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Organic Foods

Organic Foods

Cordell E. Logan, ND

Natural versus Synthetic Vitamins

And the Big Lie in Agriculture

The media and some so-called experts claim there is no difference between natural and synthetic vitamins. Even common sense would say otherwise. This same idea holds for the difference between “organic agriculture” and “chemical agrictulture.”

Here is one example to show that there is a difference between natural and synthertic vitamins. This relates to the antioxidant picture. On the right is a chromatogram showing the difference between ascorbic acid and the whole vitamin C complex. Vitamin C is on the left and ascorbic acid on the right. Ascortic acid is only one part of the vitaimin C complex.

 

Are organically raise foods really better? They are often rather costly in stores. Lets look at the data. Organic agriculture limits or eliminates the use of toxic and long-lasting chemicals. A study has shown that most all Americans have numerous toxic chemicals in their urine and blood.
Peer-reviewed, published controlled research has shown that many chemicals used to produce foods disrupt endocrine (hormonal), reproductive, nervous, and immune systems. Plus they put severe stress on detoxification systems including the liver, kidneys, and other body organs. Various cancers are linked to the effects of toxic chemical agriculture. Non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, for example, has gone from one of the rarest to one of the fasting growing cancers among people exposed to agriculture chemicals.

Added to these problems, much of our produce is now from GMO plants. That alone can be detrimental.

Children who eat organic foods have lower levels of pesticide residues. Organophosphates (OP), a class of pesticides (and related to the “Mad Cow” problem), are neurotoxins. Soluble artificial fertilizers (the common NPK etc.) are a major problem, not just from soil point of view, but from health issues. Nitrates can be leached from the soil and enter the food chain. Nitrates impair the ability of the blood to carry oxygen, and can lower the stomach’s ability to produce sufficient gastric acid. The rise in stomach pH increases the transformation of nitrates to dangerous nitrites or nitrosamines, that are carcinogenic.

The life of a tomato may go like this: It is grown from chemically-treated seed with a solution of synthetic fertilizer. It gets transplanted to a field that has been treated with 400 to 600 pounds per acre of synthetic fertilizer and fumigated with methyl bromide gas (an ozone depleting chemical). The plants get sprayed with insecticides and fungicides; these are the ones that send an estimated 300,000 farmers to doctors for symptoms of poisoning. To artificially ripen them, they are gassed with ethylene. This gives them a premature red color and firmness.
Organic tomato ketchup contained up to three times the level of lycopene compared to regular store varieties (ARS study).

U.S. fruits and vegetables grown in 1992 had lower quality than those grown in 1963. There was a 29% drop in calcium, 21% drop in magnesium, 6% drop in potassium, 11% drop in phosphorus, and a 32% drop in iron.

Strawberries had 20% more vitamin C (as measured by ascorbic acid) than conventionally grown strawberries (Feb 03 J Ag & Food Chem). This same article indicated that organically grown sweet corn had 52% more vitamin C.

Organic vegetable soup contained almost six times more salicylic acid compared to non-organic vegetable soups (European J Clin Nutri). Salicylic acid is immune protective and is not even detectable in some conventional soup brands. Many studies show similar results and organically grown vegetables contain less mercury (29% less mercury in one study from Australia).

Monkeys at a zoo selected organic bananas over non-organic ones.

A decision has to be made on the cost of organically grown foods when considering the overall long-term detrimental effects on health of non-organic foods. Cheap conventional foods are not a bargain. Here are some reasons to go organic:

• To protect our children and future generations. The average child receives four times more exposure than an adult to several cancer-causing pesticides in food.
• To prevent soil erosion. Erosion is seven times faster than natural buildup.
• To protect water quality. The EPA estimates that pesticides pollute our drinking water for over half of the U.S.
• Pesticides have been implicated in cancer, birth defects, and other problems.
• Farmers themselves have major health problems from being exposed to toxic chemicals.
• Modern farming takes more petroleum than any other single industry, consuming 12% of the country’s total energy supply.
• Small organic farms tend to involve the family more. This supports the sustainable economy concept. Biodiversity is more prevalent in smaller organic farming. Hidden costs of big farming take their toll.
• Avoid GMO (GE) plants and all the political and long-term health and economic implications this entails.
• Pasture grown livestock, the way nature intended it, leads to higher quality meat and healthier animals.

Summarized from:
Nutrition News and Views. May/June 2005. Vol.9., No. 3. The Worth of Organic Foods. Judith A. Decava, CNC, LNC. (Extensive bibliography accompanied the original article.)

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