Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Organic VS Coventionally Grown

 Oh, Hello there!  One second...  putting my fake nerdy glasses on, while chewing on organic strawberries... 
OK, we are going to go deep on the research today...  Lately, I have been getting questions on whether to buy or not to buy organic food.  To be honest, I buy as much organic as I can, but I do not pass on products if they are not organic.  I've done a bit of research on organic vs. conventionally grown produce, and I wanted to share my findings with you all.  Also, I may throw a research/article post once or twice a month on trendy subjects such as this.  What do you think?  
Healthy living is something I am passionate about.  I share a lot on my blog and on my YouTube channel, and at times sharing and being open leads to criticism.  No matter the case, I want you to know that I love reading about health and fitness and learning more about this lifestyle and sharing what I learn with you all.  

So, what does eating organic mean?  Recently, organic farms have grown popular with all the excitement and energy of actually taking part of the organic “going green” movement with a few questions left to contemplate: What is wrong with conventional farming? What is the difference between organic and processed foods?  Can organic farming help to free the world of hunger and possibly put an end to obesity?  Why is the cost for organic food so high?  The following information and examples below are provided as an attempt to answer some of these questions and provide insight into the “green” epidemic.  Through research, I have found that if you want to give your family overall health with foods that were grown without the use of synthetic fertilizers or sewage sludge and no predictable pesticides, then you should go organic. 

Now, conventional farming is a system that represents the majority of grain farms in the United States.  It depends on synthetic nitrogen for fertility, and weeds are controlled by synthetic herbicides selected by and applied at rates recommended by Penn State University Cooperative Extension. In 2008, genetically modified (GM) corn and soybeans were added to this system (Rodale, 2011).  Organic farming is far superior to conventional systems when it comes to building, maintaining and replenishing the health of the soil. For soil healthiness alone, organic agriculture is more sustainable than conventional. Also, if one considers yields, economic capability, energy usage, and human health, it is evident that organic farming is sustainable, while current conventional practices are not.

It is important that we understand the meaning and difference between organic foods and processed foods.   Processed foods have been altered from their natural state for safety reasons and for the consumer’s convenience. Some processed foods are artificially predigested before we eat them.  The predigested state in turn acts to increase at a rate in which they affect us in an unnatural way.  An additional negative effect is that predigested foods are constantly marketed as a driving force, swaying us to believe that unprocessed food is healthy for us when in fact it affects our degree of fractal organization at a slow, gradual and natural rate.  However, not all processed foods are bad, some examples of good foods are: milk, cheese, breads, butter, cooking oil, and, some frozen fruits and vegetables.  I have mentioned this a million times but, the key is to understand where your food comes from.  
 Organic food is food from plants or animals that is produced without the use of synthetic fertilizers, artificial pesticides, herbicides, antibiotics, growth hormones, feed additives or genetically modified organisms.  Certified organic foods have to legally be certified by the National Organic Standards Board (NOSB) for standard and simplicity reasons, it is also “regulated by the federal government under the Organic Food Production Act of 1990” (“The Organic Center,” 2011).  It is this legal definition of organic food that is used to determine whether foods are organic or non-organic.  These words may seem confusing to some, but it merely means that foods are grown like they were in the old days, naturally and with natural elements. 

Another dilemma is the high cost of “big organic” food, not being affordable.  You can find “big organic” foods in places like Whole Foods, and they tend to be on the higher price end.  We all need food to survive, and with the economic issues affecting the nation it is convenient and understandable to go for the cheapest food available, which happens to be non-organic for the majority of the time.  However, research has shown that “over the last 50 years the very food we eat may be killing us rather than helping us survive” (Underwriters Laboratories, 2011).  In further review, the prices for organic foods reflect many of the same costs as conventional items in terms of growing, harvesting, transportation and storage. 
Organically produced foods must meet stricter regulations governing all of these steps, so the process is often more labor/management intensive, and farming tends to be on a smaller scale. There is also mounting evidence that if all the indirect costs associated with conventional food production, cleanup of polluted water, replacement of eroded soils, costs of health care for farmers and their workers were factored into the price of food, “organic foods would cost the same or more likely be cheaper” (The Organic Center, 2011).   

What do you think about the whole "organic vs conventionally grown foods?  After reading this, would you consider buying organic food?  

References
Full Circle Farms (2011), Our farm.   Retrieved from
Rodale Institute (2011).  Organic cheat sheet.   Retrieved from
http://www.rodaleinstitute.org/20100825_why-organic
The Organic Center, (2011), Organic 101.  Retrieved from
Underwriters Laboratories, (2011). 10 easy ways to go green.  Retrieved from   http://www.safetyathome.com/environmental-safety/10-easy-ways-to-go-green/

12 comments:

  1. I've been realizing that some of the organic food at our local Safeway is exactly the same price as the non-organic. I could taste such a huge difference in the advacados!! It's kind of amazing how different the same food can be depending on how it's grown.

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    1. So true on the taste, such a difference.. I am glad that pricing on organic foods are now pretty much comparable to conventionally grown stuff

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  2. In the UK - there is honestly not much difference at all, apart from in price. In Europe we have lots of laws that prevent certain things being used in the growing of non-organic products :)

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    1. That's what I hear! We are getting close in the US but not quite there yet! Thanks for stopping by girly ;o)

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  3. Thanks for citing your references, there is a lot of info out there! We try to eat organic as much as possible, and love some of those food documentary is like Food, Inc, and King Corn!

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    1. You are welcomed, I agree there is so much info out there and can be overwhelming. I love watching documentaries as well! Glad you found this helpul...

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  4. This is a great article! I always try to buy organic when I can, but it can be so expensive. I'm grateful for the information you have provided.

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    1. It can get pricy! Thanks for stopping by!

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  5. Thank you for sharing this! Always good to know these things. I think others will love this so please come link up and share with me at http://www.wrightsimply.com/2015/04/not-so-wordless-wednesday-linky_28.html live now!
    Have a wonderful Thursday!!! xx Ashleigh @SimplyWright

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    1. I will check it out! Thanks for stopping by!

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  6. Hi Yaitza, I am so glad that organic is more available - and enjoyed that you gave great references and information on this - I've noticed that Costco is now carrying more and yes I can certainly tell the difference between the lemons I get from my son's yard and the regular ones! Soooo much better home grown and organic!

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    1. Yes! I love Costco for that, buying organic foods in bulk makes it much more affordable. So true on the taste, such a difference

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