There is much debate about conventional versus organic food. I hear organic is too expensive and not worth it. I think it is worth every penny for the following reasons.
Conventional farmers use synthetic pesticides to control insects and spray herbicides to control weeds. Organic farms try to use other measures such as introducing beneficial insects and birds to reduce the pests and/or disease. They also rotate crops and use composted manure to fertilize the soil naturally. Organic farmers can use natural pesticides if they are needed but they must be certified and approved.
Pesticides are designed to attack the bug’s neurological systems and kill them. It may be a coincidence but there has been an increase in ALS, MS, Parkinson’s, and many other motor neutron diseases (more information). When you eat conventional foods, you are ingesting more pesticides than organically grown foods. They say it is harmless in such a small amount but if everything has a small amount it adds up to be a larger amount that may be enough to harm you. If you are genetically predisposed to get a disease, you may be increasing your chances of getting sick due to exposure to these toxins.
Organic food is not as heavily processed and it does not contain genetically altered food products (GMO), dyes, artificial sweeteners, or preservatives. I have grave concerns about dyes; reports link dyes to hyperactivity and behavior problems in children (more information). Artificial sweeteners have been linked to cancer and brain tumors. Genetically modified food has many issues as well.
Now for the meat and dairy part of our diet. Organic farms must treat the livestock differently than conventional farms. As stated on agr.wa.gov, organic farms must not do the following:
- Use animal drugs, including hormones to promote growth.
- Provide feed supplements or additives in amounts above those needed for adequate nutrition and health maintenance for the species at is specific stage of life.
- Use plastic pellets for roughage.
- Use formulations containing urea or manure.
- Use mammalian or poultry slaughter by-products.
- Use feed, feed additives, and feed supplements in violation of the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act.
Organic milk cannot contain rBST. This growth hormone can affect our hormones and/or mimic ones in our bodies. Cows are injected with estrogen to fatten them up and prolactin to produce more milk. Studies have shown the high levels of estrogen and/or IGF-1 can cause breast, colon, and prostate cancer, fibrosis diseases, and fertility issues. High levels of prolactin can cause or lead to hypothyroidism, low levels of sex hormones, and fertility issues as stated on this website.
The use of rBST seems to increase the need for antibiotics in bovines. The change in the animals diet has also increased the need for antibiotics. Cows are not allowed to graze and are kept in close quarters which spreads disease faster. They also fatten up quicker due to lack of exercise.
The Organic Valley website states “Studies of animals exposed to rBST raise concerns about potential changes in milk protein that could lead to allergies.” I am shocked at the number of food allergies children are being diagnosed with today. I wonder if children are reacting to what is in or on the food. I have been told some people with allergies do not react to food if it is organically raised.
Conventionally raised animals are fed more corn than grass and other food historically eaten by the animals. Studies have shown bovines that are grass feed have less saturated fat in the meat, more omega-3s, more vitamin E, and more cancer fighting properties.
One website stated grass fed animals “typically contains 50 to 85 percent more omega-3s than meat from grain-fed livestock” and “according to a study completed at CSU, meat from pastured cattle is four times higher in vitamin E than the meat from feedlot cattle.” They also stated ”Research shows that meat from grass-fed ruminants can contain 3 to 5 times more CLA than meat from grain-fed animals.” Robinson cites a Finnish study that showed women with the highest levels of CLA in their diet had a 60 percent lower risk of breast cancer than those with the lowest levels. Another study measured CLA levels in the breast tissue of 360 French women and found that the women with the most CLA had a 74 percent lower risk of breast cancer than the women with the least CLA.” Please look at grassrootsmeats.com for more information regarding these quotes.
In summary, I think our bodies do a wonderful job filtering out toxins but we are getting exposed to too many toxins in the environment, our food, water, cosmetics, skin care, medicine and vaccines which has to be causing our bodies to work overtime. If we can eliminate or reduce one source of toxins, our bodies can focus on the air pollution, viruses, and other carcinogens. We cannot do much about our current air quality or what is blooming outside, but we can eat foods to nourish and protect our bodies. I cook organic food at home and try to order organic local food at restaurants, but as you know that is not always possible. It is just one of life’s many balancing acts.