Organic Food • Organic foods are grown without the use of conventional pesticides and artificial fertilizers. • Organic foods are free from contamination by human or industrial waste.
Organic Food • Organic foods are processed without ionizing radiation or food additives. • Organic livestock must be reared without the routine use of antibiotics and without the use of growth hormones. • In most countries, organic food cannot be genetically modified.
Adverse Health Effects of Pesticide Exposure in Farm Workers • Abdominal pain, dizziness, headaches, nausea, vomiting, skin and eye problems. • Respiratory problems, memory disorders, dermatologic conditions, cancer, depression, neurologic deficits, miscarriages, and birth defects.
Nutritional Benefits of Organic Food • The largest study on organic food, completed in 2007, found that organic fruit and vegetables contain up to 40% more antioxidants than conventional equivalents. • That figure is 60% for organic milk.
Cost Factor • Expect to pay more for organic foods, which are costly to grow and do not get government subsidies. • On average, organic foods cost up to 50% more. They can even be as much as 100% more in cost.
Ways to Cut Cost on Organic Foods • Comparison shop. • Buy locally produced organic foods (check local farmers’ markets). • Buy a share in a community-supported organic farm to get a regular supply of seasonal organic produce. • Order by mail.
Factors to Consider • Make sure organic produce is not placed too close to non-organic produce. Misting can cause pesticides to run.
Guide to Organic Labels • “100% Organic” - No synthetic ingredients are allowed by law. • “Organic” – At least 95% of the ingredients are organically produced.
Guide to Organic Labels • “ Made with organic ingredients” – At least 70% of the ingredients are organic; the other 30% are from a list approved by the USDA. • “Free range” or “Free roaming” – Animals had an undetermined amount of daily outdoor access. This label does not provide much information about the product. • “Natural” or “All Natural” – Does not mean organic. There is no standard definition, except for meat and poultry products, which may not contain any artificial flavoring, colors, chemical preservatives, or synthetic ingredients. The claims are not verified.
Shopper’s Guide toPesticides in Produce • The produce ranking was developed by analysts at the not-for profit Environmental Working Group (EWG) based on the results of more than 100,000 tests for pesticides on produce collected by the U.S. Department of Agriculture and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration between 1992 and 2001.
Produce Highest In Pesticides These 12 popular fresh fruits and vegetables are consistently the most contaminated with pesticides—buy these organic.
Produce Lowest In Pesticides These 12 popular fresh fruits and vegetables consistently have the lowest levels of pesticides .