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Monday
Jan092017

Why Organic?

We all know that eating fruits and vegetables is essential to maintaining a healthy body.  However, few of us realize the reason why many of these foods are beneficial is that they are supposed to be filled with minerals, antioxidants, phenols, fibers, and flavonoids that protect, nourish, and rejuvenate our cells. 

But, not all foods are created equal; and we now see scientific evidence that shows that organic foods have greater concentrations of these beneficial nutrients, minerals and antioxidants. Much like comparing a homegrown tomato with a GMO “flavr savr” tomato bought at the store in winter; there can be a huge difference in taste, appearance, and nutrition between vegetables.  One study shows that organically grown blueberries have much higher antioxidant, phenol, and anthocyanin content than conventional berries (1).  Another study shows that levels of beneficial flavonoids in tomatoes, such as quercitin, were 79-97% higher in organic versus conventional produce (2).   A study published in the British Journal of Nutrition, meanwhile, confirmed that concentrations of antioxidants such as polyphenols were between 18-69% higher in organically-grown crops, not to mention that organics were 50% less likely to contain toxic heavy metals like cadmium (3).  Organic crops are more healthy because they are challenged by pests and disease, causing them produce antioxidants, phenols, flavonoids and other compounds to defend themselves.  These compounds are beneficial to our bodies in myriad ways. 

 VEG

There are many other reasons to choose organic over conventional.  A study based on USDA data found that 73% conventional produce was contaminated with at least one pesticide, compared to 23% of organic crops (4).  Many of the pesticides used today are known neurotoxins and endocrine disruptors.  Meta-data studies strongly correlate pesticide exposure to impaired brain development in children (5).  Choosing organic produce also lessens nitrate pollution from fertilizers that results in ocean dead zones, and promotes a healthy soil microbiome which reduces runoff, holds carbon, and offers more available soil nutrients for plants; and conversely more nutrition for us.  

Every time you buy organic food instead of conventional, you are improving your own health and that of the planet.  Please vote with your dollar next time you shop, or better yet grow your own! 

 

Dane Vander Wall, Food Lover


1)      http://ucanr.edu/datastoreFiles/608-48.pdf

2)      https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17590007

3)      http://www.ncl.ac.uk/press/news/2015/10/organicvsnon-organicfood/

4)      http://www.nytimes.com/2002/05/08/us/study-finds-far-less-pesticide-residue-on-organic-produce.html

5)      https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24121005

 

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