Organic Food May Still Contain Pesticides, though at Lower Levels

For years, health food gurus have advocated the benefits of organic foods within our diets.  In fact, the constant barrage of organic foods has led to several misconceptions about just what “organic” means.  Many take it to mean food grown without chemicals.  This may not be exactly the case.

Foods with the USDA Certified Organic label are required to have been produced according to a certain set of standards.  These standards, when summarized, mean that the producers must follow certain strict guidelines.  These guidelines include practices regarding livestock handling, pest control, crop production, soil and water quality, and additives.

It may be surprising to learn that organic produce can be grown while using certain pesticides on the crops.  In fact, in a study conducted by the Mayo Clinic, pesticide residue was found on both certified organic and conventional produce.  However, the concentration appeared to be lower in organic produce.

The study, however, did emphasize that legal pesticide residue levels have not shown to have any harmful effect on humans.

The Mayo Clinic study also found that contamination with microorganisms and toxic metals occurred on similar levels among organic and conventional produce.

There is no real scientific evidence that organic foods are inherently safer or healthier than foods produces conventionally.  Although there have been strides made in the direction of proving organic foods are safer or healthier, there is still much scientific research to be done before this can be proven.

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