Is Organic Always Better?

It seems that if you look up whether or not organic food is really better for you on the internet, you get two answers. The people who are adamant that they are and the people who are adamant that they aren’t. If you read the articles on either side they seem very biased and it’s hard to know the answer.

The simple fact: food that is grown naturally with no chemicals and man made elements is obviously going to be better for you. I don’t need to do any research, I feel pretty safe making that statement. If you grow your own food at home that is all natural and organic, I would give the thumbs up to that being better than any non-organic piece of food you could find at the grocery store. I don’t currently produce any of my own food so I have to get what I eat from the grocery store, so my real question is whether or not the organic food that is being sold to you is better for you. This is a much more complicated question to answer.

In order for a product to be advertised as organic, it has to meet requirements set by the USDA (see above infographic). Now the common misconception is that that means the produce is grown with no pesticides or chemicals and unfortunately that isn’t the case. Organic food can and is produce with chemical pesticides, they just can’t be synthetic. Any pesticides used in organic food must be derived from natural sources. The word “natural” does not mean anything positive either. The EPA and USDA have done studies that show that over 50% of natural pesticides are still carcinogenic and show cancer causing properties.

The other issue you have to take into account when it comes to natural pesticides is the dosage. It is common to need 10 times the amount of a natural pesticide than a well know, well tested synthetic one. These variables make it very difficult to pin down exactly how good or bad they might be for you.

Unfortunately, greed has outweighed health in a lot of farms so their bottom line is highest priority. This makes a lot of organic farmers still use products and methods that are going to be harmful in the long run. Unlike the synthetic pesticides that have been tested for decades, the natural pesticides are a little more of a gamble as we aren’t as educated about their effects.

So organic food is bad for you? Absolutely not. Like I said at the beginning, food grown naturally with no chemicals will always be better for you, the problem is finding them. The organic products you would buy at your local supermarket are most likely not much better for you than the non-organic variety. At the very least it is safe to say that we don’t know. The solution is to know where your food comes from. Start a garden. My family and I are preparing to start our own garden this spring. You know exactly where that food came from and how it was grown. You can also get produce, milk, eggs and meat from local farms and farmer’s markets. You can find a smaller, local farm that grows food the way you want it and get it from them. You can also look into specialty markets that know where their food comes from and how it’s grown.

Organic food has become a booming industry which is what has fueled the greed that has caused common organic food to not be so health friendly. That same boom has made finding local organic food more abundant which not only gives you real organic food but helps your local economy. Save energy, support local business and eat healthier.

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