Organic foods have become more popular amongst Americans. Between October 2003 and October 2004 there has been a 27% increase in Americans eating more organic foods. Is the cause nutrition value or because it is more environmentally friendly? There are many Americans that are trying to eat healthier and more nutritious foods, But is organic food really more nutritious? Although evidence is still unclear, many say that organic foods and conventionally grown foods have close to, if not the same nutrition value. There are other upsides to eating organic foods besides nutrition. Organic foods are better for the environment. The Rodale institute conducted a study on organic and conventionally grown foods, and their impact on the environment. The Rodale Institutes study came up with the following statements: •
Each acre devoted to organic farming can remove and store around 7,000 pounds of carbon dioxide each year. •
Organic farming uses 30% less energy and water.
Growing organic foods also helps the soil it grows in. It reduces groundwater pollution by foregoing pesticides. Using pesticides in farming causes soil erosion, which in turn ruins the productivity and vitality of the soil. The USDA Agricultural Research Service conducted a study which showed that “organic farming can build up soil organic material better than conventional no-till farming”. They also found more carbon and nitrogen in organic farmland than conventional farmland. Another finding is that organic farming produces 18% more product than conventional farming.
There are also downsides to buying organic foods. The most common downfall to organic food is the cost. Organic foods are pricier than conventionally grown foods because of the more extensive farming practices. Organic foods can also spoil faster, due to the fact that they are not treated with wax and preservatives. Organic foods may also come in odd shapes, smaller sizes, and sometimes in varying colors.
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