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Can Organic Food Prevent a Public Health Crisis?

A new European Parliament report has concluded that the existing science on both organic food and agriculture shows that an organic food system offers clear health benefits, not only for its quality but for its environmental sustainability, Civil Eats reports. The EU study was based on hundreds of studies that include food analyses and epidemiological and laboratory studies.

Today, the world is faced with a food conundrum that may have been unforeseen a century ago. It stems from the fact that crops for human consumption aren’t grown for optimal health as much as they are to be more easily produced, with the aid of pesticides, fungicides, insecticides and herbicides — none of which are good for your health.

In comparison, organic foods are generally pesticide-free. If you’re interested in buying only organic, look for the labels: Produce can’t be labeled “organic” until a government-approved certifier ensures farmers are following USDA organic standards.

If you want to know which conventionally grown fruits and vegetables carry the greatest toxic load in terms of pesticides, the Environmental Working Group provides a list of the worst offenders, called the “Dirty Dozen.” Their latest list includes: peaches, apples, sweet bell peppers, nectarines, grapes, strawberries, spinach, cherry tomatoes, cherries, celery, tomatoes and cucumbers. Avoid the “Dirty Dozen” by looking for that organic label.

Some people feel that eating organic is too expensive, but when you look at the long-term cost of choosing foods with residues of potentially harmful pesticides to eat and feed to your family, the sometimes higher price tag is worth it. However, the marketplace is changing, and more stores and restaurants are realizing that consumers are informed and choosing quality over quantity.
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