Choosing Organic: The Commotion about Organic vs. Conventional Foods

Organic foods are currently flooding the marketplace everywhere food is available for purchase. We have all heard that you should “choose organic”, but what’s the difference between organic and conventional foods, and is organic healthier for you?

The drastic differences between organic and conventionally grown foods start in the soil in which they are grown. The major disparity between the two practices is that organic farming uses crop rotation, does not use insecticides, does not use artificial fertilizers, and does not use antibiotics or growth hormones. Crop rotation, the changing of crops planted in the same soil every year, increases soil health. Some researchers suggest crop rotation increases the nutrient quality of the crop. Natural fertilizers are those like manure, while artificial ones are chemicals made to boost plant growth. Insecticides are used to eliminate pests on plants; organic foods do not use these. Conventionally raised animals receive growth hormones and antibiotics. Growth hormones are used to increase the meat or milk production of the animal; essentially, they help you get more ‘bang for your buck’. Antibiotics eradicate many diseases found in animals used in food production. Therefore, the real difference between organic and conventional farming is not the price or the food, it is how the animal or plant is grown.

Research about the health benefit of organic foods is very uncertain. Studies have found mixed results about the possibility of increased health benefits in organic foods. Currently, there is not enough research to determine if organic foods are healthier than conventional. Because of this, you may be wondering why people choose organic if it is not necessarily healthier for you. Organic food practices are more environmentally friendly. Additionally, individuals are concerned about their health, as many fruits and vegetables are porous (like strawberries and peaches), resulting in the absorption of the chemicals used on them into the produce. These chemicals and insecticides do have the potential to cause health problems. Many organic supporters further argue that the use of antibiotics and growth hormones in animals can eventually cause humans to become sick and develop diseases like cancer. The decision in choosing organic or conventional ultimately lies with you; become an educated consumer and explore this issue farther!

Organic foods are currently flooding the marketplace everywhere food is available for purchase. We have all heard that you should “choose organic”, but what’s the difference between organic and conventional foods and is organic healthier for you?

The drastic differences between organic and conventionally grown foods start in the soil in which they are grown. The major disparity between the two practices is that organic farming uses crop rotation, does not use insecticides, does not use artificial fertilizers, and does not use antibiotics or growth hormones. Crop rotation, the changing of crops planted in the same soil every year, increases soil health. Some researchers suggest crop rotation increases the nutrient quality of the crop. Natural fertilizers are those like manure, while artificial ones are chemicals made to boost plant growth. Insecticides are used to eliminate pests on plants; organic foods do not use these. Conventionally raised animals receive growth hormones and antibiotics. Growth hormones are used to increase the meat or milk production of the animal; essentially, they help you get more ‘bang for your buck’. Antibiotics eradicate many diseases found in animals used in food production. Therefore, the real difference between organic and conventional farming is not the price or the food, it is how the animal or plant is grown.

Research about the health benefit of organic foods is very uncertain. Studies have found mixed results about the possibility of increased health benefits in organic foods. Currently, there is not enough research to determine if organic foods are healthier than conventional. Because of this, you may be wondering why people choose organic if it is not necessarily healthier for you. Organic food practices are more environmentally friendly. Additionally, individuals are concerned about their health, as many fruits and vegetables are porous (like strawberries and peaches), resulting in the absorption of the chemicals used on them into the produce. These chemicals and insecticides do have the potential to cause health problems. Many organic supporters further argue that the use of antibiotics and growth hormones in animals can eventually cause humans to become sick and develop diseases like cancer. The decision in choosing organic or conventional ultimately lies with you; become an educated consumer and explore this issue farther!

References:

Mayo Clinic


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