Sunday, May 25, 2008

Organic Food vs. Non-Organic - Which is better?

by: Scott Byers

Farming has been around for ages. At a point in time, this was what most people did until other things developed such as the automobile industry. The old way of farming otherwise known as non-organic involved the use of the following to fight pest infestations and to produce better crops.

The first are pesticides and herbicides. This was discovered in foods that appear to have highly toxic chemical residues. Thought the FDA has already banned these fertilizers from being used, chemical companies export it. Since some crops are imported, this comes back to the States and is eaten at home.

The second is contaminated sewage sludge. The idea was to use human waste to fertilize non-organic crops. This wasn’t a bad idea but this is also mixed with chemical and industrial waste before being sent to the treatment plant. Tests have shown that large amounts of this in the human body may contribute to chronic illnesses.

The third is the use hormones, antibiotics and remains of other animals. This is usually found in eggs, meat and dairy products. Doctors consider this as a disaster waiting to happen since incidents such as mad cow disease has already happened. This problem could even be worse for humans if this is ingested.

The last is irradiation. Spices are exposed to radiation to kill bacteria or microorganisms that may be present. This also does more harm than good since it can lead to various diseases.

Recently, studies have shown a different view since the chemicals and other substances used are toxic which caused various illnesses and deaths. To alleviate this threat, the government has decided to make changes in the agricultural industry. It encourages farmer to shift from the old ways to something that is better and safer for everyone.

This is what organic farming is all about. This kind of farming aims to develop crops and livestock using the most environmental, humane, economic systems available to date. For this to work, 2 things are needed. First is fertile land that can be used to plant different crops. The other is people who will work on the land.

Friday, May 9, 2008

Choosing Organic And Raw Foods

by: Miranda Thompsen

Everything old is new again. Long ago food did not contain so many preservatives and chemicals and crops were not routinely sprayed with chemicals and fungicides. As the public is becoming aware of the negative effect of chemicals on them and the environment, organic foods are gaining in popularity.

Organic foods are those which are grown minus the chemicals but with the assistance of environmentally friendly and healthier alternatives. Organics are not limited to only fruits and vegetables but also include dairy products, baked and prepared goods as well. Another items that is available in organic forms are fruit juice. This is especially important as fruit juices often contain a higher concentration of chemical due to the number of fruits necessary to produce the juice. Buying organic fruit juice is a healthier alternative.

Many regular grocery stores are devoting shelf space to organic food and specialty chains focusing on only organic, health and environmentally friendly foods are opening as well. The price of these healthy alternatives is often a bit higher than standard food products as it is can be more difficult to produce a large crop of organically grown fruits or vegetables while keeping insects or critters at bay. Therefore, naturally grown produce farms are usually smaller affairs. The increase in price is a small one though when it comes to what you are putting into your body and the environment. Also, as more people decide to purchase organic, it is likely the farms and companies that produce these foods will be able to invest in providing a larger variety of foods.

Raw foodists prefer organic foods over any other. Raw foodists avoid consuming all needless chemicals in all forms. By consuming organic items the raw foodist can be assured it is free of chemicals. Raw food and organic food are not the same thing. Those who chose to eat organic foods, and avoid chemical pesticides, don’t necessarily avoid eating cooked, processed or frozen food, as does a raw foodist. For both the raw foodist and organic consumer, some items, such as grain, are still hard to find in an organic form.

It is always a good practice to wash all produce prior to eating, whether they are organic or not. For today’s consumer choosing healthier eating, or seeking to help the environment, whether it be through organic or going raw lifestyles, there are more alternatives.