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article imageOp-Ed: Should you feed your kids organic food?

By Tim Sandle     Feb 7, 2014 in Health
Should concerned parents feed their kids organic food or does it make little difference? Or does it even cause harm? According to a new report the jury is still out. See what you think and comment below.
According to a recent article published in Slate by science writer Melinda Wenner Moyer, the author argues that organic food for kids is a waste of money...and it may even do some harm. The basis of her argument is:
a) Organic fruits and veggies do not hold a major nutritional edge over conventional ones except in that they may contain fewer nitrates and more vitamin C.
b) Organic does not mean pesticide-free, so it is debatable whether organic food is healthier. By law conventional farmers are allowed to use synthetic pesticides, whereas organic farmers are (mostly) limited to “natural” ones, which break down easily in the environment and are less likely to pollute land and water. (However some synthetic chemicals are approved for use in organic farming.)
c) Some pesticides permitted in organic farming have been shown to be toxic. For example, rotenone, a pesticide allowed in organic farming, is far more toxic by weight than many synthetic pesticides (according to the U.S. Environment Protection Agency).
d) Many organic products contain higher levels of pesticides, partly because the crops need treating more often. The USDA analyzed organic produce in 2010, and found that between 15 and 43 percent of organic produce samples harbor measurable traces of either natural or synthetic pesticides or both.
e) Fruit and vegetables are good for you, but is does not matter whether they are organic or not. One review concluded that the quartile of Americans who eat the most fruits and vegetables, organic or not, are about half as likely to develop cancer compared to the quartile who eat the least.
The story has generated a wide response on the Slate site and across the Internet. The article alone has attracted 930 comments, many taking an opposing view. Certainly the comments run counter to the pro-organic food group the Grassroots Alliance.
Going back to Moyer’s article, summarized by Science News, these comments that the piece has attracted are divided:
“Some parents read the article and feel vindicated: Pricey organic food is an unnecessary luxury good, marketed to people who fell for organic food-pushers’ marketing ploy to fear the conventionally grown apple. In the other corner are parents terrified of feeding their kids fruits and veggies laced with dangerous poison that can have untold effects on their growing kid’s body and brain.”
Organic food remains the subject of intense debate, between consumers and agribusiness; health agencies and scientists. What do you think? Please use the comments section below.
This opinion article was written by an independent writer. The opinions and views expressed herein are those of the author and are not necessarily intended to reflect those of
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