Why Does Organic Food Matter?

Elizabeth Renter

As if most consumers weren’t confused enough already about making the “right” food choices, the pseudo-scientific Stanford study released early last month had many of those on the fence thinking it was okay to once-again blindly trust what they found on their supermarket shelves. But, let’s lay this argument to rest (again) and talk about why organics really do matter.

What does organic really mean? Well, the USDA certifies foods that are organic when the growers, handlers, and producers use practices that adhere to their standards. These standards vary by food product and the USDA certifier must inspect the farm before a food can be labeled as organic.

Generally, however, organic produce in particular is that which is produced “without using most conventional pesticides; fertilizers made with synthetic ingredients or sewage sludge; bioengineering; or ionizing radiation.” This immediately excludes genetically modified foods (GMOs).

So, what’s wrong with a few pesticides, a few lab-created organisms in our foods? Plenty.

recent analysis (and not the only one) demonstrated that U.S. children have lost a combined total of 16 million I.Q. points due to pesticides in their food. While “pesticides make you stupid,” sounds like a silly argument for organics—it’s a legitimate one. Pesticides truly do lower the intelligence of children. These pesticides are absorbed when the child is in utero, through the mother. So, whether you are pregnant or hope one day to have children, cutting out pesticides now could save your child’s mind down the road.

One of the most prominently used herbicides, Monsanto’s Roundup, has been tied to numerous health problems including infertility, genetic damage, cancer, and plenty of other diseases and illnesses.
Finally, as if that isn’t enough, without organic certification, we can’t be sure the foods on U.S. supermarket shelves are free of GMOs. This is because the feds don’t think it’s in our best interest to know what we are eating. However, the issues related to GMO-consumption are coming to light—whether they like it or not.

Most recently, a French study has found rats who consume a lifelong diet of Roundup-ready GMO corn develop grotesque tumors which ultimately killed them. The rats consumed corn and Roundup-laced water at levels approved by the U.S. government. Around 50% of the males and 70% of the females died prematurely.

So, why does organic matter? It matters because unlike the federal government, we care about our health. We want to be informed and conscientious consumers. We want to support the farmers who are using good practices, and we’d like to give our children a healthy future.

So, despite what the bought-and-paid-for Stanford scientists might say, we know differently. We know that organic products are better and we see through their shoddy attempt at convincing us otherwise.

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9 Responses to "Why Does Organic Food Matter?"

  1. Malek BELAID  January 9, 2013 at 2:00 pm

    The question that bugs me is the following :

    Why trust the certifiers, while we know that corporates (that deliver the organic foods to us) have a tendency to corrupt (just like for pharmaceutical drugs validation for instance..) ?

    Any certification can be bought… So why not the ORGANIC one?

    Reply
    • gjoko  January 11, 2013 at 1:11 pm

      Seriously, i am organic freak, but at this point how do i know that they are not being bought. I mean FDA puts the stamp to the labels for organic or not, so throw them few millions and all food will be organic…this is not good man

  2. Stacy  February 4, 2013 at 1:09 pm

    Buy from your local organic farmer, or grow your own.

    Reply
  3. dolescum  February 4, 2013 at 1:33 pm

    When people ask me how I know it’s organic food, I answer that I don’t; but if it’s got an organic certification there’s a chance, whereas if there’s no certification then it’s guaranteed non-organic.

    Reply
  4. Walter77777  February 4, 2013 at 3:20 pm

    A bit of dissent. An organic farm depends upon the surrounding farms using insecticides to keep its crops from being devoured by insects. If all the world were to farm organically starvation would be a very real possibility. It is elitist to eat organically when so much of the world absolutely cannot do so.

    W.

    Reply
    • voiceofreason  May 13, 2013 at 5:39 am

      well now thats just completely wrong and im not sure where you heard that from. There are chemical free pest protection options that can be used in the home and commercially (google it) and methods of growing (aka in a greenhouse) that prevent insects from destroying crops.

  5. Stephen  May 13, 2013 at 7:23 am

    I don’t know about America, but the UKs most prevalent organisation for organic food is the ‘Soil Association,’ which has very strict criteria indeed, to meet the organic classification…. Any farmer flaunting, their extremely high specification, is immediately struck off!
    And there’s numerous spot checks, and unannounced visits, which is difficult to circumnavigate for the unscrupulous farmer .

    Also the principles of organic farming don’t just extend to human health, any meat products also come under the umbrella of ethical farming in any organic solvent product , and factory farming principles are not part of the organic regime, so that there is far less cruelty, on a organic farm, then people’s health advantages, where factory farming principles
    So heavily rely on toxins in various forms, such as fungicides, herbicides, insecticides, the whole plethora of farming by chemicals, including inorganic petroleum-based fertilisers, all these products of fatal is ingested,
    Surely even the most deluded advocates of the brutal factory farming principles, can see ingesting these chemicals, WILL have a negative effect on your well-being and health, no matter what the corporate funded, so-called ‘scientists’, would have you believe….

    Reply
  6. Rusty B  May 13, 2013 at 3:30 pm

    I’m always glad to see these type of articles bringing much needed awareness to organically grown food. All too often though, the focus is on personal human health with little to no mention of the wider range of ramifications of chemical use. Farming that depends on the use of synthetic chemicals incurs numerous environmental costs that are hidden and not covered by the prices seen on the supermarket shelves. Instead, these costs are camouflaged and then show up later….not just as health care costs but top-soil loss, environmental remediation
    costs, water purification costs, loss of wildlife and their habitat, and other costs that will be passed along to many generations yet to come. As just one of many examples here, a 2004 USGS study found “at least one pesticide in ~97% of water samples and in more than 90% of fish samples from agricultural streams, and in nearly 60 percent of shallow wells sampled in agricultural areas.” http://pubs.usgs.gov/fs/2004/3098/ Every time we support conventional farming, we contribute to that problem….and many more.

    Kudos for the article! However, lets remember to mention a wider range of merits to “organic food” so we have a more complete framework. Seeing the entire picture makes it easier to appreciate.

    Reply
  7. Rick Davis  May 18, 2013 at 11:10 am

    you can’t even trust the seeds you buy anymore,there the same thing as whats growing in the fields.

    Reply

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