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Though organic food can be produced with certain synthetic ingredients, if must adhere to specific standards. Crops are generally grown without synthetic pesticides, artificial fertilizers, irradiation or biotechnology. Animals on organic farms eat organically grown feed, aren’t confined 100% of the time and are raised without antibiotics or synthetic growth hormones.

Organic foods may have higher nutritional value than conventional food, according to some research. The reason: In the absence of pesticides and fertilizers, plant boast their production of phytochemicals (vitamins and antioxidants) that strengthen their resistance to bugs and weeds. Some studies have linked pesticides in our food to everything from headaches to cancer to birth defects but many experts maintain that the levels in conventional food are safe for most healthy adults. Even low level pesticide exposure, however, can be significantly more toxic for fetuses and children and for pregnant women. Pesticides contamination isn’t as much of a concern in meats and diary products, but many scientist are concerned about the antibiotics being given to most farm animals. Many are the same antibiotics human rely on, and overuse of these drugs has already enabled bacteria to develop resistance to them rendering them less effective in fighting infection.

Organic farming reduces pollutants in groundwater and creates richer soil that aids plant growth while reducing erosion. It also decreases pesticides that can end up in your drinking glass; in some cities in the US, pesticides in tap water have been measured at unsafe levels for weeks at a time. Organic farming used 50% less energy that conventional farming methods in one 15 year study.

1 comments

Lorille T. Dacasin said... @ July 22, 2009 at 1:26 PM

great article! though organic food is rarely found here in manila, (sigh)...

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