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The Organic Revolution

May 8, 2010  
Filed under Smart & Savvy

Is going organic worth it?

Are you the type who buys organic because you know it’s healthy and good for the environment? The cynic who’s concluded that it’s a marketing ploy? The one saying, “I’d rather use my money elsewhere”? Or is it that you simply don’t care and haven’t put much thought into it?

We’re guessing most of you fall into the first category.

It was around 2007 when going green reached trendy status for the *masses (see note below). Companies started slapping on eco-friendly terms onto new products because it was more sellable—environmentally friendly, sustainable, organic cotton, etc.

Organic food poses less health risks since the growers don’t use pesticides, hormones or synthetic fertilizers. But a 2009 report by the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, as well as the Mayo Clinic states that there is no conclusive evidence that organic food is more nutritious than its counterpart. So why then go organic?

In order for a food to be officially labeled organic, it must pass through stringent requirements as approved by the USDA. With all the pollution existent on earth, it’s only logical that any food free from pesticides and antibiotics is safer and better not only for you but also for the environment—organic farming practices reduce pollution and conserve water.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency reveals that lab studies have shown pesticides potentially causing health problems including birth defects, nerve damage and cancer, exposed over a long period of time. The effects, of course, depend on how toxic the pesticide is and how much is being consumed.

The Environmental Working Group came out with a recent list of the dirtiest foods you should buy organic—the worst being celery. Other dirty mentionables include strawberries, blueberries and peaches. The Daily Green (a consumer’s guide to the green revolution) orders this list in detail, as well as Foods You Don’t Have to Buy Organic like avocado, onions and corn.

So while you don’t have to buy everything organic to stay healthy and save the environment, there are other ways to go. Buy locally and seasonally, which contributes to reducing your carbon footprint. Local produce also tends to have fewer chemicals, and seasonal produce is less expensive. It’s double bang for the buck.

*Masses: Though it seems as if everyone has caught on to the importance of sustainable living, it hasn’t really popularized in the urban community. This is where organizations like Broccoli City (BC) come in. BC started their grassroots initiative in ’07/’08 to educate the LA urban community to live a more conscientious life in a “fly” style through online videos, a daily blog, apparel, events and community outreach.

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