Health research and development


When determining whether eating organic foods has more health advantages than eating conventionally grown foods, you must look at both sides of the spectrum.

Some researchers that are in favor of organic foods believe that organic foods are more nutricious than conventional foods. In fact, the Soil Association has made public statements stating that organic foods contain more nutrients than conventional foods. These nutrients are called secondary metabolites. These metabolites are found in the plants immune system and help fight cancer in humans.

Furthermore, even though there is not a lot of hard evidence, some scientists believe that the pesticide residue found on conventional food could, during the course of many years, increase the risk on cancer and other illnesses, especially in children. The hormones given to animals to pump up meat and milk production also worry some scientists and advocates who suspect these substances may move up the food chain to humans and cause developmental problems. On the farm, the differences are very evident. Some examples are, include conventional dairy farms with thousands of cattle, typically kept in close quarters and often given hormones to boost their milk output and antibiotics to keep them healthy. In contrast, you can observe that on an organic dairy farm quarters are smaller. The animals graze outdoors and feed on organically grown hay and get close attention when they are sick. A second example are apple farms. While most apple growers spray trees with synthetic chemical pesticides, organic growers choose bug- and fungus-resistant varieties and thwart pests with glue-coated traps and other natural countermeasures. Organic vegetable growers fertilize their crops with composted manure rather than synthetic chemicals and control weeds without the use of herbicide.

For consumers worried about diet and health, the big difference is that organic foods are virtually free of the synthetic chemicals found in regular produce. The fruits and vegetables in a typical produce aisle may contain anywhere from one to a half-dozen pesticide residues. The types and amounts depend on the history of that particular fruit or vegetable, what it was sprayed with and how many times, whether pesticide drifted onto it from nearby farms and whether it was shipped in a truck tainted with residues.

On the other hand some scientists believe that organic foods could be more harmful to a person's health. As mentioned above, organic production requires farmers to use little or no pesticides. The standards committees believe that plants produce enough natural pesticides. In some cases, the pesticides produced by plants can potentially increase the risk of pesticide poisoning when compared to conventional agriculture.

As you can see there are more pro than cons when trying to determine whether the more pricey organic foods are worth buying. Overall, when considering personal health, organic is definitely better for you.

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