What is Organic?
Organic foods are grown and produced with only natural fertilizers and contain no man-made pesticides or herbicides. “Certified Organic” foods are guaranteed by independent and/or state agencies to meet these requirements and to have been grown in soil that has been chemical free for at least three years. A program to set national standards for organically produced foods has been in continuous development since the late 90’s.
Why Eat Organically Grown Foods?
Physical Health – To keep dangerous, unwanted chemicals out of your food and consequently out of your body. The correlation between pesticides and herbicides with serious health risks is steadily increasing. Severe nervous system disorders, several types of cancer, major hormonal imbalances, immune system damage, reproductive problems and many other degenerative diseases are being linked to unhealthy dietary practices and especially to pesticide ingestion. DDT, Malathion, and several other pesticides whose use has been outlawed in the United States are, amazingly, manufactured here, shipped to other countries where produce is grown, and then exported to the United States where we consume it!
Energy Conservation – Huge conventional farms predominantly rely on fossil fuels to produce their crops. They use man-made pesticides, fertilizers, herbicides, and giant machinery that all pollute our environment. Although organically grown foods appear to be more expensive at this time on the retail level, in fact they are not! If you consider all of the hidden costs in conventionally grown foods such as federal subsidies, hazardous waste cleanup, and pesticide testing and regulations, the real cost of conventional farming is about six times higher than we pay in the store today.
Nutrition – Studies have shown that organically produced foods contain more of many vitamins and trace minerals than conventionally grown foods (Journal of Applied Nutrition, 1993). In addition, most people agree that organically grown foods taste better and enjoy a much greater variety from which to choose.
Future Protection and Preservation – Conventional agriculture is destroying three of our most precious resources, rich topsoil, pure water, and our children! Three billion tons of topsoil are destroyed each year in the United States, whereas organic farming actually regenerates topsoil. Ninety-eight pesticides (including DDT) have been found in the groundwater of 48 states. Children, relative to their small size, eat three to four times more food than adults and many of their favorite foods, such as fruit, cheese, milk and peanuts are full of residual pesticides. In addition, they often play in grass and filed treated with herbicides and/or pesticides, which can be absorbed directly through the skin.
The strength of a nation is directly related to the strength of its soil.
–-Franklin D. Roosevelt.
Note: Cotton, the all-natural fabric, is the second most heavily sprayed crop in the United States behind only tobacco. In addition, to process cotton, dioxin, heavy metals, and formaldehyde are typically used. We must also be aware of pure vegetable oils in prepared foods that often contain cottonseed oil. This oil is probably the worst quality oil to consume for the reason just cited.
The following foods tend to contain the highest levels of residual pesticides: beef, pork, chicken, dairy products, fruit, and coffee. If possible, it is best to consume certified organically gown versions of these foods which are available at natural foods stores like Sunshine.
We look forward to the day when consumption of organically grown foods is a way of life for everyone. Please support our local organic farmers.