Organic Food: Worth the Money?
Magazine Article Lists Organic Items Worthy of Your Shopping Cart
WebMD News Archive
The magazine article mentions a study in which after switching to an organic
diet. The researchers tracked pesticide exposure, not the kids' health.
The web site of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) states that
while pesticides carry some risks, especially for babies and kids, strict rules
protect people from being exposed to too much pesticide residue.
The Consumer Reports article mentions concerns that widespread use
of antibiotics in conventionally raised animals may spawn drug resistance and
that synthetic growth hormones (which are banned for poultry and any
organically raised animals) could cause cancer or speed up puberty for
Those fears don't hold water, critics say.
The National Dairy Council's web site states that "American milk and
dairy products are among the safest and most highly regulated foods in the
world" and that milk from hormone-treated cows has repeatedly been shown to
be "safe for human consumption."
The U.S. market for organic foods has skyrocketed in recent years and is
expected to more than double by 2009, states Consumer Reports.
Meanwhile, government standards for organic foods have been hotly contested.
Here's Consumer Reports' guide to label lingo:
- "100% organic": No synthetic ingredients are allowed by law.
- "Organic": At least 95% of ingredients are organically
- "Made with Organic Ingredients": At least 70% of ingredients are
organic; the other 30% are from a list approved by the USDA.
- "Free-range" or "free-roaming": Animals had an undetermined
amount of daily outdoor access. This label does not provide much information
about the product.
- "Natural" or "All Natural": Doesn't mean organic. No
standard definition, except for meat and poultry products, which may not
contain any artificial flavoring, colors, chemical preservatives, or synthetic
ingredients. Claims aren't checked.