Why Eating Organic Really Matters?

When I first found out I was pregnant I knew I needed to eat healthier, my husband and I were (or so I thought) always mindful of eating a balanced and healthy diet, but I was under the false impression that organic meant expensive healthy food. My friend Julia of the amazing blog Magnetizinglife, briefly mentioned to me about the dangers of pesticides. So, I started my own research. Let me share with you, as condensed as possible, what I found out.

What does organic really mean?
The USDA National Organic Program (NOP) defines organic as follows:
Organic food is produced by farmers who emphasize the use of renewable resources and the conservation of soil and water to enhance environmental quality for future generations. Organic meat, poultry, eggs, and dairy products come from animals that are given no antibiotics or growth hormones. Organic food is produced without using most conventional pesticides; fertilizers made with synthetic ingredients or sewage sludge; bioengineering; or ionizing radiation. Before a product can be labeled “organic,” a Government-approved certifier inspects the farm where the food is grown to make sure the farmer is following all the rules necessary to meet USDA organic standards. Companies that handle or process organic food before it gets to your local supermarket or restaurant must be certified, too.

You may be asking, but if you peel your veggies, then what’s the problem? Well, the peels get thrown away but not before all this: 
  • The pesticides have been applied to crops 
  • Drifted into yours and your neighbor’s yard 
  • Affected habitats 
  • Sipped into waterways, contaminating our drinking-water sources

The peels get thrown away, sure, but by then the pesticides have poisoned pests and wildlife alike, inhaled and ingested by farm-workers (alarming high cancer rate among them) by then you have brought the poison into your home. 

Conventional farming has brought us
  • Deforestation 
  • High cancer rates 
  • Pollution
  • A business climate that has meant the end for many family owned farms and an average of 30,000 suicides per year among farmers, most due to debt to chemical manufacturers (like Monsanto). 

A study done in Seattle, WA tested 100 elementary-school children and found that 23 of those kids had presence of pesticides in their urine.

Now let’s talk about milk

The FDA believes that we the consumers don’t need to know that our dairy cows are treated with rBGH (bovine growth hormone), it has sided with the manufacturer of this hormone and decided that there’s no need to disclose this on the label (labeling is regulated state by state, in my state farmers must disclose the use on rBGH).

How does this affect you?

In order to make the cows all big and fat to produce lots of milk they are treated with rGBH; this sometimes resulting in infections such as mastitis. These cows then need to be treated with antibiotics; would you like some tetracycline with those Cheerios? Some scientists believe there is a link between obesity and cancer and this hormone. Same goes for any product derived from cows. Hormone residues in beef have been implicated in the early onset of puberty in girls, which could put them at greater risk of developing breast and other forms of cancer.

This debate is not about whether or not an organic carrot contain more beta carotene than a conventional one, it is about not poisoning ourselves with pesticides. It is that simple.

When I buy organic produce and hormone/antibiotic-free milk and meat I don’t just do it because is healthier for me and my family, but because I refuse to be part of a vicious cycle that is ruining our natural resources and damaging the health of farmers and farm-workers. When I buy organic I am voting for the world I want to live in.

For rurther reading:


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About Stephanie

Stephanie is a stay-at-home mom to her curly-haired two year old son, a nursing student, dog lover, and yoga enthusiast. She loves to share her tips on making green and healthy living attainable to families getting
started in the wonderful world of eco-consciousness. She believes in
real food and living as natural as possible…and why not, leaving behind a
better planet for our children.

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