Friday, March 28, 2008

Another Point for the Organic Industry!

For years I've been a big supporter of the organic movement. But recently I made a decision to make a change in my buying behaviors and bring my beliefs into my home. Now, it is hard to find food in my house that is not organic. There so many reasons to purchase organic foods, first and foremost, organic foods are better for the environment and of equal importance, better for you health.

Just last month, I wrote about a study that revealed that the pesticides applied to industrial fruit and veggies enter our bodies and show up in our saliva and urine. Happily, this is not a permanent problem.  Once you switch to organic produce you can "get clean".  The same study showed that after switch to organic foods, the industrial pesticides were no longer present if your body within 8-36 hours after switch. You can my earlier post on this topic here

If that isn't enough to change your buying habits, two more studies on organic foods were published last week that are sure to make you rethink your food choices.

The first study, from the Organic Center was entitled "New Evidence Confirms the Nutritional Superiority of Plant-Based Organic Foods." The report compared the nutrient content in conventional vs. organic foods, based on the findings of 97 published studies. The study revealed the following:
  • Organic plant-based foods are on average, more nutritious in terms of their nutrient density for compounds.
  • The average serving of organic plant-based food contains about 25% more nutrients compared with the same food produced by conventional farming methods.
  • There is strong evidence that poultry and livestock that consume organic feed produce meat, milk and eggs that are more nutritious. 
So plainly said, organic food is healthier for you, and has more nutrients per serving.  

Studies like this make me feel all that much better about buying organic. It is better for me to eat "green,"  but is it better for the farmer?

So the first question here is, do you care? I do, and the reason why is that unless farmers can be as productive and profitable growing organic, I won't be able to buy the foods I want to. So, is organic farming a smart business decision for Farmer John?

Yes! Scientists at the University of Wisconsin-Madison conducted a study to see if organic farms can be as productive as conventional industrial farming systems.  As reported in the March-April issue of the Agronomy Journal, "The answer is an unqualified, "Yes" for alfalfa or wheat and a qualified "Yes most of the time" for corn and soybeans."

These are THE most important cash crops for the American farmer, and if they can be as productive, meaning getting an equivalent yield per acre, then there is truly no incentive to grow industrial foods, except for its easier. But, most farmers, want to grow food they can eat, they can be proud of, and won't hurt the land or the people eating it.

Finally, there is money in the organic foods industry. As I wrote in an earlier posting, last year American's spent $20 billion on organic foods. While that isn't close to the overall food spend, that ain't chump change. Also the trends are that people are buying more and more organics.

So, get on the bandwagon, get healthy and buy organic.

1 comment:

ONNO said...

I loved your blog. It has taken me years to move everything I buy to organic (with the exception of a few chocolate bars). I feel better and I know my body is better for it. Thanks for posting such an informative blog.

Dagny McKinley
organic apparel