How Much Poison Do You Want to Eat?

A recent post on Organic Food Now entitled "How Much Poison Do You Want to Eat" provides a bunch of great information related to eating organic food, farmincluding whether it's really better for you or not and which foods are most chemical free. It's a discussion that has remained relevant for years, and has recently become even more heated due to the recent peanut butter recall that miraculously impacted several organic food companies (which had been buying non-organic peanuts, apparently).

The questions remain: is any food truly safe? Are organic foods more safe than non-organic foods? Here's a quote from the Organic Food Now article:

What can help you decide if you should spend the extra money on a product labeled ‘organic’? Because organic foods are grown without chemical pesticides and fertilizers there can be derived two main benefits. Firstly, by choosing to support organic rather than products grown with the aid of chemicals; you are helping to protect the environment. Some pests have become immune to repeated applications of chemical pesticides, so scientists have developed poisons that are even more dangerous.

These potent chemicals have then leached into the groundwater and have contaminated our precious water supply. Secondly, you are avoiding ingesting chemicals and will ultimately be healthier. So, if you’re on a budget, pass over organic fruits and vegetables that you can peel, like oranges and bananas. After all, once you’ve discarded the peel, you’ve also discarded the chemicals. Instead, opt for organic items like apples, where you eat the peel. No matter what you buy, however, make sure that you rinse off the food when you get home.

There you have it. Organic food has fewer chemicals, and if you're concerned about putting chemicals in your body, organic is likely the better choice. But many organic foods travel long distances and are mass produced. And there doesn't appear to be definitive evidence that organic food is safer for you, or that the chemicals will hurt you (although I believe that having fewer foreign chemicals in my body is a good thing, you can make your own choices).

farm2I think Michael Pollan has it right when he writes about knowing where your food comes from. The closer you can get to the person who raised your food, the more likely the food is grown on a smaller farm, the more likely the dirt is rich, and the more likely you'll get a healthy, hearty, chemical-free, safe meal. MMmm, chemical-free.