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Why Buy Organic?

Posted on April 17, 2018 by Rachel Tardif There have been 0 comments

The Hazards of Industrial Farming

Agriculture has become increasingly concentrated in the last few decades, and Americans have grown accustomed to the benefits of these industrial agriculture operations. Most of us take for granted the low price of milk and eggs or the fact that we can buy strawberries all winter long. But that convenience comes at a steep cost to the environment: while farming may seem green, in fact the methods used in industrial farming operations are a major source of pollutants and environmental damage.

Traditional farming methods use crop rotations and natural animal products to maintain soil nutrients and to protect crops, but industrial farms rely instead on high volumes of fertilizers and pesticides. These chemicals, including herbicides, insecticides, and fungicides, make their way into the surrounding ecosystem and cause serious damage to plant and animal life. Even fertilizer runoff can be damaging to the environment because it disrupts the natural balance of nutrients. And these chemicals don’t just stay in the environment: for example, the non-profit Environmental Working Group found pesticide residue on 97% of all the grocery store apples they sampled.

Dangerous Meats

Meat production has also become heavily concentrated: in 2010, ten companies produced 90% of the poultry eaten in the U.S. The factory farming of animals is another major source of environmental pollution, including chemical runoff and greenhouse gases emanating from large pools of animal waste. These farms also create an incredibly abusive environment for the animals, who are fed a steady diet of hormones and antibiotics to artificially speed growth and are frequently kept in dirty, cramped living conditions that breed disease.

How Does Buying Organic Help?

Organic farms use sustainable farming methods designed to avoid causing damage to the environment, so buying organic is one of the best ways you can reduce your own environmental footprint. To get started, look for local farmers' markets that carry organic, locally grown foods – you’ll be reducing the energy it takes to transport food to your table and you’ll be putting money back into your community. When you’re shopping at the grocery store, try to find USDA certified organic foods, which will have come from sustainable farms that emphasize animal welfare and don’t use chemical fertilizers and pesticides. If you’re feeling more adventurous, you can also start your own garden or get involved in a community co-op that will provide fresh fruits and vegetables year round.

Buying organic produce isn't just a great way to help the environment - it can also help improve the health of you and your family. Organically grown produce is higher in certain nutrients, so learn to take advantage of the seasonal produce available in your area to prepare nutritious, homecooked meals. This will also reduce the amount of pesticides and fertilizers that make their way onto your table. And with a little planning you can make sure you have organic produce available year round: it’s easy (and economical!) to buy in bulk and store meat and produce in your freezer at home.

Still need convincing?

Use this list of Greenhome’s ten reasons to go organic today to get your friends and family behind the organic revolution.

Organic products meet stringent standards.

Organic certification is the public's assurance that products have been grown and handled according to strict procedures without the use of toxic chemicals.

Organic food tastes great!

It's common sense: well-balanced soils produce strong, healthy plants that become nourishing food for people and animals.

Organic production reduces health risks.

Many EPA-approved pesticides were registered long before extensive research linked these chemicals to cancer and other diseases. Organic agriculture is one way to prevent any more of these chemicals from getting into the air, earth, and water that sustain us.

Organic farms respect our water resources.

The elimination of polluting chemicals and nitrogen leaching, done in combination with soil building, protects and conserves water resources.

Organic farmers build healthy soil.

Soil is the foundation of the food chain, and the primary focus of organic farming is to use practices that build healthy soils.

Organic farmers work in harmony with nature.

Organic agricultural respects the balance demanded of a healthy ecosystem: wildlife is encouraged by including forage crops in rotation and by retaining fence rows, wetlands, and other natural areas.

Organic producers are leaders in innovative research.

Organic farmers have led the way, largely at their own expense, with innovative on-farm research aimed at reducing pesticide use and minimizing agriculture's impact on the environment.

Organic producers strive to preserve diversity.

The loss of a large variety of species (biodiversity) is one of the most pressing environmental concerns. The good news is that many organic farmers and gardeners have been collecting and preserving seeds and growing unusual varieties for decades.

Organic farming helps keep rural communities healthy.

Did you know that in 2010, 90% of the poultry consumed in the U.S. came from only ten companies? Organic agriculture can be a lifeline for small farms fighting the system because it offers an alternative market where sellers can command fair prices for crops.

Organic isn’t just about food.

It’s getting easier and easier to find other types of organic products on the market, including textiles and beauty products, which means you can live organic in every aspect of your life.

Help yourself and the environment this year by avoiding industrially farmed foods and instead choosing organically grown fruits, veggies, meats, dairy products, and fabrics.

This post was posted in Blog and Green Library, Defining Green, Eating Well and was tagged with ORGANIC


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