For “Foodie Friday”:
Why We Should All Eat More Organic Food
- Organic foods, especially raw or non-processed, contain higher levels of beta carotene, vitamins C, D and E, health-promoting polyphenols, cancer-fighting antioxidants, flavonoids that help ward off heart disease, essential fatty acids, and essential minerals.
- On average, organic is 25% more nutritious in terms of vitamins and minerals than products derived from industrial agriculture. Since on the average, organic food’s shelf price is only 20% higher than chemical food, this makes it actually cheaper, gram for gram, than chemical food, even ignoring the astronomical hidden costs (damage to health, climate, environment, and government subsidies) of industrial food production. Learn more…
- Levels of antioxidants in milk from organic cattle are between 50% and 80% higher than normal milk. Organic wheat, tomatoes, potatoes, cabbage, onions and lettuce have between 20% and 40% more nutrients than non-organic foods. Learn more…
- Organic food contains qualitatively higher levels of essential minerals (such as calcium, magnesium, iron and chromium), that are severely depleted in chemical foods grown on pesticide and nitrate fertilizer-abused soil. UK and US government statistics indicate that levels of trace minerals in (non-organic) fruit and vegetables fell by up to 76% between 1940 and 1991.
Organic Food is Pure Food, Free of Chemical Additives
- Organic food doesn’t contain food additives, flavor enhancers (like MSG), artificial sweeteners (like aspartame and high-fructose corn syrup), contaminants (like mercury) or preservatives (like sodium nitrate), that can cause health problems.
- Eating organic has the potential to lower the incidence of autism, learning disorders, diabetes, cancer, coronary heart disease, allergies, osteoporosis, migraines, dementia, and hyperactivity.
Organic Food Is Safer
- Organic food doesn’t contain pesticides. More than 400 chemical pesticides are routinely used in conventional farming and residues remain on non-organic food even after washing. Children are especially vulnerable to pesticide exposure. One class of pesticides, endocrine disruptors, may be responsible for early puberty and breast cancer. Pesticides are linked to asthma and cancer.
- Organic food isn’t genetically modified. Under organic standards, genetically modified (GM) crops and ingredients are prohibited.
- Organic animals aren’t given drugs. Organic farming standards prohibit the use of antibiotics, growth hormones and genetically modified vaccines in farm animals. Hormone-laced beef and dairy consumption is correlated with increased rates of breast, testis and prostate cancers.
- Organic animals aren’t fed slaughterhouse waste, blood, or manure. Eating organic reduces the risks of CJD, the human version of mad cow disease, as well as Alzheimer’s.
- Organic animals aren’t fed arsenic.
- Organic animals aren’t fed byproducts of corn ethanol production (which increases the rate of E. coli contamination).
- Organic crops aren’t fertilized with toxic sewage sludge or coal waste, or irrigated with E. coli contaminated sewage water.
- Organic food isn’t irradiated. Cats fed a diet of irradiated food got multiple sclerosis within 3-4 months.
- Organic food contains less illness-inducing bacteria. Organic chicken is free of salmonella and has a reduced incidence of campylobacter.
- Organic dairy has environmental benefits: Shades of Green: Quantifying the Benefits of Organic Dairy Production.”
Food & Drug Administration
September 10, 2013
“A major 2010 salmonella outbreak in eggs, centered on “factory farms” in Iowa, shone a spotlight on industrial-scale egg houses confining tens of thousands of hens, each, in filthy and dangerous conditions. This past July, the FDA issued a Draft Guidance for the prevention of salmonella enteritidis in shell eggs for egg producers providing outdoor access to their flock.
Despite scientific evidence tying higher rates of pathogenic contamination to older, massive factory farms with caged production/forced molting (banned in organics and now out of favor in conventional agriculture), the FDA is zeroing in on flocks with outdoor access (certified organic).” Read More »
On This Day:
Devastating storm heads toward Caribbean, Sep 13, 1989:
“Hurricane Hugo approaches the Leeward Islands on this day in 1989. Over the next 12 days, Hugo would kill 75 people from the island of Guadeloupe to South Carolina.
Beginning as a thunderstorm that formed off the west coast of Africa on September 9, the storm slowly gathered strength as it moved across the Atlantic Ocean. It attained hurricane status on September 13 and two days later was a full-blown Category 5 storm with wind gusts of up to 190 miles per hour.
On September 16, Guadeloupe bore the full brunt of Hugo's 140-mph sustained winds. About half of the town of Point-a-Pitre was destroyed, four people were killed and 84 others were seriously injured. On Monserrat, 10 people lost their lives and $100 million in damages were incurred due to Hugo.
On September 18, Hugo slammed into the Virgin Islands. Ninety percent of the buildings in St. Croix were damaged. Ten people died and $200 million in damages were suffered, while phone service there was not restored until the following March. St. Thomas, however, was spared serious destruction.
Hugo's next target was Puerto Rico, where its powerful winds and rain killed 22 people. Thirty-five towns lost electricity and water service and 10,000 people were left homeless. The hurricane then moved west toward the North American coast; it was a Category 4 storm when it reached Charleston, South Carolina. Already, nearly 200,000 people had evacuated Charleston by order of the government, which proved fortunate when almost half of the homes there suffered serious damage. A 13-foot storm surge devastated the coastal area and killed six people. Heavy winds also killed another seven people in other parts of the state.
The environmental toll in the Carolinas was severe. The storm caused extensive beach erosion and one national forest lost about 70 percent of its trees. In the United States alone, damages from Hugo reached $5 billion.”
Ray continued to paint the trim on the shed slate blue, to match the house trim. Some bushes had grown up on the side of the shed, so I was snipping them off with my pruning shears. A little oak tree is trying to grow between two pines, and we need to save that, so getting the bushes out of the way will help it.
Some used burned out 4’ florescent light bulbs were in the way in the workshop, so we put them in a box outside, and smashed them up. They explode, and even though we had put the box on a plastic shower curtain, it still took a bit of vacuuming with the shop vac to get up all the shards. I labeled the box ‘broken glass,’ and hoped the trash man would take it. He did, and even took a broken lawn chair, too. Gradually getting things tidied up a bit each day.