by Wendy Gabriel
GREEN TIP: Growing crops in healthy organic soil results in food products that offer healthy nutrients. Organically grown fruits, vegetables and grains may offer more of some nutrients, including vitamin C, iron, magnesium and phosphorus, and less exposure to nitrates and pesticide residues than their counterparts grown using synthetic pesticides and fertilizers.
Source: Nutritional Considerations, Organic Trade Association
TEN GOOD REASONS TO BUY ORGANIC
1. Organic products meet stringent standards
Organic certification is the public’s assurance that products have been grown and handled according to strict procedures without persistent toxic chemical inputs.
2. Organic food tastes great!
It’s common sense – well-balanced soils produce strong, healthy plants that become nourishing food for people and animals.
3. 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.
4. 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.
5. Organic farmers build healthy soil
Soil is the foundation of the food chain. The primary focus of organic farming is to use practices that build healthy soils.
6. 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.
7. 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.
8. 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.
9. Organic farming helps keep rural communities healthy
USDA reported that in 1997, half of U.S. farm production came from only 2% of farms. Organic agriculture can be a lifeline for small farms because it offers an alternative market where sellers can command fair prices for crops.
10. Organic abundance – Foods and non-foods alike!
Now every food category has an organic alternative. And non-food agricultural products are being grown organically – even cotton, which most experts felt could not be grown this way.
Source: Organic Trade Association
My Green Side’s web pick of the week:
How to Go Organic.com
A collection of resources for organic transitioning, certification, production, marketing and more.
Editor’s Note: Each Wednesday My Green Side brings Simple Tips for Green Living to The Christopher Gabriel Program. We also highlight a favorite green site each week. You can stream the segment at approximately 1020am (CDT) every Wednesday at WDAY.com.