Why Organic Food?

There are two basic reasons that organic foods may be beneficial. First, it means that residues from potentially dangerous and harmful chemicals on your food are reduced significantly, and secondly the nutrient density of organic produce may be substantially higher than produce grown with conventional modern agricultural methods[1]

Less Harmful Chemicals
The chemicals used in traditional growing methods are worthy of some attention. The Environmental Protection Agency classifies many pesticides as carcinogens[2], and have been shown in several different studies have a correlation to higher incidents of cancer[3]. Increased exposure to certain pesticides are also possibly correlated with an increased risk for Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASDs)[4] and Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD)[5] in children.

Organic food storage

Potentially Higher Nutritional Content
In addition to subjecting yourself to less of these chemicals, most organically grown produce is grown from cultivars that have not been genetically modified. Why is this important? Many produce cultivars that have been genetically modified to optimize growth rates, be more disease and weather-resistant, and improve yields. Although these plant varieties my improve profits for the farmers, too often the same modifications that improve profitability decrease nutritional density. A recent study comparing nutrient content of 43 different garden crops from 1950 to 1999 has shown "statistically reliable declines [...] for 6 nutrients (protein, calcium, potassium, iron, riboflavin, and ascorbic acid), with declines ranging from 6% for protein to 38% for riboflavin."[7]

There has been many research studies on the differences of organically grown produce vs conventionally grown produce some have found no significant difference but many others have found very significant improvements in nutrient density. Nutrikinetics, a Washington DC based organization, "reviewed 41 studies that compared crops produced with organic fertilizer or by organic farming systems to crops produced using conventional farming systems. It was reported that organic crops contained 27% more vitamin C, 21.1% more iron, 29.3% more magnesium, and 13.6% more phosphorus than did conventional crops."[8]

However, it is interesting to note that in organically cultivated plants there has been found an increase in plant secondary metabolites, many of which have not been studied, but some of which are "considered to be of possible human health concern"[9] such as an in increase in glycoalkloids which plants produce naturally to increase their own pest resistance.

What do you think?
What are the benefits you have seen from organic produce? Have you noticed a difference? Comment below and let us know.

[1][6][7][8][9] Organic Foods | Institue of Food Technologists | CARL K.WINTER AND SARAH F. DAVIS | LINK
2. Evaluating Pesticides for Carcinogenic Potential | United States Environmental Protection Agency | LINK
3. Cancer Trends Progress Report | National Cancer Institute | LINK
4. Maternal residence near agricultural pesticide applications and autism spectrum disorders among children in the California Central Valley | Public Health Institute, Oakland, California | LINK
5. Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder and Urinary Metabolites of Organophosphate Pesticides | Maryse F. Bouchard, PhD, et al | LINK

15 thoughts on “Why Organic Food?”

  • Dan

    Sooo deceptive! The claims in this article are virtually all unsubstantiated, with many being outright fabrications. Modern studies have proven that "organic" food is no more nutritious than non-organic food and that "organic" food is simply a total waste of money. The Rutgers study on nutritional content was based on 1950 nutritional content on varieties of cultivars that no longer even exist and the figures shown are outright falsehoods. The iron content, for example, was up 21.1%... not the preposterous 1900%. Shame on you Ready Store for allowing such drivel to appear on your website.

    Dan... We appreciate your feedback. We have updated the figures on nutritional improvements from a different source and have included several references and links to scholarly peer-reviewed articles for your convenience. The 1,900% number did indeed originate incorrectly from a Rutgers study regarding organic vs. inorganic soils in different regions of the country where the highest ppm of Iron (Fe) found in a tomato was 1,938 (http://njaes.rutgers.edu/pubs/bearreport/table4.asp). This information apparently is commonly misquoted and misrepresented as a percentage increase (http://njaes.rutgers.edu/pubs/bearreport/misquotes.asp) and as you mentioned in our private correspondence was even quoted by a Georgianna Donadio DC, PhD in a scientific article she published. We apologize for the mistake and thank you for helping make sure we provide the best information possible for our readers.

  • Erika

    Another way of prepping in my area of the northeast, is to work for a farmer. I work one day a week at an organic farm, learn how to grow things myself a little better and try new vegetables that grow well local to my area. I work for food in exchange for my labor. They also tend to have "farm seconds" that are still yummy, but not as pretty--and therefore won't go to market. Often times, those can be had for half the price or free. The vegetables I canned this year were all seconds, and taste great. They don't keep as long as the freeze-dried offerings of The Ready Store, but worth looking into for another supplemental source of organic food.

  • Geraldina Howell
    Geraldina Howell January 4, 2013 at 3:46 am

    Do you have a catalog of your Organics?

  • Tina

    The fact is that I don't feed my kids "organic" because it has been shown to be extensively more nutrious, but rather feed my kids "organic" so that their little bodies don't receive the "CHEMICALS" and GMO's that non-organic varieties contain. Please search the Environmental Working Groups 2012 shopper guide to pesticide and produce. I don't agree with everything the Environmental Working Group believes and fyi I am NOT a tree hugger, but the complete "trackable" rise in Autism (having a nephew that is Autistic) lends me to watch the amount of toxins that foods contain and shoves my pocket book at the organic sections of the store. I also have begun to plant my own garden... Also just from a logical point if you continually over-till the soil it will be depleted eventually of nutrients and adding all those processed fake fertilizers may produce more crops, but the nutrient content and over all healthy balance of the food will be decreased after time. Oh I also wanted to mention I may not be a rocket scientist, but a friend of mine... is.... I am a mom/retired business owner/& herbalist and have taken many a class on the constitution of what plants are made of and how the body assimilates, incorporates and uptakes nutrients...and poisonous chemicals, etc. Sooo, Dan if I choose to "waste" my money on boxes of lead filled encased metals and buy/grow Organic produce, so be it. Thank you Ready Store for the article.

  • Farmer

    There is nothing wrong with organic, but as Dan pointed out, it is wrong when people try to make claims that organic is superior, or that modern farming and/or GMO is in any way dangerous. Too often organic supporters try to convince consumers that modern farming somehow causes all the ills of the world with no proff other then rigged studies. Feed a lab animal one product, and one product only over a long period of time, and behold, a health problem may show up. any person who wishes to buy organic, go for it, knock yourself out, but no need to make false claims about the "evils" of non organic farm methods.

  • Jacee

    Dan, it's perfectly ok to point out discrepancies in facts and figures (although you could have been a bit more gracious). But whether organic food is a waste of money or not is totally your opinion, which you can certainly keep to yourself. To give your opinion credibility, you might follow your own advice to The Ready Store and back it up with references. However, you miss the point about organic food. As Tina pointed out, it doesn't have the chemicals and GMO's of non-organic foods. And that's why we "waste" our money on it. Thank you Ready Store for an informative article.

  • Dan

    Thanks to Ready Store for correcting the errors contained in their original post. That is indicative of an honest concern for negating the hype involved in organic produce. Ready Store has been and will continue to be one of my primary food storage suppliers.

    As to the comments by some of the readers regarding my original post, "Farmer" is absolute correct. There is no need to make false claims and, Jacee, no where in my post did I merely express my opinion and I would not presume to tell you to keep your opinion to yourself. My entire post was based on fact and the edited article bears that out. (Possibly you did not see the original article.) The debate over the "justifiable" cost of organic foods is long over. Dozens of modern research studies have proven beyond any doubt that benefits do not out-way the 300% average price increase. If some still choose to purchase the organic produce, that is their prerogative and there is nothing wrong with that. Being critical of fact based information is simply imprudent.

    Good job, Ready Store!

  • Tish

    Dan I don't know where you are buying organic products from but I pay nowhere close to a 300% premium. Sometimes the products are very similar in price and sometimes there can be a big difference but the avg is nowhere near 300% like you are claiming.

    A small study (not the greatest sample of products) two years ago showed that there was on average a 68% premium. http://www.mofga.org/Publications/MaineOrganicFarmerGardener/Fall2011/PriceDifferences/tabid/1966/Default.aspx

    The Journal of Food Science did a study in 2006 and said it ranges mostly 10 to 40%. http://abcnews.go.com/blogs/business/2012/10/organic-food-for-kids-buy-this-not-that/

  • Ryan

    I think it's pretty funny that Dan wants for proof when it comes to the benefits of organic food then he throws out a 300% premium claim. Where do you shop??

  • Dana Welch

    For our family, we use organic for two reasons. GMO foods and conventional foods are not grown in a way that is beneficial to the earth, and I have no interest in feeding my children foods that have been combined with ANY other DNA or been coated with toxic chemicals. The common slang for these foods is "Frankenfood," and this is something we definitely believe. We don't use boxed anything, nor do we eat the garbage filled "food like substances" served in fast food restaurants. Multiple accredited studies have shown a direct correlation between the increased use of "convenience" and conventional foods and the rise in Type II diabetes, heart disease and cancer. These studies were conducted at Johns Hopkins and Cornell.

    Anyway, just my two cents. Have a great day.

  • Michele Fischer
    Michele Fischer August 2, 2015 at 11:40 pm

    There are many reasons we buy organic in out home whenever possible. First to avoid pesticides and chemical fertilizers. But for me it also about protecting our community from these products and their harmful effects in the long term. And by community I mean our environment, the farm workers, the consumers and future generations. It's not just a personal decision. Technology has enabled us to help improve crops and bring more food to tables around the world. I'm all for that. But most of what we eat today - I can't even call food! Faster, cheaper and more is not better.

  • Terri

    "The page you tried to visit no longer exists ... sorry about that!"

    This is what I got when I used the link you referenced in this forum. Do you still have an organic section on the site?

  • Janet Russell

    I also tried to search for organic products at the Ready Store website and only found six, all sprouting seeds. It would be great if you'd sell freeze-dried organic vegetables and fruits, or organic grains!

  • Doug

    It's great that you are sharing the benefits of organics, but it would be nice if you also offered to sell some organic veggies in your freeze-dried offerings. You could at least start with the veggies on EWG's Dirty Dozen (e.g., berries or spinach).

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