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Organic Foods is it Worth It ?????

Discussion in 'Indian Diet & Nutrition' started by sheetal, Mar 11, 2006.

  1. cheer

    cheer Silver IL'ite

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    Hi Ladies,

    I was reading this post since long time & today i read abt this in Reader's digest-canada, would luv to share with u-

    The Benefits of Organic
    By Andy Hammermeister
    Andy Hammermeister represents the Organic Agriculture Centre of Canada (OACC), Nova Scotia Agriculture College

    Every day we make choices about what we eat and how we live. Will it be a salad or a burger? Should I drive my car or walk? Now we ask ourselves, “Should we be buying organic food?” As consumers, we have great influence on every business through the food chain, from the farmer to processors to local grocery stores. So every time we buy organic we are, in effect, voting with our dollars. Most shoppers say they buy organic food for reasons of personal or family health, the environment and/or animal welfare. Are these valid reasons for buying organic?
    Let’s face it, everything we do in our lives involves some level of risk, whether it’s crossing a street or running with the bulls. The rules or standards for organic agriculture and food are designed to take a precautionary approach. That’s not to say that non-organic food isn’t safe. Our food system is carefully regulated, whether it is organic or not. However, just as crosswalks are used to reduce the risk associated with crossing the street, organic has developed standards intended to minimize risks associated with agriculture and food.
    Until recently, claims could not be made about the benefits of organic production systems or products. In the UK, however, the British Code of Advertising has now accepted 22 claims that can be made about organic food.1. These claims cover everything from pesticides, food additives, fats, antibiotics, vitamins and minerals, genetic engineering, animal welfare, wildlife and the environment. These claims are supported by a growing body of research that has been designed to compare organic foods and production systems with other systems.2.
    The science behind organic agriculture is developing quickly (www.oacc.info) as people and policy makers are paying more attention to health and the environment. For example, there is increasing evidence of risks associated with pesticide residues in food.3. We now have scientific data showing that organic foods contain fewer kinds of pesticide residues and at lower concentrations.4. Organic also restricts the use of most chemical additives in foods. However, scientists cannot easily make direct links between pesticide residues or additives and risks to human health As a result, the organic standard takes a precautionary approach, and severely restricts the use of pesticides and additives. And the standard works; eating organic food has been shown to reduce pesticide intake in children.5.
    Agriculture in general has a big impact on the plants and animals that would naturally live on the land. We can’t entirely avoid these impacts but we can try to minimize them. Compared with conventional farming, organic performs at least as well as non-organic and in many ways better. Synthetic pesticides, fertilizers and confined livestock operations are not permitted in organic production. This means that there is lower risk of pesticides, nutrients, manure, and antibiotics affecting the soil, ground water, rivers, lakes, atmosphere and the life within them.6. It still means that farmers must be responsible for managing what happens on their farm. Overall, organic farming also supports more wildlife than non-organic farming.7.
    Organic farming also uses much less energy than conventional agriculture, mostly because it doesn’t use nitrogen fertilizer.8. The Rodale Institute has reported that organic farming systems use 30% less fossil fuels than other farming systems.9. They have also found that organic farming tends to hold more carbon in the soil, reducing carbon dioxide emissions. Carbon dioxide is an important greenhouse gas that contributes to climate change.10.
    So aside from reducing risk, is organic food more nutritious? The claim being made in the UK is “No food has higher amounts of beneficial minerals, essential amino acids and vitamins than organic food.” Research from around the world has supported this statement. 11. There is not always a difference between organic food and other food, but when there is a difference, organic foods do have higher amounts of these beneficial substances.
    We as consumers face difficult choices every day. Many of those choices involve balancing the risks and benefits of our activities. Research is increasingly showing that buying organic reduces many risks associated with agriculture and food while also providing benefits. Farmers and food processors will respond to consumer demand; they will use fewer pesticides, fertilizers, additives, antibiotics etc. if that is what the consumer wants. It is our responsibility as a consumer, however, to be prepared to pay more for our food so that farmers can change their practices.

    Is Organic Better?
    By Jackie Fraser
    Jackie Fraser is the executive director of AGCare (Agricultural Groups Concerned About Resources and the Environment)
    Organic food generally costs more. That might be worth it, if organic food was healthier or more environmentally friendly. However, it’s not. It’s more expensive, and it’s no better for you than regular food….which, besides being reasonably priced, is more nourishing than ever. We are living longer and healthier lives, thanks to modern medicine and modern food production.
    Organic food is not healthier
    Natural toxins and bacteria are the biggest threats to food safety 1. For example, recent food scares, such as botulism in organic carrot juice and spinach contaminated with E.coli 0157:H7, could happen to either organic or non-organic food 1. If anything, organic food tends to be more susceptible to higher rates of pest damage 2. Pests open doors and create pathways for toxin-causing fungi, such as aflatoxins. These toxins are natural, but they can be deadly.
    In Canada, all foods, organic and non-organic, must meet the same inspection and food safety standards, such as pesticide residue limits 1. The Canadian Food Inspection Agency is responsible for monitoring pesticide residues on the Canadian food supply. Over the past several years, it’s consistently shown that more than 99 per cent of the food produced in Canada falls within its standards 3. It’s worth noting most non-organic foods (about 80 per cent) have no residues whatsoever. Farmers are trained to use pesticides responsibly to ensure that residues do not pose a health risk to consumers 4.
    Studies on nutritional content have been inconclusive. Nutritional content is more dependent on other factors, such as freshness, livestock breed, diet and age, plant variety, and soil nutrients, than whether or not the farmer used pesticides.
    Organic food is not better for the environment
    All farmers must treat the environment with respect, if they are to be successful in the long term. Their families live, work, and play on their farms. Their livelihoods depend on the wise and responsible management of resources, such as soil, water, air, and biodiversity. However, only 1.5 per cent of Canadians farmers grow organic food 5.
    In fact, virtually all farmers employ the same environmentally responsible techniques as organic farmers; they simply have a wider range of options to manage pests and disease. For example, farmers have long switched crops from field to field, called “crop rotation,” to reduce pest pressures and enhance soil health. That way, they can use less pesticides and fertilizer. In fact, Ontario’s farmers have reduced their use of pesticides by 52% in the past twenty years as a result of better technologies and education 6.
    Using the full range of options to increase crop yields, including pesticides and commercial fertilizers, is better for the environment because less land is required to grow food for a growing population. This leaves more land for wildlife habitat and natural areas.
    Buy local
    To be truly environmentally and health conscious, consumers should pay close attention to where their food comes from. Buying local means reducing the amount of fossil fuel used to transport food. Local food is fresher, which means it probably tastes better and is more nutritious. The vast majority of organic food is imported. Is it better for the environment to have a truckload of organic food shipped all the way from California or overseas? Isn’t it better buying it fresh and local, whether it is organic or non-organic?
    Decide for yourself
    The best way to decide if organic food or regular food is better is to do some research, try both, and judge for yourself. If it is locally grown or raised, you can be very confident that it is safe and produced in an environmentally responsible manner, whether it’s organic or regular.

    Organic Foods
     
  2. shaluja

    shaluja New IL'ite

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    I hav e heard about organic food ,but organic clothing .never heard about it ,that is interesting.
     
  3. sunitha

    sunitha Gold IL'ite

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    The latest trend is not organic food here in the U.S. but locally grown food.

    More and more people are now going more towards locally grown food,which means vegetables,fruits etc produced within their particular state or within a particular radius.

    Well,that is the latest trend ...very soon that will change too!
     
  4. vaishnavilakshmi

    vaishnavilakshmi Bronze IL'ite

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    Organic Milk/foods Vs Inorganic Milk/foods

    Hello everybody,

    I use regular fatfree milk(kirkland brand) for me and my husband from Costco. Some of my friends suggest me to use organic milk which is pretty expensive.Iam giving organic milk to my toddler kid,but we are still using the regular one. And all other food like meat,veggies etc also,i use the inorganic .Sometimes i buy organic carrots.

    Can any one suggest me,which foods to go for ?Organic/Inorganic ??and also pros and cons of both???

    Cheers,
    Vaishu
     
  5. spandhana

    spandhana Bronze IL'ite

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    Re: Organic Milk/foods Vs Inorganic Milk/foods

    Hi Vaishu,
    Obviously Organic Is Good Compared To Inorganic.organic Food Is Nothing But Grown Naturally Without Any Chemicals And Pesticides.go With Organic For Ur Toddler.but Using Too Much Organic Is Also Not Going Bcoz They Lose The Resistivity When We Eat Outside Food,it May Doesnt Suit .so Prioritize Them Equally.
     
  6. sunitha

    sunitha Gold IL'ite

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    Re: Organic Milk/foods Vs Inorganic Milk/foods

    Check out this article in the Time Magazine-1st week of March 2007 issue
    Eating Better Than Organic - TIME

    It will definitely clear all your doubts.
     
  7. kasisheela

    kasisheela Silver IL'ite

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    Re: Organic Milk/foods Vs Inorganic Milk/foods

    That was a nice write up on organic food.
    Thanx for sharing............

    -Shantha Kasi/:
     
  8. ramyanand

    ramyanand Gold IL'ite

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    Organic food lovers--this is for u

    5 Tips For Making The Organic Choice Really Count

    <!-- <div class="post" id="post-5965"> <small>August 28th, 2007 by Karen Berner / Food Editor</small>
    -->Organic Diet For A Small Planet / Anna Lappe
    1. Seek Out the Seal: Keep your eyes peeled for the USDA organic seal. It’s your guarantee that the food producer followed strict guidelines. Why do you have to look for it? Because a lot of companies use the word “organic” in their product names but do not actually use organic ingredients. Shocked me, but it’s true.
    2. Trust Your Farmer: You may have gotten on the farmers’ market bandwagon and like millions of Americans flock to your local one once a week. So, what to make of the farmers who aren’t organic certified with this seal? Don’t pass them by. Instead, dig a little deeper, and you’ll most often find that these non-certified farmers also have incredibly high standards and stay clear of toxic farm chemicals. So why aren’t they certified? The reasons are as numerous as heirloom tomato varieties in summertime. Some small farmers find the certification too costly. Others find the bureaucracy too burdensome. Whatever the reason, what matters to you – the ecological and health principles of the farm – hold up. So … ask them about those, and trust your farmer.
    3. Don’t Be Duped By Smiling Cows: You know those milk cartons with the smiling cows in a bright green pasture or food packages dotted with quaint red barns? Do you ever find yourself reaching for these items because, well, they look wholesome? Don’t be duped by pretty pictures. Knowing that more and more of us are concerned about our health and the environment, food marketers are coming up with lovely looking packages that suckers us in. Also, be wary of labels blazoned with “All Natural!” and other healthy-sounding words. Look for seals that you can trust; the rest is just PR fluff. Check out www.eco-labels.org for one of the best online resources for trustworthy labels.
    4. Love these Labels: While you should be dubious of many of the health and eco-claims of just any old labels, there are a few others you can trust. Fair-trade certified products, like organic-certified, are guaranteed by a third-party to meet certain standards, including that the producer got a fair price. Certified Humane Raised and Handled is also a meaningful seal to look for. Meat and dairy with this seal were raised in a ‘humane manner’on feed without antibiotics and other additives that are commonplace in industrial animals. Animals must also have access to clean and sufficient food and water. Like the other seals I’m recommending, this program is administered by a certification body and includes inspections of the facilities.
    5. Ack, What’s In That!? If you can’t pronounce an ingredient, it’s probably a sign you might not want to be eating it. Take a Pop Tart. Along with sugar, and lots of it, you will find the tongue twister “sodium pyrophosphate,” which is commonly used in household detergents as a water softener. Yum. Eating a Pop Tart, you would also be chomping down on “monocalcium phosphate,” a leavening agent found not only in this syrupy sweet breakfast treat, but also in bird and chicken feed. Many of the other thirty-five main ingredients in a Pop Tart might have similarly left you scratching your head — thinking what does that mean? And that scratching-your-head thing? Probably a sign to pass the product on by. One of the best ways to ensure the purest food possible? Buy your ingredients — not the finished product.
    Anna Lappe is a national bestselling author and advocate for food and environmental justice. A founding principal of the Small Planet Institute<HTTP: www.smallplanetinstitute.org>, Anna is the co-author of Hope’s Edge: The Next Diet for a Small Planet <HTTP: Small Planet Institute comments hope_comments.php>and Grub: Ideas for an Urban Organic Kitchen. Anna is also the co-founder of the Small Planet Fund, which has raised more than a quarter of a million dollars for social movements worldwide addressing the roots of hunger. She is an active board member of the Community Food Security Coalition and the Center for Media and Democracy.
     
  9. Sriniketan

    Sriniketan IL Hall of Fame

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    Re: Organic food lovers--this is for u

    thanks for the useful information, Ramya, which will help not only organic food lovers and also those who will be interested in organic foods, in future.
    sriniketan
     
  10. Jithiks

    Jithiks Gold IL'ite

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    Re: Organic Milk/foods Vs Inorganic Milk/foods

    Hi all,

    This is a wonderful topic for discussion! Surprising why no REPLIES have been posted for SOOOOOOOOOO long!!

    Hopefully we can continue now!!

    Infact i always keep wondering what to buy since there are so many opinions spread out everywhere abt this ORGANIC FOODS!!

    For milk, i buy the kirkland brand from COSTCO for all of us (me,my husband and 2 sons)

    As far as vegetables are concerned...we buy from Indian grocery stores(where there is no organic or regular foods marked) , from walmart supercenter too

    We buy organic carrots,broccoli etc, as far as fruits goes...we sometimes buy the regular and sometimes organic.

    But I've read some articles that says that tomatoes,grapes and some vegs shd be eaten only organic since they are so thin skinned and the pesticides sprayed on them go directly inside and is not removed during the wash.:confused2:

    Anyway, with all the talk going on, the bottom line is ORGANIC FOODS ARE EXPENSIVE. Definitely the bill is going to be double or more than what we pay for the regular stuff.

    Nowadays, the KIRKLAND brand clearly states on their milk jugs that the cows not treated with the artificial hormones.

    So is it really worth buying ORGANIC all the time or for just PARTICULAR FOODS or stick to regular foods.

    As far as our family goes, we have decided to buy ORGANIC for selected foods and Regular for others.

    Can all of you please share your thoughts and experiences on this!!

    I would definitely like to see this topic discussed and shared more often!!

    Thanks
    Jithiks(Krithika)
     

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