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I've been researching what foods to eat and it looks like a lot of veggies have pesticides like kale and celery. I ran the numbers and it's going to cost a lot to go organic all the way. Would the nutritional benefits of the vegetables overcome the pesticides or should I look for more ways to buy organic?
 

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Originally Posted by Greenleaf85 View Post

I've been researching what foods to eat and it looks like a lot of veggies have pesticides like kale and celery. I ran the numbers and it's going to cost a lot to go organic all the way. Would the nutritional benefits of the vegetables overcome the pesticides or should I look for more ways to buy organic?
Organic is best. Buy the dirty dozen always organic:
http://www.ewg.org/foodnews/summary/

Organic is also better for the environment.
 

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I don't think nutritional benefits could overcome the potential harm caused by pesticides. Some chemicals would accumulate in the body. Organic may cost more but it might help to reduce medical fees in the future.

Other than cost and convenience, the decision to go fully organic also depends on one's acceptance or much a person know about the amount, type and level of harm the pesticides used in veggie farming. This is usually troublesome to find out and almost impossible to know the truth.

For me, if the veggies have strong chemical smell or taste, I would avoid it
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Greenleaf85 View Post

I've been researching what foods to eat and it looks like a lot of veggies have pesticides like kale and celery. I ran the numbers and it's going to cost a lot to go organic all the way. Would the nutritional benefits of the vegetables overcome the pesticides or should I look for more ways to buy organic?
The nutritional benefits of eating ANY veggies, organic or not, far outweighs any potential or theoretical harm from pesticide residues. I mean seriously, you get more carciongens in a single cup of coffee that you do from a whole years worth of eating conventional vegetables. Save yourself the money, go conventional.

Quote:
Organic is best. Buy the dirty dozen always organic:
http://www.ewg.org/foodnews/summary/
No, the Dirty Dozen myth has various holes, for more info read:

Two Radically Different Views of Celery

When Fear Wins: Fallout From the Dirty Dozen List
A Rational Analysis of USDA Pesticide Data
Apple Crop for 2009: Safest On Record
Don't Let The EWG Diminsh Your Quality of Life
Give Peach A Chance

Quote:
Organic is also better for the environment.
No, it is not, this is just a myth.
Organic Pesticides Not Always 'Greener' Choice, Study Finds
Problems With Claims That Organic Farming Can Mitigate Climate Change
An Unlikely Pair: Heavy Metal and Organic Produce
Mythbusting 101: Organic Farming > Conventional Agriculture
Nutrient Exclusivity in Organic Farming, Does It Offer Advantages?

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Organic may cost more but it might help to reduce medical fees in the future.
Do you have evidence that people that eat organic have lower medical bills and incidence of disease? Because I find this doubtful, and little more than wishful thinking.
 

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I always buy organic apples, celery, potatoes, and usually strawberries. I was amazed by how much better these tasted organic.
Besides those, I check sales at the natural food store and rely on Aldis in between.

To me fair trade and rainforest grown is more important esp for coffee and chocolate.

Learn to always wash. I use a splash of white vinegar in water.
 

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I don't buy organic, at least not on purpose. I will buy it if it's the only option or the conventionally grown veggie looks nasty. Organic does not necessarily mean fewer pesticides, just different ones are allowed. Considering the lack of evidence that organic is healthier or more environmentally friendly, I prefer to go with what's cheaper so I can buy a greater quantity of veggies. The price of organic veggies can be really exorbitant!
 

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Skeptic: "Do you have evidence that people that eat organic have lower medical bills and incidence of disease? Because I find this doubtful, and little more than wishful thinking"

Major studies have shown that organic produce contain higher level of antioxidant, nutrition and less/no chemical residues which scientists believe can cut the risk of health problems.

"you get more carciongens in a single cup of coffee that you do from a whole years worth of eating conventional vegetables. Save yourself the money, go conventional."

Are you saying pesticides only induce carcinogens? There are many types of chemical components used in conventional farming. We have to keep in mind that our body may have to work harder and are strained to neutralise and filter out these elements.

I do not advocate extreme dietary practise. A person's choice to buy conventional or organic foods depends on many reasons as I mentioned above. But if there's an intention to go organic, it should be equally welcomed not thoroughly dismissed
 

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I don't usually buy organic. One of the reasons I went vegan was for the environment. An organic apple from my grocery store is usually grown 1000 miles away. The toll on the environment from trucking that apple to me is just too much, imo. I buy local, as much as possible . And I soak my produce for 10 minutes or so in a veggie wash.
 

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While not technically pesticide, I was in Safeway the other day and I noticed one sign in the entire produce section which said that the foods are coated in a wax, and then it listed the different types of wax. The wax is used to preserve the fruit (according to the sign). I could have sworn one of the waxes listed was not a vegan option, I'll try and take a photo of it tomorrow and post it on here.
 

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Originally Posted by leong_cf View Post

Major studies have shown that organic produce contain higher level of antioxidant, nutrition and less/no chemical residues which scientists believe can cut the risk of health problems.

. . .

Are you saying pesticides only induce carcinogens? There are many types of chemical components used in conventional farming. We have to keep in mind that our body may have to work harder and are strained to neutralise and filter out these elements.
Which studies are you referring to? Also, what "chemical components" do you think are harmful?
 

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Originally Posted by wiggle View Post

While not technically pesticide, I was in Safeway the other day and I noticed one sign in the entire produce section which said that the foods are coated in a wax, and then it listed the different types of wax. The wax is used to preserve the fruit (according to the sign). I could have sworn one of the waxes listed was not a vegan option, I'll try and take a photo of it tomorrow and post it on here.
It's true that many fruits and veggies are covered in wax that contains shellac. There's no reason to think it is harmful, but it does come from insects. I don't personally care about insect welfare in general, but most vegans still consider those fruits and veggies vegan, as there aren't really alternatives.
 

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Which studies are you referring to?
I've read many reports on such studies in the newspapers, mostly in Chinese. One of the research which I remember, was done in the UK, funded by EU:
http://www.guardian.co.uk/science/20...cs.sciencenews

Quote:
Also, what "chemical components" do you think are harmful?
DDT, Endosulfan...etc.

The Stockholm Convention states that 9 or 10 of the 12 most dangerous and persistent organic chemicals are used in pesticides.

In the endosulfan case, many countries have agreed in the 2011 Stockholm Convention to ban the manufacture and use of the chemical agent which will start in mid 2012. It's very toxic and would accumulate in our body for many years.

Actually, I'm quite surprised that organic food doesn't seem quite popular on this board. In my place (wouldn't say in my country because some of the sources I listened to and read comes from Singapore), organic is a growing trend. We have small farms in the city that grows crops organically, radio talks extolling the benefits of organic foods and organic stores are springing everywhere. Even clinic doctors, western medicine and traditional Chinese medicine alike, would encourage me to choose organic foods.

Apart from the environment that influenced me to perceive organic farming positively, I also had a very bad family history with pesticides. My maternal grandfather is a farmer. He died painfully of cancer. The doctors in the hospital says its due to pesticides. We remember that he inhaled a lot of pesticides during the preparation of pesticide chemicals to spray his crops and trees and he fainted several times in the jungle. Sometimes he woke up himself after few hours. Sometimes, we had to go find him at night and found him lying unconsciously on the ground. Sometimes, we'd think it's due to fatigue. But we know it might also be due to pesticides.

I read a book which I bought in a vegan restaurant called PAWS in Perth, Australia. It's called Mad Cowboy by Howard Lyman. He saw how those chemical farming and pesticides did to his life and it almost destroyed his health. His experience also tell one thing which I feel strongly about, whenever the government or the authority bans something, there is always a period where pesticide sellers are able to clear their stocks at reduced priced before the ban kicks in. In other words, we'd still be consuming harmful chemicals years after it's banned. Grandpa did that. I think most farmers knows it
 

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Certified organics aren't perfect; especially now that big ag members are on the National Organic Program board - a super idiotic issue in organics.

Still, organics are free from the harsher pesticides that stick around for decades, free from chemical food coloring, free from GMOs and free from fake flavors. Also, there's a lot of research that does say that organics help protect the environment. I don't like when people mix up sustainable and organic or "healthy" and organic - because they're FAR from the same, but organic agriculture does have some naturally useful qualities that help protect water resources and protect land from soil erosion, both of which are major problems in this country and around the world.

In general organic producers are supposed to assume that most pesticides are prohibited, but of course there are exceptions. Organics aren't pesticide free. The US Department of Agriculture's National Organic Program (NOP) rule [7 CFR 205] allows for some naturally occurring ingredients, such as plant extracts, insect pathogens, and fungal derivatives so long as they're not indicated as prohibited on the National List, along with some lower-risk synthetic pesticides.

Subpart G, §205.600 through §205.606 of 7 CFR 205 shows what's allowed. If you compare the list with what's allowed in conventional agriculture, there's still a huge difference. Every ingredient, active or inert used by organic producers must comply with the National Organic Program rule. In order to be used in organic production, all synthetics, even if inert need to be must be classified by the EPA as having a minimum risk - although yeah, the EPA can be sketchy too.

I don't buy organics for better nutrients, because organic is not a nutrient issue. I buy them because they do have fewer harmful chemicals and pesticides, they do help protect the environment better than conventional and because the only way to get more producers to grow organically is to buy organic. Buying organic also helps lower organic costs. NOP needs some major work, but in my opinion, organics are still way better than conventional.

Some perks of organics:

  • A nine-year study by USDA Agricultural Research Service (ARS), shows that organic farming builds up organic soil matter better than conventional no-till farming.

  • American Rivers notes that a major water pollution threat to U.S rivers is runoff from non-organic farms including harmful pesticides, toxic fertilizers and animal waste.

  • Algal blooms (HABs) are also a huge water based problem, usually caused by runoff from the petroleum-based fertilizers used in conventional farming.

  • Rodale Institute Farming Systems Trial (America's longest running, side-by-side comparison of conventional and organic agriculture) shows that a good organic agriculture system can reduce carbon dioxide and help slow climate change. Rodale research shows, "If only 10,000 medium sized farms in the U.S. converted to organic production, they would store so much carbon in the soil that it would be equivalent to taking 1,174,400 cars off the road, or reducing car miles driven by 14.62 billion miles."

  • Research comparing adjoining organic and chemically treated wheat fields, showed that the organic field featured eight more inches of topsoil than the chemically treated field and also had only one-third the erosion loss. A Cornell University study, Soil Erosion: A Food and Environmental Threat, shows that soil erosion promotes flooding and drought, excess dust in the air, air pollution and Cornell points out that this air caused by erosion, "Carries about 20 human infectious disease organisms, including anthrax and tuberculosis." Conservation tillage, cover crops, windbreaks and other farming practices commonly used in organic production, help control soil erosion issues.

  • Wild animals, fish and birds depend on the fact that we maintain healthy plants, streams, rivers and lakes in their habitat. Pesticides from conventional farms tend to infiltrate habitats and then animals suffer.

Again, certified organics are not perfect. However if more consumers demand ethical and strict policies for organics and people continue to work on changing organic policy for the better, we could possible end up with a cleaner, healthier agriculture program in place here in the USA. But, we won't if we just keep on supporting conventional.

Oh, but I do agree that in some cases going local is better than certified organic. Why transport organics all over and wreak your footprint? Often, local food is grown better and organically anyhow, it's simply not certified due to costs - with local, you can visit the farm directly and see what's up.
 

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Originally Posted by SkepticalVegan View Post

The nutritional benefits of eating ANY veggies, organic or not, far outweighs any potential or theoretical harm from pesticide residues.
This is true.

That said, buy organic when you can. It's for the benefit of farm workers and the environment. Pesticides are bad, but the harm occurs at/near the site of the pesticide use, not the trace residue injested by consumers. Pesticides endanger agricultural workers and their families, not consumers of produce.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by ElaineV View Post

This is true.
That said, buy organic when you can. It's for the benefit of farm workers and the environment. Pesticides are bad, but the harm occurs at/near the site of the pesticide use, not the trace residue injested by consumers. Pesticides endanger agricultural workers and their families, not consumers of produce.
Right - this too is an excellent reason to buy organic.

Research shows that blood samples of children aged 2 to 4 have 6 times higher pesticide residues in their bodies if they eat conventionally farmed fruits and vegetables compared with those eating organic food, but it's worse for kids who live near or on farms who use conventional pesticides. In children alone, pesticide poisoning is so serious that it's been mistaken for brain hemorrhage, head trauma, diabetic acidosis, severe bacterial gastroenteritis, pneumonia and whooping cough.

But even not in kids, pesticides can cause nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, wheezing, rashes and other skin problems, chronic adverse effects on neurological function, cancer, reproductive harm, reduced growth and development, birth defects and more.

Some pesticides do affect consumers though, even those who don't work on farms, such as organochlorine pesticides. DDT is the most well known organochlorine pesticide issue going on. DDT was so dangerous that was banned in 1972 but they had already used it for a long time. Nowadays, it's been shown that DDT was strong enough to stick around and body burden tests show that it's still showing up in the bodies of people today, including people born long after the DDT was banned.

Plus, organochlorine pesticides build up stronger as time goes on, because they don't breakdown in fatty tissue, so they build up in animals and humans and are even passed on in this manner. Studies show that when a human eats a fish contaminated with an organochlorine pesticide, they get that pesticide in their own body. Obviously, no one here is eating contaminated fish, but if it's in animals and humans, it's also in the soil and water and I'm guessing, in what grows in said soil.

It's also really frustrating when stuff like Methyl Iodide continues to be used, especially when researchers say this pesticide is so good at causing cancer that it's often been used to create cancer in rats for medical experiments. Yet, it's okay to use around farm workers?

Once the pesticide makers decide to let their own kids go run around in a field of pesticide grown crops for a couple years because it's so "safe" then I'll be more on board with conventional, but not before.
 
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