produce and antibiotics in milk/meat… and knowing about the benefits of local and in-season food… there are moments when that box of January blueberries, questionable pesticides and all, does a whole lot to brighten my mood, and I’ve decided it’s a risk I’m willing to take. 🙂

  4. Schelli says:

    I think organic is all around more earth friendly…and the cool thing is some of the techniques (bumper crops for one) are more and more mainstream now. People are coming out of the “use it till there ain’t no more” mentality.

    I remember when I was in highschool, organic was a pretty far out idea that only weird hippies practiced >grin<

    It is actually cheaper now to eat organic than when I was younger, and the more demand for it, the more producers will try to meet it, and the more prices will come down. 10 years ago I don’t recall seeing organic sections in mainstream grocery stores.

    I saw a really cool show the other day about turning highrise buildings in to farms in the city..recycling of rain water and some really ecologically friendly practices to maintain them. 6 of these could supply all of NY City’s produce needs, minus the carbon fuel needed to deliver long distances (which ends up in what you eat organic or not)

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