Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Go organic??

           These days everything comes with a price and so is good healthy food!Today's ingenious people making research on everything from common things to medical science ;people being more conscious about their body and health has lead to the recent spurts in the market of organic foods.What is  Organic ?and why organic ?why do so many people flock around  organic food and stores ?
         Typical definition says that "Organic foods are those that are produced using methods that do not involve modern synthetic inputs such as pesticides and chemical fertilizers, do not contain genetically modified organisms, and are not processed using irradiation, industrial solvents, or chemical food additives"(source =wikipedia). Most of the nutritionists believe that Inorganic foods don’t contain the  amount of nutrients needed by an individual for having sound health. This may perhaps be lead from  the forced raising of these food stuffs using artificial chemicals  unlike those that are naturally raised which has the chance to have the more wholesome form  of the nutrient. So  they feel that on consuming the organic food, we may not be in fact getting the best amount of the nutrients that may be needed to have sound health. But these claims have been rejected by the scientists and food agencies. According to the UK's Food Standards Agency, "Consumers may choose to buy organic fruit, vegetables and meat because they believe them to be more nutritious than other food. However, the balance of current scientific evidence does not support this view." A 12-month systematic review commissioned by the FSA in 2009 and conducted at the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine based on 50 years worth of collected evidence concluded that "there is no good evidence that consumption of organic food is beneficial to health in relation to nutrient content.(source wikipedia).They claim that the pesticide levels in the food is well within the safety range for the human body and have no significant health hazards.In most countries, pesticides must be approved for sale and use by a government agency.In the United states, the Environmental protective Agency (EPA) is responsible for regulating pesticides under the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act (FIFRA) and the  Food Qulaity protection Act (FQPA). Complex and costly studies must be conducted to indicate whether the material is safe to use and effective against the intended pest. The EPA regulates pesticides to ensure that these products do not pose adverse effects to humans or the environment.
           Well ,while this arguments  goes on and on,we consumers are in a  tumult whether to  buy organic or non organic food.We all know the proven facts of the ill effects of pesticides on the atmosphere and on the farm workers who spray these pesticides which include severe respiratory ailments,wheezing ,thyroid problems ,cancer reports also.Endosulfan and DDT(organochlorane group pesticides) have also shown severe health hazards in several regions.The proof of Endosulfan poisoning due to aerial spray in cashew plantations have also been seen through generations in the form of physical disabilities ,mental retardation,thyroid problems ,cancer in Kasargod ,Kerala state ,India .This group of pesticides have anyways been banned also in most of the countries and so we need not be worried.But the question is do the food items have that much of residual pesticides as to harm us?The decision is left to us based on our sensibilities.In countries like USA, U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) has created an organic seal and people who wish to go organic can accordingly do based on this seal. Foods bearing it are required to be grown, harvested, and processed according to national standards that include restrictions on amounts and residues of pesticides, hormones, and antibiotics.Of all the hindrances ,cost is the most important factor setting restrictions on our decisions of buying organic food .How many of us would  pay double the price for organic food  because it has a little more nutritional values than the other and when harmful effects of pesticide residues are still being speculated and not proven?Can we really afford "to go organic"for all the food items?from rice ,vegetables fruits to all other commodities?
             To be on the safer side,Environmental working group and the Food and drug  administration made a comprehensive list of fruits and vegetables which contain high traces and least traces of pesticides in  fruits and vegetables .So this list may help us in deciding which foods can be "go organic" and which foods could be non organic.Accordingly ,the" Dirty 12"
•Peaches
•Apples
•Sweet bell peppers
•Celery
•Nectarines
•Strawberries
•Cherries
•Pears
•Grapes (imported)
•Spinach
•Lettuce
•Potatoes

    And which organic produce is probably not worth the added expense? The group lists these 12 items as having the least pesticide residues:(clean 12)
•Papayas
•Broccoli
•Cabbage
•Bananas
•Kiwifruit
•Sweet peas (frozen)
•Asparagus
•Mangoes
•Pineapple
•Sweet corn (frozen)
•Avocados
•Onions

   Whether or not you buy organic, you can do your part to reduce pesticide residues on foods with the following tips:

•Wash and scrub produce under streaming water to remove dirt, bacteria and surface pesticide residues, even produce with inedible skins such as cantaloupe. Do not use soap.This will help clean most of the pesticide residues from the outer peel.
•Remove the peel from fruits and vegetables in most of the fruits and vegetables.
•Remove the outer leaves of leafy vegetables.
•Trim visible fat and skin from meat and poultry because pesticide residues can collect in fat.
•Eat a variety of foods from different sources.





           References:
   http://www.foodsafetysite.com/resources/pdfs/consumers/FSPesticides.pdf
http://abcnews.go.com/GMA/story?id=8315670&page=1

20 comments:

Onkar said...

So useful and so informative.

Rachna said...

My first foray into organic food was during my stay in the US. I loved those organic farmers' markets in CA. And heard that it was good for us. In India, organic food is exorbitant. But, I do remove the peels from most fruits and vegetables. It is better to be safe than sorry.

IRFANUDDIN said...

its really difficult now a days to get away with these harmful thing unless we follow the process what you have suggested in the end....

Very useful stuff this one by you...

Bikramjit said...

Thank you so much for all this info.. Now i can check it out myself :)

thank you

Bikram's

raji said...

@Onkar thanks .
@rachna..true here the US market has enormous competetion and booms in the field of organic food.People are crazy for organic food.I too do buy some fruits and veggies which are organic and also organic milk because I heard someone saying that the hormones use in ordinary milk could be having side effects.But not with every thing ..

raji said...

@ Irfan yes it's better to be safe by atleast trying to do some useful measures like washing and peeling the skins of certain suceptible veggies and fruits.

@Bikram..thanks:))

Shobha said...

Very useful Information.. yes it is scary these days as to what to buy and what not to...sometime back I saw on the TV, how the farmers are injecting the veggies to make them grow big..so I suppose it is also better if we choose the tiny ones.

Enigma said...

Many people are still unaware of the harm that the inorganic food can cause.
Thank you for sharing!

And thanks for visiting my blog! :)

Alka Gurha said...

Thanks for sharing.

Mehjabeen Arif said...

informative post ! thanks

New to ur space n happy to follow u..

do visit me as time permits..
http://comeletseat.blogspot.com

A said...

Very useful information. We are tying to eat organic wherever possible...I do think it is the right strategy.

Deepika said...

hmm.. it was informational...
p.s.- back here :)

NRIGirl said...

Thank you Raji for the detailed post as usual. Haven't seen you around in a very long time. Hope all is well.

raji said...

shoba ..thanks for visiting.yes tiny measures may always prove useful.

@enigma and alka ..your welcome :))

raji said...

@arif ..welcome to my space and thanks for visiting.sure will visit ur blog .

raji said...

@A great to know that you are trying to go organic.I sometimes tend to be lazy and forget and just go grab the ordinary ones.:))

raji said...

@deepika .thanks for visitng

@ Nri just a little busy with exploring new ipad and its apps :)))

Juxtaposition said...

What I don't understand is the reason for inorganic food. If Organic food can be grown, then what justifies the inorganic food still being grown? I haven't researched this, but isn't fertilizers and pesticides etc. more expensive? Or is it more expensive to grow organic food?

I always see a stack of Organic Stuff kept separately in supermarkets,but haven't yet ventured into it! Maybe I should. But I have heard people say, they don't taste as good. Is that true?

raji said...

Hi jyoti ..the reason most of the farmers grow inorganic food is only because of the risk they face with the insects and pesticides which harm their crops which inturn would cause a huge loss.when they grow their crops in huge scales ,there is no other simpler means of saving their crops.In fact organic food is more costlier to grow because they donot use pesticides and the farmers sometiems suffer huge losses of their crops.

sm said...

user information
but it depends on spending capacity also.
poor and middle class has no options.