While shopping in your grocery store’s produce section, you may notice the organically grown apples are pocked and not as big and perfectly round as the conventional produce, but they are more expensive. What’s the difference, and which do you choose? Your decision may significantly impact not only your health but the health of the planet and the economy.
Organic foods are derived from sustainable farming practices that maintain and replenish soil fertility without the use of toxic pesticides and fertilizers. These foods are minimally processed and do not include artificial ingredients or preservatives. On the other hand, conventional farms often rely heavily on pesticides, genetic modification, synthetic hormones, and antibiotics.
To understand the fallout of conventional farming is to realize the argument for organics. Bob Scowcroft, executive director of the Organic Farming Research Foundation, touches on the devastating consequences of pesticides. “DDT nearly eliminated the American eagle by affecting their ability to reproduce” he says. “Since World War II, we’ve introduced more than 9,000 chemicals into the environment. And we don’t know the full impact on humans and different sized humans,” he adds, alluding to studies revealing damaging effects on children.
When you buy organically certified foods, you’re ensured they are free of pesticides, hormones, antibiotics, and genetic DNA modification.
“Organics are better for the environment, and it’s an investment in the revitalization of rural America,” Scowcroft says. Organic farms are usually smaller, family-owned farms contributing to the economy of struggling rural America, he explains. The organic choice may be a little more expensive, but it’s an investment in your health and the future.