What is Organic Food? Organic Foods. The Purpose: Organic Farming

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1 Organic Foods By: Kaelen Shay Trinh Tran Caroline Mockridge What is Organic Food? No preservatives No added chemicals/pesticides/fertilizers No anti-biotics or growth hormones The Purpose: Organic Farming To cultivate a crop on healthy land and without the use of agricultural chemicals.

2 From the Ground Up Soil (Methods) Insects (Pesticides) Healthy Soil / Healthy Crop Crop rotation: -Moving specific crop from one area to the next to keep the soil s nutrient values. -Dissimilar crop grown following season to replenish nutrients lost in soil. -Saves the use of artificial fertilizers, which are commonly used in conventional farming. Weeds (Herbicides) Healthy Soil / Healthy Crop Green Manure: Crop grown only for the soil s benefit and weed suppression for following crop. -Root systems provide natural fertilization, increased water retention, and oxygenation. Healthy Soil / Healthy Crop Compost: Made from the decomposition of organic matter (plant and animal sources) -Adds nutrient value to soil. -Useful alternative to synthetic fertilizers. -Benefits crops, ground water and environment as well. -Example: Clover is grown to add nitrogen for future growth.

3 Pesticides (synthetic/natural) - A pesticide is a synthetic chemical substance used to coat crops for protection from insects, microbes, birds, and other small mammals that may damage crop. - Carcinogens that are hazardous to animal and human populations. Types of Pesticides Bactericides for the control of bacteria Fungicides for the control of fungi Herbicides for the control of weeds Insecticides for the control of insects Miticides for the control of mites Molluscicides for the control of slugs and snails Nematicides for the control of nematodes Rodenticides for the control of rodents Pesticides Conventional farm use benefits Cost Personal Labor Drawbacks Soil Life Water Retention Community - can fatally harm the natural pesticides that aid a crop and its soil. Synthetic Pesticides - pollute the ground water that feeds our rivers and streams, in turn harming our water supply and animal population. -67 million birds killed annually -up to 14 million fish killed annually

4 Synthetic Pesticides Half Life days Natural Pesticides Another benefit of crop rotation: pest defense - As a farmer frequently moves his/her crop, the pests do not have time to concentrate and flourish in one area, thus greatly reducing damage. Can save product residues at grocery store but not environment prior to pesticide death. Natural Pesticides A farmer can also build defense with beneficial insects that prey on pests that harm a crop. -additional flower crop grown to attract and accommodate beneficial insects. -Ladybug depletes Aphid population without damaging cash crop. Natural Pesticides The crop that is home to a ladybug also acts as a trap crop, which works to take the interest of the pest away from the production crop. All are natural and healthy ways to keep the chemicals off the crop and out of our stores.

5 Plant Herbicides Contaminate crop product and soil like that of a pesticide. Harmful with direct contact, food consumption, and inhalation. Healthy alternatives are identical to that of pesticides with the inclusion of spices (seeds, fruits, bark) and vinegar (stunts surface growth) as herbicidal sprays. GMO How long have they been around? In first pharmaceutical (insulin) made by splicing human DNA into that of microbes. Since 1982, several pharmaceuticals have been made with recombinant DNA technology. Genetically Modified Organisms- The process of taking genes from one strain of a plant, animal, or virus and inserting them into another, with the goal of reproducing characteristics of the original species in the receiving species. Genetically engineered plants were approved for patenting in 1985.

6 How are they approved? Three federal agencies are involved in the approval process: United States Department of Agriculture Environmental Protection Agency Food and Drug Administration. USDA granting permission for companies to field test promising crop lines. Approval of environment safety prior to commercialization Why is the approval process controversial? Whether they are adequately tested for safety. As with pesticides and drugs, safety testing for GMOs is done by the companies that produce them. Consumers are understandably concern about GMO safety. Consumer s reaction 1990s- biotechnology industry tried to convince consumers that GM crops are just as good, if not better, than traditionallybred crops Flavr Savr tomato = false advertisement Consumers didn't like the taste of the tomato, and unlabelled food. What are the unintended impacts on: Environment Health Market

7 Unintended environmental impacts: -Harming non-target and/or beneficial species. -Development of new strains of resistant pests. Environment: Transgenic Pollution Landraces of maize growing in remote regions in Mexico have been found contaminated with transgenic DNA. Analysis of individual kernel on a single cob found 3-10% had transgenes. -Pollen from genetically engineered herbicide-resistant crops could reach wild, weedy relatives of the crop. Health: Unintended impacts Markets Allergens Antibiotic Resistance Decreased nutrients Toxins Unintended market impacts: -Lower prices on food and higher costs for farmers -Bans on GM imports -This results in depressed crop prices

8 Moral arguments concerning GMOs Quick Facts on Biotechnology and Crop Production 0: Reliably documented human or animal safety issues 172,000 metric tons: Decrease in pesticide applications "Moving genes from animals to plants gets you into a whole moral, religious, and political firestorm..." 8.25 million: Farmers planting biotech crops 10 million metric tons: Greenhouse gas emissions eliminated through fuel savings 1.8 billion liters: Diesel fuel saved from reduced tillage or plowing 1 trillion: Estimated number of meals consumed with biotech ingredients GMOs in food GMO-free regions and areas in Europe Illustration of an experiment for detecting the presence of a GMO in cornflakes European regions and provinces now declaring themselves GM Free zones

9 Pesticides & Chemicals Health & Nutritional Benefits of Organic Food Effects of Fertility in Men Hydrogenated Oils Food Additives Vitamins & Minerals Antioxidants Allergies Cost of Organic foods An article published by Primary Care Groups and Trusts, concluded that a predominantly organic diet : Reduces amount of toxic chemicals ingested. Totally avoids GMO s. Reduces amount of food additives & colorings. Increases the amount of beneficial vitamins, minerals, essential fatty acids & antioxidants consumed. Has the potential to lower common health conditions such as cancer, heart disease, allergies & hyperactivity in children. Pesticides & Chemicals Organic foods are grown without the use of synthetic pesticides & chemicals. The most dangerous synthetic chemicals used in farming e.g pesticides, have been linked with a range of conditions such as: Cancer Decreasing male fertility Fetal abnormalities Chronic fatigue syndrome in children A study of children aged 2-4 in Seattle, showed concentrations of pesticide residues were 6 times higher in children eating conventional fruits & veg.

10 Fertility A group of Danish researchers found that fertility in men eating organic diets was higher. It is suggested that manmade chemicals act as endocrine disrupters, resulting in altered development of the reproductive tract. Hydrogenated Oils Found in a lot of conventional/processed foods. By eating organic you ll cut down on the amount consumed. Extends the shelf life of foods - Snack foods. Makes oils solid - Crisco, margarine. Processed, conventional foods are main source of trans fatty acids. Harmful effects of hydrogenated oils - - High cholesterol levels. - Increased risk of heart disease. - Effects immune system & cell membranes increasing the risk of inflammation & cancer. Food Additives Around 300 additives are permitted in conventional foods, while only 30 are allowed in organic food. Food additives are used to improve the appearance & taste of food in non-organic foods. Food colorings are linked to allergies, headaches & mostly hyperactivity in children. Here are a few additives that are added to both organic & non-organic foods that are beneficial to our health- Iron Thiamine (Vit B) Nictonic acid (Vit B3) However, all artificial colorings & sweeteners are banned from organic foods Aspartame Glutamate Phosphoric Acid Vitamins & Minerals Organic fruit & veg contain more essential vitamins & minerals than non-organic. Growing crops in healthy soils results in food products that offer healthy nutrients. The Soil Association found organic foods contain higher levels of vitamin C & essential minerals such as calcium, magnesium & Iron.

11 An independent review also found higher level s of all 21 nutrients in organic foods than in conventional foods. This graph shows 4 examples of the nutrients & how much more of the nutrients are found in organic foods. Antioxidants Protect cells from damage by oxidation May reduce the incidence of heart disease & some cancers. % Vit C Magnesium Iron Phosphorous Organic food % Non-organic Danish researchers have found organic crops contain 10% to 50% more antioxidants than conventional crops. The research suggests that pesticides may thwart the production of phenolics - chemicals that act as a plant s natural defense & is good for our health. Fertilizers however seem to boost the levels of anti-cancer compounds. Vitamins & Minerals Allergies Allergies Children are developing organs to hopefully last a lifetime. Due to their smaller size children are more vulnerable to the toxins & chemical in their diet, making them more prone to developing allergies. A study performed in Sweden compared children from 2 schools. 1 school ate conventional processed meals. The other ate organic meals. The children eating the organic diet had a lower prevalence of allergies.

12 The Cost of Organic Food A study found shoppers who consistently choose organic foods spend nearly 20% more on groceries. Organic products typically cost 10-40% more than similar conventionally produced products. Organic foods represent only 2% of the food industry both in the US & worldwide. Less than 10% of US consumers buy organic regularly. $1.99/lb for the conventional grown apples compared to $2.99/lb organic grown apples. If organic contains less chemicals, why does it cost more??? Conventional crops are subsidized by taxpayers money via the government. Organic farming receives none. Conventional crops are not grown with nutrition & taste in mind. Mass production is the aim. Organic farming takes more money because - a) Small family run business b) More people to bring in crops c) More time consuming d) Often yields less crops per acre Organic or Conventional? Given the choice of buying an organic apple or a conventionally produced apple which would you choose? Wouldn t you rather pay a little more for a juicer, tastier apple. Packed with upto 60% more vitamins & minerals. Free from chemicals & insecticides.

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