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Organic Pros and Cons

In: Other Topics

Submitted By kahanu
Words 1145
Pages 5
The word "organic" refers to the way farmers grow and process agricultural products, such as fruits, vegetables, grains, dairy products and meat. Organic farming practices are designed to encourage soil and water conservation and reduce pollution. Farmers who grow organic produce and meat don't use conventional methods to fertilize, control weeds or prevent livestock disease. For example, rather than using chemical weed killers, organic farmers conduct sophisticated crop rotations and spread mulch or manure to keep weeds at bay.

Organic farmers:
• Apply natural fertilizers, such as manure or compost, to feed soil and plants.
• Use beneficial insects and birds, mating disruption or traps to reduce pests and disease.
• Rotate crops, till, hand weed or mulch to manage weeds.
• Give animals organic feed and allow them access to the outdoors. Use preventive measures — such as rotational grazing, a balanced diet and clean housing — to help minimize disease.

Conventional farmers:
• Apply chemical fertilizers to promote plant growth.
• Spray insecticides to reduce pests and disease.
• Use chemical herbicides to manage weeds.
• Give animals antibiotics, growth hormones and medications to prevent disease and spur growth.

Nutrition. No conclusive evidence shows that organic food is more nutritious than is conventionally grown food. And the USDA — even though it certifies organic food — doesn't claim that these products are safer or more nutritious.
Quality and appearance. Organic foods meet the same quality and safety standards as conventional foods. The difference lies in how the food is produced, processed and handled. You may find that organic fruits and vegetables spoil faster because they aren't treated with waxes or preservatives. Also, expect less-than-perfect appearances in some organic produce — odd shapes, varying colors and perhaps smaller sizes....

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