Organic food is, overall, best in quality and safety for consumption. According to John Cloud in a 2007 issue of Time magazine, 25 percent of Americans are buying organic today. There are more than a few reasons that we all should be buying organic. First, law regulates organic foods; they are not allowed to have pesticides, antibiotics, growth hormones or genetically modified organisms; organic food protects animal rights, and organic simply tastes better.
What is organic exactly? According to the USDA, organic is defined by the following: "Organic food is produced by farmers who emphasize the use of renewable resources and the conservation of soil and water to enhance environmental quality for future generations. Before a product can be labeled 'organic,' a Government-approved certifier inspects the farm where the food is grown to make sure the farmer is following all the rules necessary to meet USDA organic standards." There are also different levels of organic composition. Ninety-five to 100 percent organic products are allowed to have an organic seal. To be labeled "made with organic ingredients," the product must be 70-94 percent organic.
Every part of production must meet the requirements of the Organic Foods Protection Act. Many experts believe the pesticides and other toxins we ingest through food are not harmful to our health. One theory, however, says that pesticides are much more harmful to children because they eat a much larger percentage of their body weight. Foods containing the most pesticides are peaches, nectarines, peppers and spinach. There is also a growing trend in organic dairy because of the recent addition of the recumbent bovine growth hormone or rBGH in the 1990s, which has potential imunogenetic affects: an increased risk of cancers and early onset puberty in young girls.
Some say organic is going "mainstream" and because of this many are buying "locally" over organic, but many times local food is hard to find and it has no guarantees. The most important thing is to be an educated consumer and stay true to your values. The evidence is clear but the choice is up to you. Although there are some downfalls, the benefits of organic food definitely outweigh the costs. According to Julia Child, "You don't have to cook fancy or complicated masterpieces — just good food with fresh ingredients." Certainly, organic food provides just this kind of quality.