I have not bought anything that says it is organic. To me when I hear that food is organic I think that means that the farmer doesn’t use any pesticides his crops. When it comes to animal products I think that the farmer doesn’t use any antibiotics, or drugs on his livestock or poultry. Over the years I haven’t heard any compelling information that the pesticides or medications are detrimental to my health.
I recently listened to Bible Cures for Autoimmune Disorders by Dr. Don Colbert, and he spoke about organic vs non-organic and what he said got me thinking.
Dr. Colbert said:
- Limited amounts of saturated fats are needed for good health. We should try to get these fats from organically raised free-range meats, chicken and turkey. – Bible Cure for Autoimmune Disorders
- Did you realize that much of the meat we eat every day is loaded with antibiotics? “About one quarter of the antibiotics used in the United States each year—some nineteen million pounds—are given to livestock. Some 60 to 80 percent of all cattle, sheep, swine and poultry in the United States will be given antibiotics at some point. The 30 different antibiotics are given in so-called sub-therapeutic amounts—doses lower than those needed to treat specific diseases.” 1 Every time you eat a steak or a chicken thigh, you are ingesting antibiotics. These antibiotics are killing off the beneficial bacteria in our bodies and making us increasingly prone to getting candidiasis. It’s critically important to take in good bacteria daily to replace what’s being destroyed by the antibiotics in the meat that we eat. – Bible Cure for Chronic Fatigue and Fibromyalgia
Here is what I have learned about organic vs non-organic
The word “organic” refers to the way farmers grow and process agricultural products. Organic farming practices encourage soil and water conservation, and reduce pollution. Farmers growing organic produce do not use conventional methods to fertilize or control weeds and insects.
Organic farming is a method of crop and livestock production that involves much more than choosing not to use pesticides, fertilizers, genetically modified organisms, antibiotics and growth hormones. … provide attentive care that promotes the health and meets the behavioral needs of livestock.
The Difference between Conventional and Organic Farming
• Apply chemical fertilizers to promote plant growth.
• Spray insecticides to reduce pests and disease.
• Use chemical herbicides to manage weeds.
• Give animals antibiotics, growth hormones and medications to prevent disease.
• Apply natural fertilizers, such as manure or compost, to feed soil and plants.
• Use insects and birds, mating disruption or traps to reduce pests and disease.
• Rotate crops, till, hand weed or mulch to manage weeds.
• Give animals organic feed and allow access to the outdoors. Use preventive methods such as rotational grazing, to help minimize disease.
4 Myths about Organic Food and Farming
#1 Organic food is healthier
Whether organic food is more nutritious is another question. While the American Academy of Pediatrics says that lower pesticide levels in organic foods could reduce the risk of ingesting drug-resistant bacteria, “in the long term, there is currently no direct evidence that consuming an organic diet leads to improved health or lower risk of disease.”
#2 Organic Farming is Better for the Environment
Keeping farmland free of pesticides is better for the environment. So are other aspects of organic farming, such as crop rotation and periodically allowing land to lie fallow. Organic farming is significantly less disturbing for the environment because it often supports the local wildlife rather than striping it of its natural habitat. In fact, many organic farmers encourage wildlife species such as birds to live on their farmland and assist them in pest control. Remember, just because food is organic doesn’t mean the way it is produced or distributed is necessarily good for the environment.
#3 Organic Farms don’t use Pesticides
This is what I thought. Organic = no pesticides, no Miracle Grow, no dusting powders. Guess what? Organic food isn’t necessarily pesticide-free. Organic farmers aren’t allowed to use synthetic fertilizers or pesticides such as Ammonium Nitrate, Ammonium Phosphate, Superphosphate, and Potassium Sulfate. But they can apply ones made from natural ingredients, which can still be dangerous for your health. And research shows that some of these pesticides can be more harmful for the environment than the synthetic ones.
Take the example of Rotenone. Rotenone is classified by the World Health Organization as moderately hazardous. It is mildly toxic to humans and other mammals, but extremely toxic to insects and aquatic life, including fish. Rotenone was widely used in the US as an organic pesticide for decades. Research found that exposure to rotenone caused Parkinson’s Disease-like symptoms in rats, and had the potential to kill many species, including humans. Rotenone is poured into our waters every year by fisheries management officials as a piscicide to remove unwanted fish species. Rotenone is also used in powdered form to treat scabies and head lice on humans, and parasitic mites on chickens, livestock, and pet animals.
#4 If a product is labeled organic, it hasn’t been exposed to herbicides or pesticides.
The labeling can be confusing. The government oversees the use of these terms:
- 100 Percent Organic: All the ingredients are certified organic.
- Organic: At least 95% of the ingredients are certified organic.
- Made With Organic Ingredients: At least 70% of the ingredients are certified organic.
Other labels, such as “all-natural” and “farm-raised,” aren’t regulated, so they don’t mean much.
Only the “100% Organic” label guarantees the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s definition of organic. That means meat, eggs and dairy products are free of antibiotics and growth hormones; produce is grown with fertilizers free of synthetic or sewage components; and no genetically modified organisms are part of the product. But the label doesn’t necessarily mean zero pesticides or herbicides.
For products with the USDA “organic” label, only 95 percent of the ingredients must be organic.
There is so much information out there about organic farming, the produce, the livestock and poultry. Just like with all information we have to investigate and decide for ourselves what is best for us.
Action Step: If you have made the switch to going 100% organic, have you seen a difference in your health? Please leave your comments below.
1. Bill Krasean, Antibiotics in Livestock a Human Risk (8/11/98 Michigan Live, Inc.) http://www.kz.mlive.com.