There are many reasons for choosing organic products. Research is showing that organic produce is more nutrient-dense. But, most people choose organic to avoid the toxins found in non-organic food. They also value organic farmers’ environmental stewardship. Organic farming practices build up the soil and protect the quality of our air and water.
Are organic foods more nutritious than non-organic? Are they healthier or safer? As a dietitian, I’m often asked these questions and I answer with a resounding “yes!” Here’s why. Read more.
Consumer Reports found lower levels of bacteria overall in sustainably raised beef compared with conventionally raised beef. The presence of “superbugs,” antibiotic-resistant bacteria, was 6 percent in grass-fed beef and 18 percent in the conventional beef. The full report includes a section on labels that indicate the meat has been raised using verified standards. These include Certified Organic, Animal Welfare Approved, and PCO Certified 100% Grassfed. The report cautions against meaningless labels such as “Natural” or “Humanely Raised,” which have no independent verification or certification process. Download the full report here.
In its May 2015 magazine, Consumer Reports offers guidance on choosing produce that is the best for health and the environment. The guide lists five fruits and five vegetables to always buy organic: peaches, tangerines, nectarines, strawberries, and cranberries; and green beans, sweet bell peppers, hot peppers, sweet potatoes, and carrots. Many other fruits and vegetables have high risk warnings tied to country of origin. Download the risk guide here.
A study published in the July 2014 British Journal of Nutrition reveals that organic crops have higher levels of antioxidants. British researchers conducted meta-analyses based on 343 peer-reviewed publications. They also found that organic crops have lower levels of toxic metals and pesticide residues.
Study confirms organic tomatoes have higher antioxidant levels. Tomatoes contain carotenoid pigments such as lycopene, associated with bone health, reduced risk of prostate cancer, and decreasing sun damage by UV radiation. Here’s the full study published in the May 2014 IOSR Journal of Agriculture and Veterinary Science.
A study by Washington State University shows that whole milk from organic dairies contains far more of the fatty acids that contribute to a healthy heart. Read more here.
An organic farmer from Michigan shares how organic farmers manage their land to produce healthy food for you. Read more.
Consumer’s Guide to Organic Food
MOSES partnered with the Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection to create the information card below, plus a 20-page Consumer’s Guide, a bookmark and magnet to educate consumers about organic choices.
Download these FREE items.
Concerns in our Food
The Shopper’s Guide to Pesticides in Produce™ will help you determine which fruits and vegetables have the most pesticide residues and are the most important to buy organic. You can lower your pesticide intake by avoiding the 12 most contaminated fruits and vegetables and choosing the least contaminated produce. This information is provided by the Environmental Working Group (EWG).
Dirty Dozen List of Endocrine Disruptors*
- Fire retardants
- Perfluorinated chemicals (PFCs)
- Organophosphate pesticides
- Glycol Ethers
*To read more about these disruptors, where they are found and how to avoid them, see EWG’s website.
Also see: “Is junk food what we really crave?” by Anna Lappé.
Information on the value of organics, nutrition and organic statistics
Our allies in the movement to improve America’s food and farming systems have many other great resources to share with you about organic.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture
The USDA oversees organic standards through the National Organic Program. This website explains what “organic” means.
The Organic Center
Consumer-friendly statistics and research reports on the value of organics
Union of Concerned Scientists
Information on global warming, GMOs, antibiotics, etc.
Center for Food Safety
Information on GMOs, irradiation, cloning. Fact sheets, statistics, news articles and more
Food and Water Watch
Guides to safe food and water choices
Policy and action information from Consumer Reports
Discusses the hazards of pesticides, suggests pesticide alternatives, info on organic lawn care
Organic Trade Association (OTA)
FAQs and research about the nutritional and environmental benefits of organic
Food Sleuth Radio
The show was rated among the top 11 green food radio shows in the country. Airs every Thursday at 5 p.m.
Organic Consumers Association
A grassroots organization campaigning for health, justice, and sustainability. Offers the Green People Directory with links to suppliers of organic products
Provides information about ecological principles and economic wisdom underlying sustainable and organic agriculture
Offers solutions and environmentally sustainable ways of alleviating hunger, obesity, and poverty by creating a network of connections and information for us to consume and share
Environmental Working Group
Consumer guides to healthy product choices for cosmetics, produce, and household cleaning supplies
FAQs to help you learn the benefits of eating organically grown foods
Just Label It
Information about GMOs and petitions to get genetically modified products labeled in the U.S.
Top 10 reasons to choose sustainably grown food, plus how to ease into a sustainable kitchen
These films provide more information about farming and issues with our food system.
Bill Benenson and Gene Rosow
Inspired by William Bryant Logan’s acclaimed book Dirt: The Ecstatic Skin of the Earth, Dirt! The Movie takes a humorous and substantial look into the history and current state of the living organic matter that we come from and will later return to.
Farmageddon tells the story of small, family farms that were providing safe, healthy foods to their communities and were forced to stop, sometimes through violent action, by agents of misguided government bureaucracies, and seeks to figure out why.
- Fed Up
Everything we’ve been told about food and exercise for the past 30 years is dead wrong. FED UP is the film the food industry doesn’t want you to see.
- FOOD CHAINS
Eva Longoria, Eric Schlosser, Sanjay Rawal
Food Chains reveals the human cost in our food supply and the complicity of large buyers of produce like fast food and supermarkets. In this exposé, an intrepid group of Florida farmworkers battle to defeat the $4 trillion global supermarket industry through their ingenious Fair Food program, which partners with growers and retailers to improve working conditions for farm laborers in the United States.
- Food, Inc.
In Food, Inc., filmmaker Robert Kenner lifts the veil on our nation’s food industry, exposing the highly mechanized underbelly that has been hidden from the American consumer with the consent of our government’s regulatory agencies, USDA and FDA.
- GMO OMG
How do GMOs affect our children, the health of our planet, and our freedom of choice? And perhaps the ultimate question, which Seifert tests himself: is it even possible to reject the food system currently in place, or have we lost something we can’t gain back?
Christine Anthony and Owen Masterson
GROW! takes a look at this new generation of sustainable farmers through the eyes, hearts and minds of 20 passionate, idealistic and fiercely independent young growers. In the film they speak of both the joys and the challenges involved in tending the land.
- King Corn
Ian Cheney, Curt Ellis and Aaron Woolf
King Corn is a feature documentary about two friends, one acre of corn, and the subsidized crop that drives our fast-food nation. In the film, Ian Cheney and Curt Ellis, best friends from college on the east coast, move to the heartland to learn where their food comes from. But when they try to follow their pile of corn into the food system, what they find raises troubling questions about how we eat—and how we farm.
- Queen of the Sun
Jon Betz and Taggart Siegel
What Are the Bees Telling Us? is a profound, alternative look at the global bee crisis from award-winning filmmaker Taggart Siegel. Taking us on a journey through the catastrophic disappearance of bees and the mysterious world of the beehive, this engaging and ultimately uplifting film weaves an unusual and dramatic story of the heartfelt struggles of beekeepers, scientists and philosophers from around the world.
- Symphony of the Soil
Debra Koons Garcia
Drawing from ancient knowledge and cutting edge science, Symphony of the Soil is an artistic exploration of the miraculous substance soil. By understanding the elaborate relationships and mutuality between soil, water, the atmosphere, plants and animals, we come to appreciate the complex and dynamic nature of this precious resource.
- Terra Firma
Christine Anthony and Owen Masterson
Since 2001 over 280,000 women have been sent to the Middle East to serve in the War on Terror. Terra Firma weaves together the stories of three women veterans who were among the first to deploy, serving in Afghanistan, Kuwait and Iraq. After years of struggling, each has found ways to heal the hidden wounds of war through farming. The film follows the women as they go about their daily lives, reflecting on their time spent in the military, the impact of war on their lives and their newfound peace of mind, finding that farming gives them purpose and a new way to serve their country by growing food for their communities.