Is Organic Food Really the Best Choice?
With reports surfacing about the dangers of commercially farmed food, many consumers have made the choice to switch to an organic diet. But is eating organic, non-GMO food really the healthier option? Here, we'll explore the advantages and disadvantages of organic food and GMOs, enabling you to make an informed choice.
The term "organic" typically refers to the way vegetables and fruits are farmed. A certified organic farmer uses sustainable practices, encourages soil and water conservation and uses natural remedies to deter insects from ruining the harvest. On the other hand, a non-organic farmer will use chemicals to kill weeds and rodents.
Using pesticides in farming has been a great debate throughout the country. While the EPA suggests that a low level of pesticides is safe to consume, a number of studies have linked these chemicals to human health problems. For instance, in 2010, it was discovered that they can double the risk of ADHD in children.
Buying organic food offers a host of benefits, including fresher and higher quality produce. You'll be supporting local farms, and encouraging sustainable farming practices. Your family will have peace of mind knowing that your food is free of pesticides and chemicals.
However, many families find that it's simply more expensive to buy exclusively organic produce. Organic produce can cost as much as 30 percent more than conventionally grown fruits and vegetables. Also, many people lack access to farmer's markets or local co-ops, making affordable organic food impossible to obtain.
Genetically modified foods are another concern among health-conscious Americans. Produced since 1994, they've have been on the plates of Americans for decades. Advocates of GMOs claim that they enable farmers to grow better fruits and vegetables faster, which is good for consumers. Scientists have been able to achieve amazing feats through genetic modification, including potatoes that do not bruise, and apples that won't brown.
But are these genetically modified foods taking a toll on our health? People against GMOs state that we simply don't know what damage they can do to the human body long term. Studies in animals have indicated that they can cause health problems with the kidneys, liver, and heart. A chemical commonly used on corn, Roundup, is known as a carcinogen linked to cancer.
Ultimately, the decision is yours. When deciding if organic food or conventional food is right for your family, be sure to weigh the pros and cons.