Organic Foods

In response to a need to standardize the use of such terms as organic and natural, the U.S. Congress passed the Organic Foods Production Act of

Advantages of Organically

Grown Foods

  • Less artificial or synthetic pesticides, herbicides, fertilizer, and hormone residue.
  • May contain higher concentration of nutrients and phyto-chemicals.
  • May taste better.
  • Environmental advantages, such as enhanced soil fertility, higher biodiversity, and increased water conservation.
  • Decreased energy input for production.
  • May have higher animal welfare standards.

Disadvantages of Organic

Foods

  • More expensive.
  • May be fertilized with manure or sewage containing potentially harmful organisms.
  • May have undesirable appearance.
  • May be cross-contaminated with chemicals from other farms (also a risk with conventionally grown foods).
  • Lower crop yield.
  • Uncertainty over long-term sustainability of crop.

ecological: related to the environment and human interactions with it biodiversity: richness of species within an area biological: related to living organisms drugs: substances whose administration causes a significant change in the body's function hormone: molecules produced by one set of cells that influence the function of another set of cells

1990, which established the U.S. National Organic Standards Board (NOSB). In 1995, the NOSB defined organic agriculture as "an ecological production management system that promotes and enhances biodiversity, biological cycles and soil biological activity. It is based on minimal use of off-farm inputs and on management practices that restore, maintain and enhance ecological harmony." Organic production uses "materials and practices that enhance the ecological balance of natural systems and that integrate the parts of the farming system into an ecological whole," though such practices "cannot ensure that products are completely free of residues" of pesticides, herbicides, and other additives or contaminants. However, "methods are used to minimize pollution from air, soil, and water. Organic food handlers, processors, and retailers adhere to standards that maintain the integrity of organic agricultural products. The primary goal of organic agriculture is to optimize the health and productivity of interdependent communities of soil life, plants, animals and people" (NOSB).

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