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A Study of Organic Goodness


Posted by Heather J.

Results from a few recent studies point to the myriad health benefits of organic versus conventional produce and meats. Aside from the fact that organic fruits and vegetables just plain taste better, and come free of harmful pesticides, a recently completed, ten-year UC Davis study found organically grown tomatoes to be significantly higher in flavonoids than non-organically grown tomatoes. The same study also found an organically farmed plot of land to have less year-to-year variation in crop yield than conventionally farmed plots. Building on that positive news, scientists with the Agricultural Research Service—the USDA’s chief scientific research agency—concluded after a long-term study that organic farming can build up soil organic matter better than non-organic, no-till farming can. This finding contradicts the longstanding belief that no-till farming is the best soil builder. In regards to organic animal products, a study recently reported in the British Journal of Nutrition says organic dairy and meat in a mother’s diet significantly increase beneficial fatty acids in her breast milk.

 
Comments (7)
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I am a fan of organic food but we have to change the economic paradigm and make organic less expensive. Families are struggling now with higher gas prices and the increase in cost for organic just doesn't add up for a lot of average households. Food costs in general have risen dramatically in the last year and it's putting a major crunch on middle class households. With all that going on it's going to be hard for people to afford the higher price of organic. And that's a shame. Environmental choices should not be luxuries that only the affluent can afford.
I love the idea of having a little kitchen garden. We need to have our own little victory gardens for our own families. Doesn't that sound nice? It's just so convenient to pick up the junk at the grocery store. Easy and cheap!
I like to think of the bigger picture when buying my food. Maybe an organic tomato does cost more, but if there's more flavor and nutrients, perhaps I need just one instead of two conventionally-grown tomatoes. Also, I totally believe in spending the money on "prevention" and not on doctors bills, missed work because of illness, etc. Good food makes for healthy bodies, and healthy bodies are much cheaper to maintain!
I think Lela D's got something there. I live in a small town and am surrounded by gardeners with yards abundant (I myself am afflicted with a black thumb) but for anyone with limited space, why not grow some gardens and even share with friends? Get your friends together and you can all grow some different things and trade. That way, you get variety in your home-grown veggies and fruits! If possible, start a rooftop garden with all your apartment neighbours. That way, you meet like-minded people and get to really make a difference. What Lis S. says is true. It is best to prevent illness and I sincerely hope that we as a community can find ways to do that.
...there was a recent article about the current economic climate and people are having to choose between gas and food. Especially people with families and children to take care of. So this isn't about a "bigger picture," this is about basic survival. Creating gardens is not a bad idea but not everyone has the time or the space for them, and they are still expensive to get going. When I had my garden on my balcony it was quite a bit to get the soil, the pots, the plants, etc. Just getting herbs to grow can be pricey. Once you have them going then that's another story. But I honestly think eco-people need to have a better understanding of the real economic issues average American families are having right now. Wal-Mart is painted as the enemy but for those people that's the only way they can afford food and clothes. Eco-companies need to find a way to bring their products to the market for less, and the one company that has done a decent job with this is Trader Joe's. But Whole Foods is so expensive, I don't ever shop there. They need to get with the program and lower prices for consumers. For more information see: http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20071019/ap_on_bi_ge/stretching_paychecks

In response to Stephanie, our whole economy is about making everything cheaper, and it has its price. 50 years ago the average family spent 50 percent of their income on food. Now it is more like 10 percent. Most people have loads of spare cash that they spend on a whole array of unnecessary, unhealthy things. Always going for the low price is a choice...but not always an ethical one. There is no way that an independent shop or eco people can possibly lower prices like walmart. Big corporations get massive discounts because they buy in bulk, and from slave labor of some sort.

I don't have hardly any extra cash, but I choose to buy my food and everything else from a local shop rather than wal mart because they are the enemy, they are the enemy of individuality, creativity, ethical living, a good vibe, and everything good.

Sorry to rant!

Stephanie B,I understand where you are going,We are both on dissibilty now,but we both do our share still,it's a shame that the foods that are good for you cost more then the junk foods you buy,it's a wounder that thair are so much obesity.Sorry, i am new,Hope i didn't afend anyone.
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