Organic vs. Non-organic Produce
Humans have been growing produce organically for thousands of years.Today, the USDA has strict regulations governing the production of organic produce.In general, the use of genetically engineered seeds and methods, chemicals or radiation as preservatives, and chemically based fertilizers and pesticides are not allowed. Organic agricultural methods are more ecologically proper, sustainable, less harmful to the environment and overall are more energy efficient.
Organic produce are richer in vitamins, minerals, enzymes, trace elements and other nutrients than the fruits and vegetables produced by chemical based methods. In a recent study, antioxidant levels found in organically grown vegetables were almost 30% higher than conventional chemically enhanced vegetables.
Perhaps the most important reason to consume organic produce is that the human bodies were not designed to be constantly bombarded with chemicals and biologically altered products on a long term basis. Many of the problems associated with the non-organic foods will take years if not generations to show clear "cause and effect" consequences on our health. What we do know is that the herbicides and the pesticides used in non-organic farming are all "toxic" and in general, intake of toxic foods is bad for our health. The long term physiological and neurological damages done to the human health by consuming non-organic foods are numerous and very complex.
Another major health concern with the consumption of non-organic foods is the industry's wide and heavy use of antibiotics and growth hormones as supplements in animal feed. These supplements are used primarily to make the animals grow faster, bigger and less disease prone, leading to higher production yields. Numerous studies indicate that traces of these supplements remain in the food chain. It is not unreasonable to assume that the infusion of these biological and chemical agents into the food chain may be partially responsible for human obesity and other serious and growing health problems such as diabetes, coronary illnesses, autism, etc., etc.
Organic produce and food products are becoming more and more mainstream.They are becoming more available in supermarkets. However, farmer's markets, smaller organic health food stores and community supported agriculture (CSA) are more reliable outlets for organic produce.
For information on organic foods and where to get them you may visit the following websites: http://www.localharvest.org/, http://www.cooperativegrocer.coop/, http://www.wholefoods.com/, http://www.happycow.net/.