I hope that anyone reading this would be concerned regarding the universal effect of conventional foods and produce on our health. Since the last part of the nineteenth-century, agriculture has seen an drastic increase in the use of chemical fertilizers to enhance crop yield. Additional chemicals such as, insecticides and pesticides have also been extensively integrated to increase the resistance of crops against various agents. The extensive chemical uses have resulted in higher crop yield. Since the emergence of these practices in agriculture, the toxic methods have been employed and need be recognized.
Organic food must adhere to strict standards regulated by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA). Organic pesticides are those that are derived from natural sources and processed lightly if at all before use. Organic crops are generally grown without synthetic pesticides, artificial fertilizers, irradiation or biotechnology. Irradiation is a form of radiation used to kill bacteria. Animals on organic farms eat organic feed, are not confined year round (as they sometimes are on conventional farms), and they are raised without antibiotics or synthetic growth hormones.
For food to attain “certified organic” label it must be “grown” in a manner that does not harm the environment and that preserves or improves soil fertility, soil structure, and farm sustainability.”- according to Local Harvest, a group advocating Community Supported Agriculture (CSA). Conventional agriculture used synthetic insecticides while in the other field the organic farmers used pesticides derived from natural sources. Some organic farmers even enlist birds or other insects to control harmful bugs.
Closer to Nature. An opportune choice.
In November 2011, the Soil Association published a new report: On farms, antibiotics have been connected to the rise in super bugs. The report finds the super bug occurrences developing from the use and/or over-use of antibiotics in factory-farmed animals. The Soil Association report understands that ill animals may at times require an antibiotic treatment. Also presenting that animals need to be raised in healthier environments and raised in healthier conditions so that illness will then decrease.
Say NO to GMOs & GE ingredients.
National polls clearly put into perspective that 93% of American consumers want foods that contain genetically modified organisms (GMOs) to be openly labeled. Organic farming exercises a zero-tolerance approach towards Genetically Modified Organisms (GMO) and Genetically Engineered ingredients (GE). Changing the make-up of genes are unknown and untested and no one is positive what the long-term effects of GM food will be on our health.
These five countries produce 90% of the world’s genetically engineered crops: Argentina, Brazil, Canada, India and the United States. The use of toxic chemicals was not without adverse effects on the environment as well as our health. Concerns regarding the health effects of chemical in plants plague food products at this very moment. These chemical compounds are not easily metabolized in the body. So they persist and concentrate to dangerous levels and may be very damaging to our overall state of health. Cellular toxicity is another major health concern that leads to many diseases and illnesses.
Even though toxic chemicals do increase crop yields, at what cost do they attain more crops. Numbers have been reached that were unattainable prior to their creation and implication. They have helped us with providing adequate amounts of food to the world population, but what quality of food are they feeding the world? Now comes the question, what is the cost that health pays.
Humans are at the top of the food chain. As a result, any chemical additive in food that cannot be metabolized by the body persists and accumulates in the body. Over time, this can lead to dangerous concentrations of harmful chemicals that impede the functions of the entire body. Extensive usage of fertilizers and pesticides have been included to be a major factor in the all to common rise of chronic illnesses.
You are what you ABSORB.
You have the power to choose what your family eats and absorbs. Organic food involves the use of natural manures and bio fertilizers to enhance the yield of crops. Organic food can be very healthy as there are no artificial chemicals used in their growth. Though there has not been a scientific proof to claim otherwise, consumption of organic food can significantly reduce the chances of diseases manifesting in the body. Emphasis on toxic chemicals not being absorbed by your body so your body is not weakened and these diseases cannot make way. With conventional food containing a dangerously high percentage of unhealthy toxic chemicals, they can be a very serious health hazard. Washing and rinsing produce before consumption is always recommended.
Fertilizers and chemicals that are used for boosting crop resistance and increasing production are not isolated in their effects on the crops. Their use has seen widespread contamination of groundwater and a marked increase in the quality of the soil. When exposed to chemicals for an extended span of time, the soil loses its natural nutrient replenishing capacity.
Consumers might be aware of a study done in 2012 by Stanford University, widely publicized. The study concluded that organic food does not provide health benefits over conventionally-produced food. The four-year study examined 240 other studies on organic foods that were previously conducted between 1996 and 2011. The team of researchers wanted to discern true differences between organic and conventional foods, including nutrient levels and the amount of contaminants the foods contained. At the time in 2012 one of the study authors, Dena Bravata, stated “There isn’t much difference between organic and conventional foods, if you’re an adult and making a decision based solely on your health”. The question that was avoided was if it was safe for our developing children, which should be the main concern. Uncontaminated food and water are basic rights that should be applied to everyone.
Researchers at Southern Methodist University thought as though the Stanford researchers were going at the question backwards. Instead of asking if one type of food was better for you, Southern Methodist University had then suggested to ask if one type was worse.
Southern Methodist University then set up an experiment where a group of fruit flies feasted on organic fruits and vegetables while the other group of fruit flies solely consumed conventionally-produced produce. After observing the fruit flies their conclusion came to state that Organic food is actually healthier.
Anti-GE on the rise.
Organic sales are now at an all time high of $26 billion from $1 billion in 1990. Up now over $25 billion in over 20 years. Organic food prices are higher because companies have to pay more to meet the ‘certified organic’ standards. Organic food is usually produced on a much smaller scale than commercial food production, another reason being for higher organic prices. People who buy organic usually do so with the intention of supporting more environmentally friendly food production practices as well as valuing food grown without pesticides or other chemicals.
Raising awareness about what we are being sold as food is how we go about getting GMO’s to require labeling. The more that we announce that we do care about the food we put in our families bodies, then we can convince the FDA to change its policy. In America, we the people, hold the power. This is still America and we still have powerful rights. We have new challenges living in the world today and we must address what is important to us or someone will decide for us, not in our favor.
An interesting fact, younger parents between ages 18 and 24 reported to be the most aware that organic foods are produced without the use of GMOs. More families are consuming organic foods, 81% of United States families are buying organic. More parents gradually are buying organic for various reasons.
48% because “It is healthier for my family and I”
30% to avoid toxic pesticides and fertilizers
29% to avoid antibiotic and growth hormones
22% to avoid GMO’s
Causing confusion on purpose.
Many companies want to hide behind the organic scene, meanwhile not fully implementing organic practices, just so that they can make more money by marking up the product price in the organic market. Which makes sense if they are only after the consumers money and not the environment or even the health of the people who will be consuming their products. The words “organic” and “natural” are not the same thing. “Natural” is much less specific than “organic.” Which is another way greedy companies are trying to cash in on consumers negligence. By reading the ingredients a lot foods can be eliminated by looking for key ingredients that make a product ‘just like the others’. By understanding agendas, they then cannot be forced unknowing upon our families. Food grown by corporations is understood to be only about money. Never about health.
As an example, Kashi, a division of Kellogg’s, has a large loyal following among and its products can be found lining the shelves of Trader Joe’s, Whole Foods and nearly every other organically-aware store. The Wisconsin-based farm policy research group sent a formal legal complaint to the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA’s) National Organic Program. A second complaint to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), reiterating misleading labeling proprieties with three food brands; Oskri Organics, Organic Bistro and Newman’s Own Organics. These companies are selling products that the mislead and do not qualify to bear the “USDA Organic” seal, although they may appear organic to consumers based on the prominence of the word ‘Organic’ in their brand name. “The USDA Organic label is basically the gold standard for consumers to be sure that the foods they are buying are produced without genetically engineered ingredients,” states CEO and Executive Director of the Organic Trade Association, Christine Bushway.
Currently nine genetically engineered ingredients/food crops are on the market today in the United States. Those nine GE foods are:
- Sugar Beets
- Hawaiian Papaya
- Yellow Crookneck Squash
These ingredients are most commonly found in packaged foods like cereals, crackers, cookies, chips, high fructose corn syrup sweetened soda, frozen meals and even more. To avoid GMO products look for non-GMO verified products as well as buy unprocessed foods such as fruits, vegetables. Few whole foods are genetically engineered. Families opting to purchase organic foods are increasingly important to all types of retailers. Organic buyers report spending more per shopping trip. Organic shoppers shop more often than those who do not opt to purchase organic food.
Strict Standards Still Need Further Enhancing!
Products that meet 95% of the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s standards for organic are allowed to bear the USDA Organic label. The battle over what does and does not qualify as “Organic” is nothing new. Just last year, a federal judge dismissed a lawsuit regarding such labeling on milk. USDA certified organic as the food labeled by law to not contain genetically engineered ingredients.
The only way to be sure what we are feeding our families is to research every company you buy products from and see just who they really are. Who they are funded by is also a good indication that their priority is not in favor of the health our families. Buy local, wash and rinse produce, and opt out of the pleasure seeking traditions that we as Americans have blindly accepted to be important and create the future for our families. Do not be tricked into thinking that GMOs and GE ingredients are not as bad as they are made out to be. If we do not have our health, what do we have?