By Elizabeth Renter
As if most consumers weren’t confused enough already about making the “right” food choices, the pseudo-scientific Stanford study released early last month had many of those on the fence thinking it was okay to once-again blindly trust what they found on their supermarket shelves. But, let’s lay this argument to rest (again) and talk about why organics really do matter.
What does organic really mean? Well, the USDA certifies foods that are organic when the growers, handlers, and producers use practices that adhere to their standards. These standards vary by food product and the USDA certifier must inspect the farm before a food can be labeled as organic.
Generally, however, organic produce in particular is that which is produced “without using most conventional pesticides; fertilizers made with synthetic ingredients or sewage sludge; bioengineering; or ionizing radiation.” This immediately excludes genetically modified foods (GMOs).
So, what’s wrong with a few pesticides, a few lab-created organisms in our foods? Plenty.
A recent analysis (and not the only one) demonstrated that U.S. children have lost a combined total of 16 million I.Q. points due to pesticides in their food. While “pesticides make you stupid,” sounds like a silly argument for organics—it’s a legitimate one. Pesticides truly do lower the intelligence of children. These pesticides are absorbed when the child is in utero, through the mother. So, whether you are pregnant or hope one day to have children, cutting out pesticides now could save your child’s mind down the road.
One of the most prominently used herbicides, Monsanto’s Roundup, has been tied to numerous health problems including infertility, genetic damage, cancer, and plenty of other diseases and illnesses.
Finally, as if that isn’t enough, without organic certification, we can’t be sure the foods on U.S. supermarket shelves are free of GMOs. This is because the feds don’t think it’s in our best interest to know what we are eating. However, the issues related to GMO-consumption are coming to light—whether they like it or not.
Most recently, a French study has found rats who consume a lifelong diet of Roundup-ready GMO corn develop grotesque tumors which ultimately killed them. The rats consumed corn and Roundup-laced water at levels approved by the U.S. government. Around 50% of the males and 70% of the females died prematurely.
So, why does organic matter? It matters because unlike the federal government, we care about our health. We want to be informed and conscientious consumers. We want to support the farmers who are using good practices, and we’d like to give our children a healthy future.
So, despite what the bought-and-paid-for Stanford scientists might say, we know differently. We know that organic products are better and we see through their shoddy attempt at convincing us otherwise.