Why consider organic? (environmental)

 

This is second in a series of posts on why you might want to consider organic foods the next time you are at the grocer or choosing between a conventional or organic food.

Two environmental reasons are actually stated within the USDA requirements for receiving the certified organic label:  Organic is a labeling term that indicates that the food or other agricultural product has been produced through approved methods that integrate cultural, biological, and mechanical practices that foster cycling of resources, promote ecological balance, and conserve biodiversity. Synthetic fertilizers, sewage sludge, irradiation, and genetic engineering may not be used.
Based on this, consider the following:

  1. The methods used integrate cultural, biological, and mechanical practices that foster recycling of resource, promote ecological balance and conserve biodiversity.  These are methods that work, and are in harmony with the recent push toward sustainable agriculture.
  2. Synthetic fertilizers, sewage sludge, irradiation, and genetic engineering may not be used.
    None of these is great for the environment – and they’re not good for you either.   According to a recent article in the Huffington Post: “… 41% of conventional systems’ petroleum goes to nitrogen-based fertilizers, which cannot be used on organic farms. This means that organic agriculture uses 45% less unsustainable energy than conventional agriculture. For similar reasons, organic farms produce 40% less greenhouse gas emissions than conventional farms.”
  3. A third reason is that even the  “game changers” such as the combination of glyphosate (the active ingredient in the herbicide Roundup) and crops genetically modified to withstand glyphosate are losing their effectiveness  – resulting in greater costs, more chemical usage, and methods that are increasing soil erosion.  As one farmer stated in a recent article in USA Today, “I used so many chemicals last year, it made me silly,” McKee said. “We’re going backwards 15 years.”

Next up on this series –what about $$ – how to find organic at reasonable prices.

The goal of mrhlth.com is to help you do this:  to provide a place where you can discover changes that you can integrate into your life to take small steps toward a healthier lifestyle.

Questions about anything in this post?   Leave me a comment and let me know – I’d love to hear from you.

 

 

 

 

 

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