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Easton Jones
Easton Jones

Produce To Buy Organic

But did you know that some produce selections contain way more pesticide residue than others, and that this varies from year to year? For example, the last EWG analysis found that 60% of kale sold in the US was contaminated with the pesticide Dacthal/DCPA, which the European Union banned in 2009 and the EPA classifies as a possible human carcinogen. Yikes!

produce to buy organic

With that said, this is the list of produce that should be bought organic when possible. The Dirty Dozen List was put together by the EWG with data that was found by the USDA and FDA tests that show produce with the most detected pesticide residues. I like to stock up on the frozen organic bags of most of these, which makes it cheaper and more convenient.

Thank you Lisa!!!! So disappointed in the cruel, selfish and greedy things mankind views as acceptable!I will be buying as much organic foods as possible to cut down injesting pesticides. You betcha!

The rules for organic farming do deliver some clear benefit in the livestock sector. Producers of organic meat, milk, and eggs are required to provide their animals with more space to move around, an important plus for animal welfare. Also, animal products cannot be labeled organic if the animals were fed or treated with antibiotics, which is good for slowing the emergence of resistant bacterial strains dangerous to human health. Yet even for livestock the organic rule malfunctions, since the animals can only be given feeds grown organically, and organic corn and soy have lower yields per acre, so more land must be planted and plowed.

Consumers tend to favor organic food because they believe the advocates who claim it is safer and more nutritious to eat, but there is little or no scientific evidence to support these claims. Others buy organic food because they assume it comes from farms that are smaller, more traditional, and more diverse, but this is not a safe assumption either. Most organic food on the market today comes from highly specialized, industrial-scale farms, not so different from those that produce conventional food.

Scientists like Fresco view the organic vision as fundamentally misguided because it depends on an ungrounded distinction between materials that come from nature versus those fabricated by human industry. Organic farmers are permitted to treat their crops with the former, but not the latter. The organic rule says we can use nitrogen from animal manure to replace soil nutrients, but not nitrogen synthesized from the atmosphere in a factory. This is not a science-based distinction. No matter what method we use to get a supply of nitrogen for use as fertilizer, it will be the same element within the periodic table, with all the same properties.

The conviction that organic food is a better choice did not become widespread in the United States until the 1980s, when national media reported a number of food safety scares linked to pesticide residues on fresh fruits and vegetables. When worried consumers learned that organic farming methods did not allow the use of any synthetic pesticides (although naturally occurring poisons could be used), they demanded more organic products, along with a credible national system for certifying and labeling those products in the marketplace. Once this system began to operate in 2002, the farmers who had switched to organic methods could capture sizable price premiums for their goods, and this motivated rapid growth in the sector, but only up to a point.

Consumers pay considerably more for organic. In 2018, the Food Marketing Institute reported that the average retail price (by volume) for organic produce was 54 percent higher than for conventional produce. One USDA study showed that organic salad mix cost 60 percent more than conventional; organic milk 72 percent more; and organic eggs 82 percent more. Organic corn and soybeans sell for twice as much as conventional. These are high premiums, but not high enough to move most farmers toward organic, because the farming costs required by organic methods can be higher still.

The organic farming idea started with one motivation but eventually adopted another. It first emerged a century ago as a pushback against the use of synthetic nitrogen fertilizer, but it only gained significant popularity in America after a subsequent wave of public concern over synthetic pesticides, and the residues of those pesticides on foods. The original prohibition against synthetic fertilizers remained part of the rule, however, so most farmers were not willing to ride either the first or the second wave.

Thanks to all these things in combination, farmers in the United States have reduced pesticide use significantly since the 1970s. The total pounds of herbicide and insecticide ingredients applied to crops declined by 18 percent between 1980 and 2008, even as total crop production increased 46 percent. For insecticides specifically, total use peaked in 1972 and has now fallen more than 80 percent below that peak. All these gains were achieved without any significant switch to organic farming methods.

The new uniform standard that emerged blocked all synthetic chemical use, including manufactured fertilizers as well as pesticides, but it did nothing to restrict size or specialization on organic farms, and it even created an expandable list of synthetic materials that would be permitted in the processing of certified organic foods. These features left a wide-open pathway for industrial-scale organic farming and food manufacturing.

When the new National Organic Program came into full effect in 2002, commercial production and sales began to increase rapidly. Food stores specializing in organic products, such as Whole Foods and Wild Oats, expanded operations by building new outlets and buying up or consolidating existing organic and natural food stores. Like all supermarkets, these retailers sought out suppliers who could deliver a steady volume of high-quality products on time, at a consistent grade, and uniformly packaged. Small, diverse organic farms could not meet these requirements, so it was the highly specialized, industrial-scale operations that expanded to take over. Earthbound Farm in California, for instance, started out with 2.5 acres of organic raspberries in 1984, but now it manages 50,000 acres and has taken over more than half of the national market for organic packaged salad greens.

Organic foods today have also become processed foods. By 2003, more than four-fifths of all organic sales in the United States were being made under brands owned by conglomerates like ConAgra, H.J. Heinz, and Kellogg. The biggest retailers of organic foods now are Walmart, Costco, and Kroger. By 2014, only 8 percent of U.S. organic sales were made directly from small farmers to consumers at farmers markets or through CSAs.

By going industrial, organic farming has been able to enjoy two decades of rapid growth, but not rapid enough to take over much of the market. Even with the price premiums and the permissive rules, in 2017 only 1.8 percent of farm commodities produced in the United States were organic, and in 2018 certified organic products made up just 5.7 percent of all food sold through retail channels.

Copyright 2021 by Robert Paarlberg. Excerpted by permission of Knopf. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher. ANd

Organic foods continue to increase in popularity across the U. S. with many believing eating organic is better for health. About 5% of total food sales are organic, and that is projected to increase by an average of 6% each year.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture defines organic as crops that are produced on farms that have not used most synthetic pesticides herbicides or fertilizer for three years before harvesting the food. There needs to be a significant buffer zone to decrease contamination from adjacent farm lands. Farms also have to be free from any genetic engineering, ionizing radiation or sewage sludge (yuck). And as it relates to livestock, animals must be fed organic feed, live on organic land and be raised without routine antibiotics or hormones.

Organic milk has the same protein, mineral, lipid and vitamin content as normal milk. Nonorganic milk typically has growth hormones, which are specific to each species. So, drinking milk with bovine growth hormone, which is degraded by stomach acid, has no physiological impact on humans.

Some scientists think that pesticide residues do not pose health risks, because humans and other animals are exposed to small amounts of naturally occurring toxins in every plant food we eat. The body regularly breaks down self-produced metabolic wastes and naturally occurring carcinogens in foods, as well as pesticides, and excretes these harmful substances.6, 7

Greater concentrations of urinary metabolites* of synthetic pesticides have been found in frequent consumers of conventional produce compared to frequent consumers of organic produce, and several short-term dietary intervention studies have shown that switching conventional foods for organic foods reduces urinary pesticide metabolites. However, evidence is lacking whether any significant health benefit is gained by consuming organic instead of conventional produce.8-12

A study comparing several markers of DNA damage in blood samples of conventional and organic farmers found evidence of greater DNA damage in conventional farmers.19 Damage to DNA is one way pesticide exposure could increase the risk of cancers. This finding suggests supporting organic agriculture can help to reduce the harmful effects of synthetic pesticide exposure for those who work in agriculture.

Organic agriculture avoids conventional fertilizers, aiming to prevent harmful nitrogen runoff into waterways; nitrogen runoff has been responsible for algae blooms that deplete oxygen, killing sea life. Avoiding synthetic pesticides prevents pesticide contamination of groundwater.3 Although organic pest management methods may not work as well as conventional in some cases,20 there is a great deal of evidence that organic crops are overall more environmentally friendly than their conventional counterparts. Studies have reported higher levels of soil carbon, better soil quality, less soil erosion, more plant diversity, and more diversity in insects, soil organisms, and birds.2 041b061a72

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