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Published on October 12th, 2007 | by Stephanie Evans

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Is Organic Produce Healthier Than Conventionally Grown Produce?

The USDA makes no specific claims about whether or not organic vegetables and organic meat are healthier for consumers.  They only say that organic food, "Differs from conventionally food in the way it is grown, handled and processed." (http://www.ams.usda.gov/nop/Consumers/brochure.html ).

Currently there are no studies that "prove" organic produce and organic meat to be healthier than produce grown using pesticides or animals raised on hormones.  However, there are several other factors that need to be considered when making a decision on whether or not to purchase organic food.

The World Health Organization estimates between 3.5-5 million people suffer from acute pesticide poisoning every year.  Many developing nations continue to use pesticides that are banned in other countries, including DDT.  These pesticides put not only the farmers and processors in potential danger, but consumers as well.  By encouraging organic farming in the developing world, we can reduce the usage of and exposure to dangerous pesticides.

We know that pesticides damage the environment—they can end up in our water systems and they damage the soil, making it toxic.  This is why the use of pesticides is regulated and certain pesticides are banned altogether.  Organic farms do not use pesticides as they rely on other methods of natural pest control.  A USDA study conducted between 1994–1999 found that conventionally grown produce was six times more likely to have pesticide residues. (http://www.mindfully.org ).





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