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TOPIC: Explain why "organic" is better?

 
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August 21, 2012 9:55 AM
I will also say that to date, the ground water in our area is not contaminated. But it is a concern of course. I'd prefer not to live in pesticide alley but hey, it pays the bills. Well, the property tax bill anyway.
  7246266
August 21, 2012 9:55 AM
//www.myfitnesspal.com/topics/show/677465-do-you-buy-organic

See my pots on organic...I think it's the second post.
August 21, 2012 9:55 AM
QUOTE:

I only buy organic because its cheaper at the grocery store. I know thats not always the case, but it just so happens to be that way at Mariano's.


I shop at Mariano's too in the suburbs of Chicago, and organic is not cheaper by a long shot.... I think you need to take another look at the prices.

To OP:
I'm not sure why Organic is better... All I know is Organic Valley Chocolate Milk tastes a whole hell of a lot better then any other chocolate milk I've had... and if it wasn't 4 bucks a half gallon, i'd prob. buy more of it!
  6370231
August 21, 2012 9:56 AM
Explain why organic is better? I don't have to explain it, your taste buds will explain it. Go pick up an organic local cantaloupe and a pesticide sprayed conventional cantaloupe and have a taste off.
  20427126
August 21, 2012 9:56 AM
For me, eating organic (and I pick and choose) is more about the environment than it is the pesticide residue in the food. Traditional farming is a major contributor to pollution, especially to water sources, and to me, that's a good enough reason to support organic farming practices. I'm generally supportive or small, local operations, farms included, and organic produce tends to come from such sources.
August 21, 2012 9:58 AM
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when i think organic, i'm thinking eggs/milk/etc.. stuff that actually involves animals, though the USDA definition is below - this is what i think of "Animals that produce meat, poultry, eggs, and dairy products do not take antibiotics or growth hormones. "

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Organic food is produced by farmers who emphasize the use of renewable resources and the conservation of soil and water to enhance environmental quality for future generations. Organic meat, poultry, eggs, and dairy products come from animals that are given no antibiotics or growth hormones. Organic food is produced without using most conventional pesticides; fertilizers made with synthetic ingredients or sewage sludge; bioengineering; or ionizing radiation. Before a product can be labeled "organic," a Government-approved certifier inspects the farm where the food is grown to make sure the farmer is following all the rules necessary to meet USDA organic standards. Companies that handle or process organic food before it gets to your local supermarket or restaurant must be certified, too.


No antibiotics? What if they get an infection? The rancher just lets 300lbs of beef die?


No, we don't let it die - we give it the antibiotics it needs and de-certify the product so it goes into the conventional market.
August 21, 2012 10:00 AM
QUOTE:

If "organic" was synonymous with "no genetic engineering" for crops, organic would be better.


GM...It's the biggest no-no in organics - instant de-certification
August 21, 2012 10:00 AM
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Unless there is a reliable way to ensure that maure is composted correctly there will always be a higher risk with organic foods grown using manure.


and that's not really true. i get email updates to recalls by the USDA, 95% or more are not organic items.


Plus, many non-organic farmers use manure too. So the risk isn't really that different between the two.
  24350759
August 21, 2012 10:02 AM
QUOTE:

Yes, the farming methods are quite different. Many of the chemical pesticides used in conventional farming do stay on the vegetable or fruit, and yes, much research has shown that quite a few of the pesticides used are known carcinogens. Some people like to avoid known carcinogens. I realize that we now live in a world where known carcinogens are everywhere, but I don’t see a problem in making attempt to avoid some of them, if you can.

The way the weeds are eliminated is different. With organic farming, farmers tend to rotate crops or just pull weeds to manage them. With conventional produce, they spray more pesticides, and rarely rotate the soil.

More on pesticides – they get into the soil and grasses that animals eat, and they most certainly get into the groundwater/drinking water. We’ve done tests. And this is not just affecting humans, it’s affecting animals. Many of the crops (soy and corn, usually) are also fed to the animals we eat and they also drink the water.

We can talk organically-fed vs. conventionally-fed animals too. There are huge differences. The main one being the feed and the use of hormones and antibiotics.

There is not enough research out there that shows organic produce is more nutritious than conventionally-grown produce, but there is some initial research out there (though I believe many of the methods used were not very sound). Hopefully more research will come out on this. I’m curious, anyway.

Many people who switch to organic produce think there is a difference in taste. Whether initially they can taste it or as they get used to it, they try conventionally-grown produce and find there is a difference in taste. The things that taste the most different to me are berries, bananas, and apples.

I buy organic when I can, because I can, and because I support the farmers and the farming methods used. I think there is plenty of evidence that it is better for the environment. Most of what I buy is also local. I do this because I want to support my community farmers. They make some damn good stuff. It's again, a taste difference. When I moved from CO to WA, a WA apple tasted different. It hadn't been on a truck for days before it got to the grocery store.

I hope you don’t think I’m being an alarmist or anything. I am just trying to explain the differences. I am not trying to force anyone to eat any differently than they do.


^^^
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August 21, 2012 10:04 AM
Organic fruit (with skin, like apples, etc) tastes like an apple - no metallic/bitter taste on the skin at all. My kids were the first one to pick up on that difference and refuse to eat regular store-bought apples any more. Organic chicken (my experience has been with Smart Chicken) is more dense from not soaking up water/solution as it chills and it's cleaned better than all other chicken I've purchased. We recently went in together with some friends on a locally raised, pasture-fed half of a cow, and the quality of the meat is amazing.

For me, buying organic whenever possible is a dollar-for-dollar vote in favor of the environment and one more thing I can do to tip the healthy scale in my family's favor. I'm not obsessive about it, but I do notice a difference in the quality and it just feels better to me at the conscious-level when I'm able to support the organic movement.

Now, that said, I also try to purchase locally whenever possible, as I know "organic" can be interpreted a number of ways, and it's better to buy a local piece of fruit that might carry a trace of pesticides than it is to purchase an organic mango that's been trucked clear from Argentina or something.
  21339219
August 21, 2012 10:10 AM
Originally posted by me on 22/07/12

This is my job - I inspect organic and conventional farms for a living. There are certain things which people should definately buy as organic:
1: Eggs - conventional and free range egg farmers use chemicals in the feeds called Synthatic Amino Acids - some of these are banned in the human food chain as they are carcinogens (can cause cancer) - ironically they can be used in monogastric (single stomach) animal feeds. These chemicals are banned from organic animal feeds.
2: Milk - conventiol farmers have no restriction on the amount of processed compound feed given to dairy cows - in fact they do not even have to have access to pasture - this means on some dairy farms cattle never set foot in the fields. On orgnaic farms they have to have a minimum of 60% forage on a daily basis and they have to have access to pasture when weather permits. Due to the 60% forage rule most organic dairy farmers feed red clover silage which is high in protein but as a side health benefit this also generates more omega oils in the milk produced.
3: Fruit and veg if you can afford it - some conventional lettuce for example can be sprayed 10 x - sprays banned in organic production systems.
4: meat if you can afford it especially pork and chicken - if you have ever seen a broiler house containing 30 - 100,000 birds you would never buy conventional poultry again. Organic birds have to have access to pasture and the stocking densities are massively different. Also pigs in conventional intensive systems is awful - fed and live on slatted floors with a slurry pit underneath them. Organic pigs ahve to have to have access to pasture, wallows and shade - their is nothing finer than seeing an organic pig rooting around a field.
5: GM depending on your belief and morals. 90% of conventional animals feed will contain GM modified organisms. These are outrightly banned in organic production. Use will result in instant de-certification of all production enterprises in contact with the GM product including fields which the animals have been on.

Hope this helps to enlighten your decisions,
S.
August 21, 2012 10:20 AM
Take a drink of some pesticide and let me know how you feel! laugh
  25631519
August 21, 2012 10:21 AM
You can't fully wash chemicals off your food. Alot of these pesticides and chemicals have been shown to cause cancer and other illnesses. I have done alot of research for holistic vs conventional, but it is truly up to you what you want to believe. The way our society has gotten with all these illnesses and disease, I believe alot of it does come from the foods we eat, and though the government will tell you there is nothing wrong with you consuming these things, one has to come to that realization if you believe them or not, which I don't. And some studies show that the foods produced conventionally, have no where near the amount of nutrients that they should, the soil is turned over so much that we have lost alot of the vitamins and minerals the plants need to grow, which makes the plant deficient itself, and the fact that alot of it comes from different countries, and produce starts losing these things once they are picked, so that also adds to less nutrients. Not saying organic is perfect, but the land is not treated in the same way, which I believe organic does hold more vitamins and minerals in the produce that is grown. In regards to meat, there is a big difference between the way organic farmers raise their animals to conventional. If your interested, check out these documentaries, they were very eye opening to me and really what made me research more into the whole organic "holistic" way of living - Food Inc and Food Matters.

Again this is just my viewpoint, not trying to create any kind of debate, like I said, to each his own in what he chooses to believe, I would suggest doing alittle research and seeing what you come up with for yourself. I believe living as clean as you possibly can is the right way, your body survives on vitamins and nutrients and if you are constantly eating processed convenient food, you are most likely lacking in those things that your body needs. Eat what God created in it's whole form, and you can't really go wrong. It is definitely not an easy transfer, but in my opinion it is worth it. I still struggle with it at times, i understand the cost is a big issue, for me also, but even try hitting up your farmer's markets in your area, at least by me, we asked alot of them and they did say they don't use chemicals/pesticides, so just another outlet for getting good fresh produce, especially with it being local.

Hope this helps you, I think the more you find out for yourself, the more effective of a viewpoint you can have on it. Everyone is going to either be pro or against, and it's up to you to decide which side you think you believe more. Bottom line, conventional or organic, just keep eating the fruits and veggies, do the best you can.
  21148823
August 21, 2012 10:22 AM
QUOTE:

Explain why organic is better? I don't have to explain it, your taste buds will explain it. Go pick up an organic local cantaloupe and a pesticide sprayed conventional cantaloupe and have a taste off.


THIS ^^^^^

Taste and you will see, the goodness that is poison-free. happy flowerforyou
  25631519
August 21, 2012 10:25 AM
Understanding of USDA Organic needs to be branched out a wee bit past bugs and manure ... there is a lot more than that. However, it's already been said, again, and again, and again, and again, and again ... and here we go yet again with another post. If you don't want to buy organic produce, meat, grains, or other products, great ... but I'd recommend more research to increase your understanding as it's obviously much more than you are aware of.

For me there are many factors that push me towards a diet that is organic as much as possible ... and I still have a long way to go but I'm getting there.
  4717209
August 21, 2012 10:26 AM
It's amazing to me that people in this day and age still think pesticides are yummy on your food. Sorry, but poison is not a food group! tongue
  25631519
August 21, 2012 10:26 AM
QUOTE:

and to be clear: the USDA "Organic" label is the minimum organic requirement. It lowered the bar considerably on organic practice.


Yes. Many people don't understand that it's really just a marketing term now.
August 21, 2012 10:28 AM
QUOTE:

You can't wash off chemicals and pesticides that have seeped into the cracks and pores of your veggies. It's poison.


Advocates(tree huggers) say organic is better, health experts do not. Infact, plants themselves give off toxins that can be harmful.

The organic movement, much like the 'green' movement is a marketing scheme that is making people who produce green products lots of money. You can buy organic cleaners and dish soap and paper products... some people are getting very rich off people who fear for their lives because someone says their food is poison.
  4001156
August 21, 2012 10:28 AM
QUOTE:

"With organic farming, farmers tend to rotate crops or just pull weeds to manage them. With conventional produce, they spray more pesticides, and rarely rotate the soil. "


Well, every farmer I know rotates crops. Every.single.year. We rotate between wheat, soybeans,and feed corn. Granted our farmer (we lease our land to the neighbor) only does between 2K and 3K acres a year, so not a huge farming conglomerate. But all the farmers here definitely rotate their crops.

And "pulling weeds" Really? On THOUSANDS of acres? Wow...so not going to sustain the world.


maybe you have too many acres.
August 21, 2012 10:28 AM
"Organic" doesn't mean no pesticides are used, it means that only certain ones are used.

If you think organic produce is better, it has to be for some other reason than a false "organic vs. pesticide-laden" dichotomy
August 21, 2012 10:29 AM
QUOTE:

Yes, the farming methods are quite different. Many of the chemical pesticides used in conventional farming do stay on the vegetable or fruit, and yes, much research has shown that quite a few of the pesticides used are known carcinogens. Some people like to avoid known carcinogens. I realize that we now live in a world where known carcinogens are everywhere, but I don’t see a problem in making attempt to avoid some of them, if you can.

The way the weeds are eliminated is different. With organic farming, farmers tend to rotate crops or just pull weeds to manage them. With conventional produce, they spray more pesticides, and rarely rotate the soil.

More on pesticides – they get into the soil and grasses that animals eat, and they most certainly get into the groundwater/drinking water. We’ve done tests. And this is not just affecting humans, it’s affecting animals. Many of the crops (soy and corn, usually) are also fed to the animals we eat and they also drink the water.

We can talk organically-fed vs. conventionally-fed animals too. There are huge differences. The main one being the feed and the use of hormones and antibiotics.

There is not enough research out there that shows organic produce is more nutritious than conventionally-grown produce, but there is some initial research out there (though I believe many of the methods used were not very sound). Hopefully more research will come out on this. I’m curious, anyway.

Many people who switch to organic produce think there is a difference in taste. Whether initially they can taste it or as they get used to it, they try conventionally-grown produce and find there is a difference in taste. The things that taste the most different to me are berries, bananas, and apples.

I buy organic when I can, because I can, and because I support the farmers and the farming methods used. I think there is plenty of evidence that it is better for the environment. Most of what I buy is also local. I do this because I want to support my community farmers. They make some damn good stuff. It's again, a taste difference. When I moved from CO to WA, a WA apple tasted different. It hadn't been on a truck for days before it got to the grocery store.

I hope you don’t think I’m being an alarmist or anything. I am just trying to explain the differences. I am not trying to force anyone to eat any differently than they do.


This! I grew up on a non-organic vegetable farm, and I remember having to stay inside for several days at a time, at least three or four times per summer, because my dad was spraying the fields and pesticides aren't exactly something anyone should be consuming! That being said, I generally buy non-organic, mainly because it's cheaper and the stores here don't really sell anything organic. I do love the farmers market, though!
  14802803
August 21, 2012 10:32 AM
Better how?

Does my cheap massively produced carrot less nutrional than those posh carrots that cost 100% more? noway

I don't think there is any conclusive evidence to show that organic produce is safer for you (or the planet) than non-organic produce. I did say conclusive right? So don't start quoting me some Dr. Oz crap!

Organic does make for some better money grabbers though... just saying.
August 21, 2012 10:40 AM
I believe in buying locally not necessarily organic.
Buying locally also helps the environment and it's fresh, it hasn't travelled thousands of miles.

And to those that say organic "tastes better" this has more to do with the quality of food itself not that it's organic or non organic, i've had plenty of awful tasting organic fruits and veg.

I watched "Bullsh*t" 's take on Organic food, and they took a non organic banana and cut it in half, then told people one was organic and the other wasn't and people tasted both (sides of the same banana) and were going on and on that the organic one was so much better tasting and that you could just tell it was healthier for you and the other side was awful and too sugary. It was the same damn banana.
August 21, 2012 10:41 AM
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It isn't poisonous. That seems self-explanatory.


So you are implying that non-organic IS poisonous? Got anything scientific to back that up?



Got any scientific evidence to back up your implied claim that bugs and manure are bad?


Generally speaking, I prefer not to eat bugs in manure. Manure can (usually?) cares E-coli. Bugs, well, they are icky (but I suppose there's nothing wrong with eating them).




Organic is better for me because the pesticides and herbicides are present in small quantities on non-organic food. These can definitely affect you over time. Further, genetically modified crops are a complete unknown in terms of how they affect humans. Companies are now selling GMO sweet corn and other produce in the grocery stores. The plants are modified to produce pesticides and herbicides inside to repel bugs or microrganisms.

On animals the main problem is hormones and antibiotics, but people also are concerned about animal welfare. Beef for sure are all juiced with estrogen like hormones which can have negative side affects. 80% of the antibiotics used in this country are used on animals because the diets and conditions are so bad that they have to be juiced up to live through it. I personally can enjoy my steak much better knowing it was lovingly raised on a pasture without all that crap versus knee high in manure in a feedlot.

Manure is used along with cover crops for fertilizing. The organic standards are very clear on how manure is applied and there is no chance that you are consuming any sort of biologically active material. Further, it is much easier to wash dirt off the outside of your food than chemicals inside of it.

Its probably safe to each either, but some people like to be safer. For me, after having kids I wanted to ensure their food was safe as their brains, livers, and hormone cycles are still in development. That was the main driver. Also, we believe very strongly in the concept of stewardship and traditional agriculture is extremely harsh on our natural resources. We have further tried to source most of our food locally and raise a big garden which provides us a return of naturally grown foods and a constant source of exercise and learning for us and the kids.

If you don't care about any of that, then its not going to be any better to you.
  25655991
August 21, 2012 10:43 AM
QUOTE:

"Organic" doesn't mean no pesticides are used, it means that only certain ones are used.

If you think organic produce is better, it has to be for some other reason than a false "organic vs. pesticide-laden" dichotomy


sighh....

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