Organic foods are becoming more and more popular, as well as costing more than non-organic foods, however, some are curious if it is worth it or if it is another big money making scare tactic. Organic foods are grown without the use of synthetic chemicals, pesticides and fertilizers. The purpose of paying the extra money to bring home organic foods is to avoid ingesting such chemicals that may be potentially harmful.
Beginning in the 1940’s, farmers and food producers found an easier way to keep pests away by using man made chemicals and pesticides. This can be a concern due to the residue remain of the chemicals on the food when eaten, which can possibly be linked to cancer. There is no proof in studies that the residue is harmful for humans to ingest, however, no proof that it is safe either. Many vegetables, fruit, and grains are irradiated to kill pests and molds. These practices only make it easier, however, if the work was done properly in the first place for the growth of the food by simply keeping it clean the natural way as well as kept cleaner food processing facilities there would be no need for the radiation, chemicals, or pesticides.
Injecting cows with growth hormones known as BST or BGH, is also very common to increase the milk production. Beef cattle are also injected with this hormone to assist in growth. There are studies suggesting that using these hormones on the food we eat and milk we drink, can disrupt the human endocrine system which is mentioned in an article in Quamut. Livestock are also often given antibiotics to keep them healthy as well as increase growth in the animals. There is no evidence, although, many organic advocates suggest that the antibiotic residue in the food can be potentially harmful to humans.
Food additives are used to extend the shelf life of processed foods. Organic foods tend to use natural additives in their products. Some studies have linked food additives to heart disease, skin disease, cancer, allergic reactions, headaches, growth retardation, asthma, and hyperactivity in children. This may be risk big enough for one to change to organic foods and pay the extra cost. More concern for what our children are eating is from the National Research Council when they stated that children are more susceptible to pesticide residues than adults are, as well as their underdeveloped immune systems not being able to detoxify the residues.
The way most non-organic food farms treat animals is often called inhumane. From chaining veal calves to the ground with no room so they may not walk or get up in their lifetime, too tightly caged chickens and often abused livestock. Contact or look up the companies you are getting your food from and be sure they are for “free-range” farming tactics. This allows the animals to live normal lives and roam free.
Eating non-organic foods surely shouldn’t kill you after taking a bite of an apple, hamburger or a drink of milk, yet anything such as non-organic fruits and vegetables should be washed thoroughly. Studies show higher nutrition in organic foods as well as no harmful chemicals, pesticides, hormones, radiation, or antibiotics. So it is up to each individual if they feel it is worth it to pay the extra cash for the organic foods. Perhaps a few hours more a month at a normal job will make up the cost. There are many ways to find organic foods in your local grocery as well as find organic specialty stores.
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