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Safer Food For a Healthier You

(continued)

Reduce Residues: Buy Local or Organic continued...

To be sold as organic, livestock must meet several criteria:

  • They are fed only organic, vegetarian feed. They may not be fed meat from other slaughtered animals (a common component of conventional livestock feed).
  • They are not treated with any antibiotics or hormones.
  • The meat is not treated with radiation.
  • They are raised under conditions that allow exercise and access to the outdoors.

The USDA can inspect farms for compliance. It’s believed that the vast majority of organic farmers follow these practices.

The main drawback to organic food is expense. As you’ve noticed in the checkout lane, organic food nearly always costs more than conventionally produced food.

Is buying organic money well spent? Limited research suggests that some organic foods have more nutrients than conventional food. And then there’s the issue of the environment. Gillman cautions that “organic practices aren’t always 100% sustainable and green either,” but they are usually “greener” than modern industrial farming.

To Minowa and many others in the organic food movement, “it’s a matter of responsibility. Each bite that you consume, each dollar that you spend provides an opportunity to make positive change for a sustainable future.”

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Reviewed on December 18, 2008
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