Saturday, March 26, 2011

Organic vs. Non-Organic. Where do you stand?

Did you know the number of organic farmers has more than doubled in the past decade? Still, there is so much controversy about organic vs. non-organic. What do you believe? Is it the same? What about the difference between organic meats vs. organic fruits and vegetables? Is one invariably safer than the other?
Here's what I know about the agricultural industry farming in the "land of organic" field of dreams.
There are a number of ways our foods are contaminated:
We use a plethora of pesticides and herbicides. Mainly to kill weeds and control the insect population on the crops themselves. The FDA has since banned many of the chemicals from being used in the United States, but since so many crops are imported, they come into our country, and still do contain these chemicals and toxins.
After the FDA banned toxic chemical spraying, we used sewage. (Feces, yes. Disgusting. Or is that just me?)  Initially, the idea of using human waste as fertilizer for non-organic crops was an easy fix, easy to obtain, but now the FDA states that by doing so, we have contributed to chronic illnesses in the general population.  I tried to research exactly WHAT the chronic illnesses were, but that remains a mystery as to why I cannot find published facts.
The next problem, and the one I have the biggest issue with is MEAT products. The use of hormones, antibiotics and even feeding the remains of animals to OTHER animals.
(Yes, scary but true. What did you think you were eating?) 
By using hormones, this was a way to fatten up the animals to have them pop up to "market size" for butchering (or milking) earlier than what was intended by nature. Hormones (the equivalent of human steroids, as we know them) are typically injected into animals to fatten them up fast, and create massive growth spurts. The antibiotics came into play in order to actually keep the animals alive. The controversy with this is, if we give the animal the antibiotics and hormones, and we slaughter them for food - aren't we getting a (un)healthy dose of antibiotics as well? Yes. Yes, we are. 
This is one of the fights in the organic community. We are becoming immune resistant to antibiotics and their bacteria fighting abilities because our bodies are ingesting them in quantities that the human body was never meant to adapt to!
I'm a little miffed at the "feeding of an animal carcass" to another animal. Did we learn nothing from the mad cow disease scares throughout the years? We don't still do THAT, do we?
Lastly, we've all heard about irradiation. Did you know that many of out foods are radiated to kill bacteria that may be present? Radiated.
This will be a topic I will revisit again in a future blog..
(Shaking my head in disbelief...)
There is a saying in the food industry, calling particular foods, mainly vegetables and fruit: "The Dirty Dozen". 
Do you know what that means?
These are the fruits and vegetables that are thought to contain the most chemicals and pesticides. You might be surprised.
Listed below are the TWELVE:
Apples. Peaches. Spinach. Kale. Bell Peppers. Strawberries. Nectarines. Cherries. Potatoes. Grapes. Blueberries... And the number one offender, CELERY.
Will you think twice the next time you shop at the store?
Organic? Or non-organic?


  1. I can't taste any difference between organically grown food and non-organically grown food so I usually just get my locally grown, organic delivery of the dirty dozen and rely on the supermarket for the rest. There's a big difference between homegrown and store-bought fruits and veggies, organic or not. Grow something for a real treat. C'mon it's spring.

  2. George - Do you still get the organic delivery? I can't recall the name of the company. I CAN tell the difference. You can't?

  3. I'm sensing a challenge and a double blind taste test in your future! You may be right though.

    I've noticed organic bananas never seem to taste as good as non-organic bananas. It probably has nothing to do with organic vs. non but I stopped getting the organic ones because I was paying more for less taste. Hopefully, the chemical sprays on the non organic ones kill off the e. coli on the banana skins :-)

    Farm Fresh to You was the organic fruit and veggie service I used to use.