Eating Organic may be Harmful—The Truth Behind Organic Produce. ~ Doug Smith

Via elephant journal
on Mar 19, 2013
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Know Your Food!

Update: Eating pesticide-laden foods is linked to remarkably low sperm count (49% lower), say Harvard scientists in a landmark new study connecting pesticide residues in fruits and vegetables to reproductive health. (

What!? How can this be?

“I switched to only eating organic fruits and vegetables years ago and feel so much better doing so.”

How can it be harmful? Organically produced fruits and vegetables are grown in an environment absent of synthetic chemicals, pesticides, unnecessary machinery, chemical growth promoters, poisoned earth/dirt and the like. “Right?”

Well unfortunately, no, not exactly…

I usually get this frantic response when I start off a conversation like the title. Most usually go on this self-pat on the back mentality about how they’re in the know or understand eating organically is inherently more healthy than eating conventionally grown vegetables and fruits. Based on what they’re told, they’re 100 percent correct. You don’t need to be a rocket scientist (or a nutritionist for that matter) to know eating something that isn’t sprayed with chemicals—and is allowed to grow in a natural environment—is more healthy than eating a conventionally grown fruit or vegetable.

I know a heated conversation can be had on eating organically or eating conventionally grown food, but I’m not here to dispel organic over standard convention farming though, or the pros and cons of each. I’m in the “you are what you eat and I don’t want to eat a chemical shit storm of pesticides and growth promoters” boat, regardless of whether or not they’re deemed by the government as “safe.”

“Okay, so why are you talking trash about my beloved organic veggies? I just took down a full head of kale for lunch and I’m happy as a clam I did so.”

The idea of organically grown produce to me (and the majority of other people) is an easy one—what’s marketed to us is essentially that they’re seeds/plants grown without the use of chemicals, pesticides and growth promoters.

But what if I were to tell you the majority of “organically” grown produce is not absent of any of these very things that conventional farmers use? Organic farmers use pesticides and ‘growth promoters’ and are putting more emphasis on their bottom line than they’re telling you. The truth is there’s a ton of money in selling organic produce and the powers that be know this. You’d think in theory without all the additional chemicals and steps of conventional farming the price would be cheaper to grow a less processed produce, no? But the reality is in most cases all of the conventional farming techniques are used on organic produce.

Before we get into the specifics below, I definitely want to point out, this is in no way a smear piece about why you should stop eating organically grown produce.

organic label usda eden bad bullshit greenwashing whole foodsThese are a few words put together to hopefully push for some change in the direction organically grown produce is headed.

The idea of growing food in absence of man-made chemicals or any chemicals for that matter is essential for our public health, I do fully believe that. Although I feel Americans—or any person for that matter—want to do what’s right and will go above and beyond to do the right thing, we also can get pretty lazy and allow large corporations and government agencies to dictate and direct what we want to see.

You made the choice to eat only organic and that’s great, but you must go a few steps further to protect this decision.

So what about the chemicals? The reality is, the majority of organically grown produce—especially the stuff you see in most grocery store chains—is most likely grown with pesticides. The fact is, most state laws allow organic farmers to spray a whole gamut of chemical sprays, powders and pellets on their organic crops. That is, if they are “organic” or natural chemical sprays, powders and pellets (1, 2).

So what the hell does organic mean then these days? It means that organically produced fruits and vegetables are grown in an environment absent of synthetic chemicals, yes, but the notion that they’re grown without chemicals at all is false (1,2).

Pesticides can be used in the growing of “organic” vegetables and fruits, and often are. They just must be derived from natural sources, not synthetically manufactured. (1,3)

So my question to you is, in all the knowledge in your head, is this any better? It isn’t to me, and some major U.S. organizations would agree. Just because it’s a “natural” pesticide, that doesn’t necessarily mean it’s better or even good for you at all.

The EPA and USDA have conducted many studies over the last few decades showing synthetically used pesticides, or any chemical for that matter, are seriously carcinogenic—a little more than 50 percent of them. A carcinogen leads to a high susceptibility for cancer creation within the human body. So again, it seems it’s fairly logical to not use any of these chemicals (“natural” or not) anywhere near our foods. (4)

But what about these organic pesticides?

Not until very recently has anyone tested or cared to test these natural organic pesticides, mainly for the thought that they are “natural” so why test them, how harmful can they be? Guess what happened when they tested these natural pesticides—the very pesticides they’re using on our organic produce? About half of them are carcinogenic as well. Yikes. (4)

So I guess the question is, are natural pesticides less harmful and/or toxic than synthetically derived ones? That’s a super difficult question to answer considering not much testing has been done and for good reason. The organic market is a fairly new one and with everyone jumping on the wagon and bending the rules of the USDA, FDA and EPA, there are so many variables.

Here’s a very common practice in growing lettuce: In conventional farming, during the full growth cycle of this plant, a very small amount of a very well-tested pesticide (literally tested over 50 years) will be used once, maybe twice to assure  a healthy crop. But for an organic farmer, they might use five to 10 times more of a natural pesticide like rotenone-pyrethrin or Spinosad. Tests done by the USDA have shown pesticides are 10 times more prevalent on organic lettuce than on conventionally grown produce in some cases. (5, 6, 7, 8)

There’s also the question of farming and our environment. We’ve seen the repercussions of our actions and decisions as humans the last few hundred years and we’ve really started to ask questions about what kind of impact our farming and the feeding of our species is doing to our world’s environment. You’d think less chemicals, natural or not, is better for the environment. But if these organic farmers are spraying considerably more of these natural chemicals than conventional farmers, is that really any better? That natural pesticide mentioned above, rotenone-pyrethrin, is extremely toxic to aquatic life and fish. So which is better? (9)

As I stated earlier, this isn’t a grouping of words to discourage you from continuing on your quest to a cleaner lifestyle by utilizing organically grown produce. It’s for the eye-opening reality of what’s currently happening and, in return, that you’ll be empowered to demand better.

I don’t blame the farmer, I don’t blame the associations that regulate organic foods and I certainly don’t blame our government.

The reality is we’re in a capitalist society—-in some ways it’s what makes this country so great—but it also comes with dire reactions if we don’t remain aware. Economics and money can sometimes pull the wool so quickly over our eyes, you’d think we were at a sheep farm. Although I’m not saying it’s right or wrong, it seems money and economics will always come first. I don’t doubt that if a farmer could make the same amount of money from an apple grown without anything in true organic style, they’d do so.

On the flip-side if they know they can use a certain natural chemical to assure a strong, non-pest effected crop, and still state that it’s “organically grown,” they’re going to continue doing that as well.kale5

“Okay, that kale I just had for lunch doesn’t feel so good after all, so what do I do?”

The answer is a very easy one, it takes us opening our mouth and asking questions. We can ask our grocer about the organic produce we’re buying—who’s the grower and where did it come from? I can almost guarantee any organic produce item we buy that’s perfectly packaged in a plastic container or plastic bag is most likely from a huge producer, one that also produces conventionally grown produce (they’re all in on the fun, there’s money in those organic hills). Again, I’m not an economist or a horticulturalist, but I’d guess they’d be using organic pesticides, it just makes smart business sense.

Besides being that guy asking questions at our grocery store, an even better solution is buying local. The local farm stand and farmers’ market movement is huge these days. Besides keeping our hard earned money local and helping our fellow farmers, we’re also most likely greatly helping your health. We get to talk directly to the farmer and can ask them about what, if anything, they spray or add to their produce.

More times than most, the local organic farmers are organically farming the way you’d think organic farming should be, as in the absence of chemicals of any kind.

We need to take things into our own hands, literally.

We can grow something organic with our own dirt and two hands. Even if it’s in a small pot on our window sill, we can all farm on some level. We can learn what it takes (not much) to create our own food virtually free. Just a little hard work and time is all we need.

Want to go even further? Find a plot of land in your neighborhood that isn’t being used and ask the owner or the township/city if you can use it for a community garden—the possibilities are really endless.

Growing one’s food is an amazing way to connect ourselves to the very sustenance that keeps us alive. I can almost guarantee this connection will inspire you to speak out louder on the current state of organic farming and crops.


1: National Organic Program

2: Organic Standards



5:—For Pesticides Apples Are Worst Onions the Best

6:—Organic Pesticides Not an Oxymoron

7: The Truth About Organic Gardening: Benefits, Drawbacks, and the Bottom Line



Doug SmithDoug Smith is an adventurer/traveler who perpetually lives outside of his comfort zone. He thrives on knowledge, especially when it comes to health. After watching many people around him, including himself, suffer from the negative effects of poor nutrition, he took it into his own hands to learn every thing there is to know about proper nutrition and health. Doug acquired a Bachelor of Science degree in Kinesiology (with an emphasis in physiology, biology and sports nutrition) and subsequently co-founded True Nutrition, a dietary supplement and nutrition company, over 10 years ago. Through his ongoing quest for knowledge and heightened consciousness of the effects of his own nutritional path, he continues to pursue a mission to educate people on the largely untapped and immense potential of proper nutrition. For more on Doug, visit


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Ed: Lynn Hasselberger

Relephant bonus: Three Kinds of Food:

Waylon talks with the head of the non-GMO Project:

Karme Choling’s innovative garden:

Mindful Food with Slow Food chef, writer and adventuress Peggy Markel:

An eco bachelor’s cooking lesson:


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37 Responses to “Eating Organic may be Harmful—The Truth Behind Organic Produce. ~ Doug Smith”

  1. Nicole Weinberger says:

    Thanks for the info. Looks like the best way is to grow your own.

  2. FittyS says:

    This guy is the owner of – I use their vegan protein powders, good stuff!

  3. Michelle says:

    Should we follow the lists folks put out on the best foods to buy organic? I live in South Korea, and local at markets frequently means buying conventionally produced items even so.

  4. monicamjohnson says:

    Great subject and very valid points!!

  5. Jodi says:

    First, taking a latin name and plopping it in a sentence as if that makes it scary decontextualizes the organic standards. In Canada the certification requires that operators ensure the products they use as inputs, sanitation aids, and in processing have MSDS sheets and that ingredients must appear on the Permitted Substances List… in his example, Pyrethrum is listed as carcinogenic: by what parameters? In what dose? In what delivery method? How is it used? In Canada, Pyrethrum May only be combined with acceptable formulants listed in par. 4.3 of the regulations. (See also Botanical pesticides for restrictions.)
    Whereas RoundUp need NOT list its ingredients to ANYONE. So can we be surprised when Seralini et al turn up in yet another damning study the fact that in different commercial formulations of glyphosate-containing RoundUp, actual toxicity was 2-3 x greater than reported on the labeling (which reflected toxicity of the glyphosate alone). Plant-based -icides are very often used as complexes – not reduced to the element we believe at the time is responsible for a given action in isolation of the other plant compounds with which the "active" ingredient synergizes.
    This notion that pesticides have been around for 50 whole years so they must be safe is, as hinted above, belief based, not evidence-based.
    The truth of the matter is that we are in the scientific dark ages when it comes to regulatory frameworks for agricultural and the remaining industrial chemicals that make up the roughly 200,000 chemicals in our food, clothing, fuel, soils, products, air, and water.
    I LOVE this characterization of the pencil mustache turning organic farmer in a black cape snickering all the way to the bank fooling you because they used a sprayer (mwuahahaahaaa….).YES organic farmers use farm equipment…. they use sprayers to distribute compost, manure, organic (meaning they meet the permitted substances list for approval). Does this somehow equate to the use of endosulfan? Neonicotinoids- known neuro-disruptor that those radicals down at the Ontario College of Family Physicians suggest pregnant women avoid for fear of damaging their developing babies.

    The author raises some serious questions. Yet the questions raised ought not have one simply dismiss this grass-roots built food system integrity problem. The movement ought to continue. To dismiss a grass-roots built, market-driven quality assurance solution to a broken food system integrity problem is a commendable achievement, and the movement ought to continue to unequivocally support certified organic production in our communities and abroad.

  6. Auki says:

    Yes, growing our own food is the safest, most wholesome bet. But who among us has the time, the space, the climate, the training or the skill sets to grow our own food (or even to cook and prepare homegrown food)? Very few among us could succeed at that without years or decades of practice.

  7. BBolder says:

    This article is a thinly-disguised rant, riding the inevitable backwash from anything that is very popular, while providing no rational discussion or arguments, simply tossing in some faux references to make it appear considered.

    I've used Rotenone and Pyrethrin – which are ground-up plants that the author clearly has zero knowledge of, only using their names as straw-men – and during my previous career as a farmer, was also around the standard chemical pesticides – which are REALLY different! If anyone – including the author – would experience this personally, the difference between "organic" agricultural practices and the usual is viscerally apparent: you really don't want to be near those chemicals. They are so strong, your body will sense the danger and react before your mind does.

    I could go on down the list, but since the author only cares about selling a good story, I won't bother. I will offer four thoughts:

    1. Yes, organic farmers want to make money. Duh. You don't?
    2. Yes, some certified organic farms are very large – organic agri-biz. Not my vision of hippie utopia either, but hey, if they're not using chemicals to kill every living thing on the land except for their cash crop, I won't complain.
    3. I purchase organic now as much to protect the birds, bees, and ecosystem near the farm as I do for my own health. Again, certified organic practices really do have a different affect on our world.
    4. Yes, growing your own food is terrific, and is the ultimate solution. Which is beside the point, since few of us are going to do that.

    Sloppy, reactionary journalism is not something I appreciate, whether it's coming from the political right or left.

  8. While the author raises some good questions, it's clear he started with an agenda, despite all the self-deprecating, "hey I wanna eat health too" snippets. He is clearly lacking a firm grasp of organic production and the movement. This story line is not unique. The blogosphere is filled with such stories where the author is simply taking a consumer misperception “that organic food production does not use chemicals” feigning surprise, pretending it's some amazing discovery and then tarnishing the organic movement. Of the thousands of organic varietals on the market, they then pick one crop, normally lettuce, find something other than ideal in the process and let readers assume it's a reflection of the industry. Holy cow…or should I say "organic cow!" In 17 years of organic farming, I've never put anything on my crops that I couldn't eat. I wouldn't want to eat most of it, but you get the point. How I farm today is far healthier for planet and people than what I did before I was organic. No question.

  9. Doug Smith says:

    The agenda is awareness. What I wrote is very common knowledge to me personally, and as the last 2 commenters implied is common knowledge to you as well (as it looks you both are/were farmers). From my experience however the rest of the world as in the general public that uses organic products, don't know the simple facts in my article. The idea of "organic" to most people is not how you two or myself view organic or understands organic. Shouldn't these facts be transparent? If these pesticides are harmless, we should make it common knowledge that this is a part of organic farming and let the masses decide. The problem is, the masses aren't informed at least from my experience.

    I absolutely am not lacking in knowledge dealing with organic production nor the organic movement, I clearly understand it. I also understand the path we are heading down is a slippery slope, especially when the huge agri-business machine moves in on the production and most important marketing of organic products. I'm not against organic farming, not in the least, I'm not saying we shouldn't stay the course, again, it's awareness and to speak up and ask the very questions I'm questioning. I think they are more than fair… It's a shame some are viewing this as a negative piece on organics, it's not, it's about awareness.

    What has happened the last 10-15 years with organic production and the movement is unbelievably positive, but that doesn't mean the ugly face of negatives don't surface along the way.

  10. Doug:
    I don't believe anyone critiqued your questions. I and another responder said you raised good ones. The problem is you attempted to answer some of them with weak and misleading research, you shot fish in a barrel by picking on one possible weakness in organic production – and there certainly are some – and exploited consumer’s lack of knowledge about organic production. Look at just your inflammatory headline. Please. You didn’t make a credible case that organic was harmful. And what “truth” did you reveal….that farmers drive tractors, use sprayers and till soil? I spray cayenne pepper and water on my organic tomato crop to deter tomato worms. News Flash!!. The issue is not that organic farmers spray, but that there’s huge and scientifically verifiable advantage over what they spray compared to conventional applications. So if you can find one organic application that might not be as good as a conventional one you leap to generalizing that organic may be harmful? You naively questioned what science already knows and did nothing more than reverse the discourse and misinform consumers. I’m sorry, there’s not much redeeming in this piece. I truly do wish you greater clarity and understanding should you wade into this debate again.

  11. Traci says:

    “These are a few words put together to hopefully push for some change in the direction organically grown produce is headed.”

  12. Stan says:

    I'm sorry but I don't believe them when they say "organically grown." Some items maybe, but I'll bet you not all of it is grown organically. It wouldn't be the first time we have been lied to. It looks like my garden just got a lot bigger this year. Thanks for the article!

  13. Stan:
    I've been an organic farmer for over 17 years. I also have a small family owned bottling facility that makes organic fruit preserves and other gourmet specialty foods. Of all the regulatory regimes I am subject to, both mandatory and voluntary, Organic certification is by far the most thoroughly monitored and audited regulatory system we are involved in. I'm subject to Michigan Depart of Agriculture, FDA (mandatory) Organic, Kosher, Gluten Free, Fair Trade (Voluntary) certifications and organic overshadows them all in it's diligence. When I shop for my family, it's the only symbol I have significant confidence it. While no person, place or thing will ever be perfect, Organic certification is third party audited and rigorous. There is very little known fraud, compared to other less rigorously audited regulation, despite unsubstantiated claims on blogs like this. So if you can't trust organic, you might as well not trust anything on a label because organic is the best option you've got if you are going to put faith in anything you don't grow yourself. Organic is a powerful movement and despite many attempts to weaken it by industry lobbying, it has held firm. (I wish I could say the same for GMO regulation) So let's not toss the baby out with the bathwater. There are millions of consumers living is cities or whom otherwise have little option to grow their own food. We need to uphold organic standards to those people have a reasonable option.

    Timothy Fitzgerald Young
    Food For Thought, Inc.
    Honor, Michigan

  14. Helen Castonguay says:

    Yes, your title draws attention…but…. it also does a disservice if folks do not read all the way through. The title tars everyone with the same chemical brush by default. We buy local organic, know the farmers and know how hard it is for independent small farms to make a living wage. Titles like your do not help.

  15. Brooke vMF says:

    I have to agree with Helen. I'm really sad that this article's main message is at the very bottom. Most people only read headlines and the first paragraph before taking home the message. In this case, the probable take-home message is the wrong message – that organic farming is bad so why bother. And unless you read the last section of this article, you won't know that that's not always the case. It is really important for people to know they can an should support small-scale, local, organic farmers!

  16. MIke says:

    Time to stop shopping at whole foods!

  17. goodfoodfortheplanet says:

    It's only an issue, really when the organic industry (and don't fool yourself; the big organic guys in Boulder are VERY well-funded!) and others scream that non-organic food should be labeled as "containing GMOs" when non-organic foods have been developed with biotechnology. OK, labeling is good, goes the argument, so we know what we're eating. OK, but rotenone and pyrethrins are quite toxic when applied carelessly; pyrethrins, for example, can be quite neurologically toxic to infants exposed to them (don't put horse fly spray on your infant). (Look it up if you don't believe me)

    So, should ORGANIC food be required to have the label "contains bacillus thuriengensis (BT)", or "has been sprayed with pyrethrins" or "has been treated with rotenone" ? No? Why not? The organic guys insist that foods produced with biotechnology be labeled. Or is asking for consistency (and common sense re: science and food) asking too much?

  18. goodfoodfortheplanet says:

    Organic is fine, but just don't fool yourself that it contains no pesticides that can be toxic. Just use common sense, as with putting anything in your mouth. Do that, AND support local organic (and non-organic) farming.

  19. Phillip R Lewis says:

    Thank you Mr. Young for telling it like it is. And thanks Doug for trying to scare some people who don't know any better. You are very aware that most people will only read the header and maybe skim. If you truly care you would be a little more positive. And, oh bye the way, why wouldn't you blame the government? Makes zero sense.

  20. goodfoodfortheplanet says:

    Timothy, you know very well that genetically modified foods are among the most highly regulated in the country, by three federal agencies. One can have conspiracy theories, etc., of course, about the reliability of the "regulation," but that is the case.

    It's not a case of "trusting" or not trusting organic. It's just food produced a certain way. Blind trust in anything is not recommended; whether it's religion, a type of food, or the guy who says he'll respect you in the morning. As you say, "no person, place or thing will ever be perfect…." that applies to food, as well. But to eat it, it should be "darn well good enough" (that's the technical term, lol) and reasonably assessed in a credible way to show it does not appear to cause harm. No more, no less.

    I eat organic (when I can afford it; leaf vegetables, etc), I eat conventional, and I eat GM modified foods. Without drama, without hysteria, without evangelistic belief.

    Doug voices rationality and common sense; thanks, Doug.

  21. Canyon Wren says:

    We grow a lot of our own food three seasons of the year. We occasionally use organic pesticides to control bugs that are destroying a crop. There is no way around this except to eat wild foods gathered from pristine areas or let the bugs have at it and reap whatever is left. As for Farmers Markets, they are available here in Colorado from June to early October leaving us to shop at grocery stores for most of the year. The prices at Farmers Market are generally so high that I think of them as boutique foods. $8.00 for a pint of honey. Really!!! $6.00m for three large organic peaches. I paid, walked away, and vowed to shop at Vitamin Cottage or go to farm stand and buy a box. Still pricey but more affordable.

  22. 1. A New York resident not able to grow own veggies. What do you suggest?
    2. Are you ready to buy and eat apples with pest borrows; broccoli with black spots; ….? If yes then Organic pesticides could be avoided by Organic farmers.
    3. If you grow your own, whether it's possible to grow without Organic manure and pesticides?


    Skype: mundadaamol

  23. Vijay says:

    I do not believe that.. I have been consuming organic food items since long time and attained a healthy lifestyle.. To me, organic food is boon for human beings..

  24. Erin says:

    This is a really great article with a really poor choice of title. An obvious attempt to snag some readers, but irresponsible in terms of messaging.

  25. organic says:

    So you guys just go on and on, on bashing the author some do address is but still give no confidence that using any natural pestice is any safer than using man made pestices, and for those farmers that use them you just showed how ignorant you are, google rotenone, pyrethrum and proof to me that there is not a single scientifc paper showing that they mightcause some kind of cancer, mental illnes, etc. Not because it natural it means it safe would yoy eat any berry bush in the wild just becuasenits natural?

  26. Lewis says:

    Due to use of heavy chemicals and strong pesticides we can’t got the actual quality of organic food. Need of heavy amount one of the reason. Now farming sectors are limited. A few people among us interested in this line. We are indirectly consuming poison. The toxic substances present in the organic food are act as slow poison.

    When we are going for organic food we should chose the one which is suitable for our health and the composition of its.

  27. eric says:

    so I actually took the time to read the sources that you mentioned for this slightly tinted article.
    here's a quote from above:

    Here’s a very common practice in growing lettuce: In conventional farming, during the full growth cycle of this plant, a very small amount of a very well-tested pesticide (literally tested over 50 years) will be used once, maybe twice to assure a healthy crop. But for an organic farmer, they might use five to 10 times more of a natural pesticide like rotenone-pyrethrin or Spinosad. Tests done by the USDA have shown pesticides are 10 times more prevalent on organic lettuce than on conventionally grown produce in some cases. (5, 6, 7, 8)

    – all your so called sources are all based on the opinion of one man: Jeff Gillman, a professor of nursery management at the University of Minnesota
    – as Jodi pointed out in an earlier comment: that something has been around for 50 years doesn't make it safe, making this addition mute and should have been left out if you wanted to be factual.
    – you also over use the word 'very' to indicate the possible insignificance of hearsay speculation, so let's leave all the 'very's out as well, as they are subjective at most.
    – you use 'will' to take away doubt for conventional farming, and 'might' to emphasise doubt in organic farming, which again is not factual, but subjective.
    – also the use of 'but' suggests a contradiction, so let's leave that out as well?
    – and about being subjective and mood-writing: referring to the conventional pesticide as something nameless with a history of 50 years, yet naming the organic one by its chemical names is also not a fair comparison.
    – then the line: "Tests done by the USDA have shown pesticides are 10 times more prevalent on organic lettuce than on conventionally grown produce in some cases". in the articles you quote it is clear that in only 18% of the tested lettuce they found "more pesticides than on other conventional produce". do you see the word 'produce' there on the end? this conclusion is so wrong that I will have to discuss that later on why it doesn't have a place there.

    so let's look at that same paragraph again, but now with the subjective comments left out, and tell me if that doesn't read as something completely different?

    Here’s a common practice in growing lettuce: In conventional farming, during the full growth cycle of this plant, a certain amount of a pesticide might be used once or twice to assure a healthy crop. For an organic farmer, they sometimes might use five times or more of a natural pesticide.

  28. eric says:

    and then this part, which deserves its own comment:

    you wrote:
    "Tests done by the USDA have shown pesticides are 10 times more prevalent on organic lettuce than on conventionally grown produce in some cases."

    the original sentence that you quoted is:
    "In the USDA tests, there was ten times as much spinosad on organic lettuce than was found on conventionally cultivated fruits and vegetables."

    so it is not that they found 10x as much pesticide on the lettuce, but they found 10x as much Spinosad.
    the conventional produce might have had a much larger amount of other pesticides, but that wasn't mentioned here.

    then you use the word 'produce', and the original article says 'fruits and vegetables'.
    lettuce is an open leaf vegetable, which are known to retain any thing many times more due to the built of the vegetable; it will act as a container collecting rain and anything that catches it leaves, so when comparing a lettuce with say any type of fruit, of course it will always contain more pesticides than any other fruit or vegetable any way.

    oh, and somewhere else in the original article it also says that it was only this case on 18% of the tested lettuce.

    so this is my point: in the article it compares the organic pesticide Spinosad amount found on only 18% of organic lettuce, with the same (organic) pesticide found in lesser quantities on 100% of all other kinds of non organic fruit or vegetables that were not an open leaf lettuce.

    what kind of scientific comparison is that??
    that's not even comparing apples with pears, that's comparing lettuces with pears!!!!

  29. Leonor says:

    Thank you, Jody, for clarifying these points.

    Organic agriculture is much more than replacing synthetic pesticides with natural alternatives. It’s about taking care of the soil by rotating crops and using natural fertilizers. It’s about promoting natural predators of pests, using (natural) pesticides as last resort. Organic agriculture simply cannot be compared to conventional agriculture.

  30. I respect your thoughts and research but i don't agree that organic food can harm your health

  31. Monica says:

    I read one if the articles you cited, and yes 27 of the natural pesticides are carcinogenic in rodents. However, the article says the natural pesticides are composed of things naturally found in apples, basil, cinnamon, and nearly everything in the grocery store. The article says that. So if we are afraid of these natural pesticides, essentially we need to be afraid of eating fruits and vegetables because they have carcinogenic properties in rodents. We are different from rodents. A dog can't eat chocolate–we can. Different mammals tolerate different things. The article also mentioned legumes giving lupus to monkeys. Legumes don't give that to humans. Scientific articles have to be deeply read, and the charts have to be carefully studied. I have personally read up on natural pesticides I can use on my food. I have no problem with natural pesticides, as they are very useful. I'd much rather eat something natural than anything synthetic.

  32. It is a way of life dedicated to helping people live longer

    and healthier without the use of chemicals or hormones in their food.

    Organic food items continue to gain fair amount of market share, even though the debate regarding organic food items versus conventional food products is still up in the air.

    Office: (805) 794-9126. 10 Kiwi. The land has then been seen to perform better in terms

    of the overall yield, as well as the net, healthy grain yield.

  33. Joe says:

    The point of the "organic movement" is more than just looking at a label, at least to me. It comprehends a new food awareness about not only what we put in our bodies but how that food gets to out table and what the overall impact of our food's journey means to all of us who inhabit this little planet. It really encompasses a growing awareness of the impact of the factory farm and how cheap calories have hurt our health and large scale mono-cultures are destructive and unsustainable. For me and my family, organic is but one part of how we are changing our attitude and focus on the food we eat. It is not just the organic aspect but it includes eating locally grown whenever possible; consuming only animals that are not raised in confined spaces; fed natural foods like grass fed beef etc. If people are not informed, if they are just looking for an "organic" label just to blindly think "oh this must be better" that is on them and somebody is going to exploit that. Parts of the organic labeling law in the US suck; making it more difficult to obtain and maintain an organic certification for a small farm as opposed to large mono-culture factory farms is just one of the problems with the labeling but there are others. The point is that we should have choices but we need to take the time to make those choices informed ones and really think about how what we eat, where it comes from and how it is produced really makes a difference to our world and how we will feed ourselves in the future.

  34. batistebieler says:

    "Organic agriculture simply cannot be compared to conventional agriculture."

    What an absurd empty statement. The fact 2 things are different is the only reason they can be compared.

  35. batistebieler says:

    "The blogosphere is filled with such stories where the author is simply taking a consumer misperception “that organic food production does not use chemicals” feigning surprise"

    Well most of the people do consume organic because they think there is no/less pesticides and the food is more healthy. Both claims have never been proven true.

  36. Jeff K says:

    "But for an organic farmer, they might use five to 10 times more of a natural pesticide like rotenone-pyrethrin or Spinosad."

    There are other issues with this article, but this particular statement really irks me.
    You seem to be suggesting that all organic farmers use a great deal more pesticides than are actually used, particularly the use of retenone.

    It is used by non-organic farmers as well. There has been a great effort by the organic industry to remove it from the certified approved list.

    Regarding efforts to ban the use of rotenone,
    "… uses of rotenone appeared to be waning both on organic and >>>conventional<<< farms, even before registrations were cancelled (Isman, 2006).
    >>>"On September 26, 2012, EPA announced that it would not remove the “tolerance exemptions for rotenone, derris or cube >>>roots at this time” [77 Fed Reg 59120]
    >>>"In 2012, the NOSB recommended that rotenone be prohibited effective January 1, 2016 (NOSB — National Organic Standards Board). The NOP (USDA's National Organic Program) has not yet acted on the NOSB’s recommendation. ("Rotenone Use in Organic Farming" — Center for Sustaining Agriculture and Natural Resources).
    >>>There are no known efforts from conventional (or non-GMO) farmers to apply pressure to any government agency to ban the use of rotenone.

    This statement is from "2010-2011 Pilot Study Pesticide Residue Testing of Organic Produce" USDA, NOP.
    "These results indicate that while pesticide residues are less common in organic produce than in conventional
    produce, detection of pesticide residues in organic produce is still common."

    Followed by "Responding to Results from Pesticide Residue Testing" by the NOP

  37. Blake says:

    Organic is NOT harmful, what a total joke.