Organic food

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Organic produce at Toronto's Karma co-op food store
Grown without chemicals or pesticides
Organic community supported agriculture farm near Rostock, Germany.
Walking through a recently planted wheat field on an Ohio organic farm.
Ducks on an organic farm

Organic food is food manufactured by methods that comply with the standards of organic farming. Standards vary worldwide, but organic farming, in general, features practices that cycle resources, promote ecological balance, and conserve biodiversity. Organizations regulating organic products may restrict the use of certain pesticides and fertilizers in the farming methods used to produce such products. In general, organic foods are also usually not processed using irradiation, industrial solvents, or synthetic food additives.


(most recent first)

  • When... a mother of two living in Oakland, California, signed up for a study evaluating whether an organic diet could make a difference in the amount of pesticides found in her body, she didn’t know what researchers would find. But her family, and the three others across the country that participated, would discover that they all had detectable levels of the pesticides being tracked. They would also discover that after only six days on an organic diet, every single person would see significant drops in those pesticides, including several linked to increased risk of autism, cancer, Parkinson’s, infertility, and other significant impacts on health.
  • When you choose organically-grown products, you’re guaranteed they were not grown with chlorpyrifos or the roughly 900 synthetic pesticides allowed in non-organic agriculture. Many of these pesticides are now understood to cause cancer, affect the body’s hormonal systems, disrupt fertility, cause developmental delay for children or Parkinson’s, depression, or Alzheimer’s as we age. This study shows that eating organic can dramatically decrease the pesticides you’re exposed to.
  • Unfortunately, the vast majority of food produced in the U.S. is still grown using synthetic pesticides...with long-term costs to our health and the environment. Fortunately, organic agriculture offers a promising, healthier option.
  • Organic agriculture offers... many health and environmental benefits... Keeps food free of harmful pesticide residues; Stops exposing farm workers and their communities to toxic chemicals; Builds healthy soil; Protects pollinators and promotes biodiversity;Saves antibiotics for humans;Reduces water contamination; Combats climate change and makes farms more resilient;Encourages creativity and innovation...
  • Buying organic food is among the actions people can take to curb the global decline in insects, according to leading scientists. Urging political action to slash pesticide use on conventional farms is another, say environmentalists... The vanishing of insects threatens a “catastrophic collapse of nature’s ecosystems”, the review concluded, because of their fundamental importance in the food chain, pollination and soil health.
  • A new peer-reviewed study shows that eating a completely organic diet—even for just one week—can dramatically reduce the presence of pesticide levels in people, a finding that was characterized as "groundbreaking" by critics of an industrial food system that relies heavily on synthetic toxins and chemicals to grow crops and raise livestock...the study... found that switching to an organic diet significantly reduced the levels of synthetic pesticides found in all participants.
  • The study tested the urine of four diverse American families in Oakland, Minneapolis, Atlanta, and Baltimore after eating their typical diet of conventional food for six days and then after a controlled diet of all organic food for six days.
  • The bulk of U.S. farming subsidies go to only 4 percent of farms — overwhelmingly large and corporate operations... Instead of supporting factory farms and mono-crops, we could provide incentives for crop rotations, reduced usage of pesticides and herbicides, pasture-raised meat, and organic practices. Expanding the market for food farmed sustainably and ethically grown would benefit all consumers.

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