Organics & Nutrition

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Once found only in health food stores, organic food is now a regular feature at most supermarkets. And that's created a bit of a dilemma in the produce aisle. On one hand, you have a conventionally grown apple. On the other, you have one that's organic. Both apples are firm, shiny and red. Both provide vitamins and fiber, and both are free of fat, sodium and cholesterol. Which should you choose?
Conventionally grown produce generally costs less, but is organic food safer or more nutritious? Get the facts before you shop.


Conventional vs. organic farming
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. It is sustainable farming. 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 weedkillers, organic farmers may conduct more sophisticated crop rotations and spread mulch or manure to keep weeds at bay. They use hand weeding and there is a large and well organised system of on farm labour called the WWOOFers (willing workers on organic farms) which provides a great source of affordable labour while giving young people organic farming experience and education and travel opportunities.

Conventional chemical based farming kills organisms in the soil and depletes the soil as the complex natural organic life in the soil breaks down. Organic farmers go to great lengths to build up the organic processes that occur naturally in healthy soil. They employ worm farms to increase the action of these great organic composting machines.