Not everyone can afford to only purchase organic products due to their higher price tag. That’s unfortunate because everyone should have the resources available to buy untainted foods. If a product is certified organic distinguished by the circular USDA seal, that is your guarantee that there is no MSG, pesticides, hormones, or antibiotics. It also promises that no ingredients in the product have been genetically modified (GMO) and the food has not been irradiated. If that doesn’t convince you to switch to organic maybe this will.
- Canada, Europe and Australia have banned MSG, also known as monosodium glutamate, but it is still permitted in non-organic foods in the USA. If a product contains even a small amount of MSG, my inner ear throbs, the back of my tongue itches and I dry heave because my body is trying so hard to remove this poison from my system. I am not alone in feeling ill after consuming MSG. The FDA has received numerous complaints of chest pain, nausea, and burning sensations among other reactions from MSG which is why the FDA requires that it be listed on the label (source Mayo Clinic). MSG was removed from baby food after listed as a toxin (NY Times 2008). Listing MSG as an ingredient is not a solution. They need to ban it altogether. In the meantime, when you go to Asian restaurants you can ask that they don’t add MSG to anything you order.
- Conventional foods contain pesticides, but the good news is that organic foods are prohibited from pesticide sprays. So you don’t think pesticides are that bad? Farm workers have a much higher chance of getting cancer because they are working with crops dusted in pesticides. Their children are born with deformities. Still not convinced that pesticides are harmful to you? Ask yourself the following questions. Why would even a little bit of a toxic substance be okay? Conventionally grown manufacturers insist that there is no cause for alarm, but who are you going to trust? Do you believe the big conglomerate that can yield bigger crops with cheap and harmful pesticides or do you ponder that there is no safe level (because there is no presently safe level)?
- If you don’t want added hormones, buy organic. Cows are given growth hormones so they will be bigger and to produce more milk. I don’t eat beef or any product that comes from a cow. I’m proud to be dairy free. If you still want your dairy, you may decide that from now on you’ll only eat organic meat and organic milk products. Added hormones are synthetic and just as dangerous as prescriptions drugs. “The European Union has banned the use of hormones in beef cattle, and has conducted a study that showed that hormone residues remain in the meat. Because of health concerns for both people and animals, Japan, Canada, Australia and the European Union have all banned the use of rBGH (Recombinant Bovine Growth Hormone), but the hormone is still given to cows in the US. The EU has also banned the import of meat from animals treated with hormones, so the EU imports no beef from the US.” (source http://animalrights.about.com/od/animalsusedforfood/f/AntibioticsrGBH.htm). We need to get the US on the bandwagon to ban rBGH too!
- If you are concerned about ingesting antibiotics from conventional products, you should be. Antibiotics should only be taken when people are sick from a bacterial infection so when antibiotics are introduced unnecessarily, antibiotic-resistant strains develop. What this means is that when you need an antibiotic, it won’t work. This is scary because an infection that could have previously been treated with a physician-prescribed antibiotic could kill you. Yikes!
“About 80% of antibiotics produced in the U.S. are given to farm animals.” Isn’t that crazy? Most antibiotics are given to animals and only 20% are given to people in the U.S. (Source Princeton.edu) “There is an increasing amount of evidence suggesting that the sub-therapeutic use of antibiotics in food animals can pose a health risk to humans…Concern about the growing level of drug-resistant bacteria has led to the banning of sub-therapeutic use of antibiotics in meat animals in many countries in the European Union and Canada. In the United States, however, such use is still legal… The FDA’s rough estimate, using 1999 data, is that use of fluoroquinolones (ex: Cipro) in chickens resulted in over 11,000 people that year contracting a strain of the campylobacter illness that was resistant to fluoroquinolones, contributing to unnecessarily severe disease. (source PBS.org http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/pages/frontline/shows/meat/safe/overview.html
I really wish the US would join the European Union and Canada in banning antibiotics in our food. Ask any doctor and they will tell you that no one should take antibiotics unless they have been evaluated by a physician and he determines that the antibiotic is absolutely necessary. Ciprofloxacin (Cipro), which is a fluroquinolone and mentioned above, is under public attack. It’s about time.
Two women I know continue to have reactions from eating beef or poultry that were given antibiotics. One woman has severe leg cramps and the other gets feet, leg and eye twitches eating beef or poultry that were given Cipro. Other reactions from the drug Cipro include tendon rupture , difficulty breathing (Source drugs.com), tearing of a tendon, vomiting, hives and anaphylaxis among others (source medicinehut.com). It’s amazing that drugs like this are on the market and approved by the FDA, but this antibiotic may be off the shelves soon. “The California Supreme Court agreed to review a class-action lawsuit over the drug Cipro.” (PR Web). I hope Cipro loses, and this dangerous drug and it’s generic are banned from production.
- If you don’t want your food to be dissected by a mad scientist and put together in some new form, you want to stay away from GMOs. A genetically modified (GMO) food has been changed in some way in a lab. I want an apple made by nature, not by someone in a white coat. I don’t want to eat some sort of freak apple even if it does look prettier. My fruit and vegetables don’t need to be gigantic and photogenic. I want them to be tasty and fresh. I don’t trust genetically modified foods to be safe and neither should you. Maintaining good health should be our number one concern. “Numerous health problems increased after GMOs were introduced in 1996. The percentage of Americans with three or more chronic illnesses jumped from 7% to 13% in just 9 years; food allergies skyrocketed, and disorders such as autism, reproductive disorders, digestive problems, and others are on the rise.”
(Source http://www.responsibletechnology.org/10-Reasons-to-Avoid-GMOs) Let’s say no to GMOs!
- Non-organic foods are irradiated to destroy most pathogens. Not only is this unnecessary, but irradiation changes the structure of the original food and reduces nutrients. We eat foods for energy, minerals and nutrients. I don’t want a sub-standard product. If the word irradiation sounds familiar, it should. Irradiation is radiation. Radiation causes cancer. I eat fruit and vegetables as added insurance to protect me from getting cancer. I’m not taking any chances, regardless of what claims are made, so I always buy organic.
I hope I’ve convinced you to buy more foods and products that are certified organic. Foods are fuel; they were not designed to be harmful. If you don’t have organic products available to you, ask local retailers to stock the shelves with them. Every time you go in, ask when they are going to provide organic fruit and vegetables. Eventually they will get the hint. You can even tell the owner that if they don’t carry organic foods, you will shop elsewhere. Say this to the owner or manager at every store you shop. They don’t want to lose your business. The economics of supply and demand works. The more you demand it, the more likely they will supply it. The more people who buy organic, the lower the price will be. I’m hoping we’ll have a future where all food will be safe to eat and we won’t have to look for a symbol to prove it.