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New Study Confirms Benefits of Organic Produce

March 11, 2008
By Holly Case
Natural Food Network Newsletter Editor

Organic is better, but how much better? Until recently, there was a noticeable lack of quantifiable data
to support such claims. Now a new report by the Organic Center has come up with real numbers,
stating that there would be a 97 percent reduction of health risks if all of the nation's crop land were
converted to
organic farming methods.

Although less than three percent of U.S. crop land is used for farming fruits and vegetables, the report
estimates that these crops account for most of the health risks from dietary exposure to pesticides. And
though the report by the Boulder, Colorado.-based Organic Center estimates a 97 percent reduction in
this risk by converting US farm land to organic, it also points out that consumers would need to choose
organic imported produce as well to maintain the lower degree of risk.

Other findings in the report include:
-- An analysis of the significantly greater pesticide risks linked to consumption of imported
conventionally grown fruits and vegetables, compared with domestic conventional produce.
-- Rankings of dietary risk levels in select conventionally grown fruits and vegetables, arranged to help
guide consumers seeking to minimize pesticide risks.
-- Suggestions on how to meet dietary guidelines for fruit and vegetable intake in the winter, while also
reducing pesticide exposures.
-- An overview of pesticide residues found in milk.

The estimates are based on current pesticide residue data from the U.S. Department of Agriculture,
and the Environmental Protection Agency's current methods for estimating pesticide dietary risks. The
Organic Center is a non-profit organization devoted to promoting organic agriculture with
peer-reviewed scientific research. The report, titled "Simplifying the Pesticide Risk Equation: The
Organic Option," is available for free download on the Organic Center's website at
http://www.organic-center.org.

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Copyright (c)2005 greendoororganics.com
Ask any consumer and the answer will probably be chemical residues on their food. This is a
legitimate concern. Wash your produce - even your organic produce. Food is grown outside in the
ground, not in a sterile lab.

Organically grown vegetables mean: no use of synthetic pesticides, herbicides, fungicides or
fertilizers. It means processing and repacking facilities also must be certified. It means fields and
facilities are inspected by an independent certifier annually. This certifier has the power to issue a
certification, qualify the certification, or revoke the certification.

Ask any farmer and it will have more to do with what he sees in his land every day. Maybe it occurred
to him as he unloaded the bags and bags of fertilizer. Maybe he saw the wind drifting chemical spray
into the yard where his children played. But at some point the farmer decided he needed to take care
of the land so it would continue in health on its own. The land is not just a substrate to which we add
things and remove things. It is a living organism. Most organic farmers take the land and their care
very personally.

Your best investment in buying organically grown food is helping to maintain the farm acreage that
produces it. This is your environment being stewarded carefully so it is sustainable in the future. The
source of your food, the land in someone's neighborhood, your water resource full of run off from
many fields upstream. The Native American sentiment "We are all related" is more and more evident
in the connections between us and the results of our actions down the road.    
Lady Moon Farms.