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Organic Facts Get Answers. Organic food is very popular. However, Organics itself can confuse us with all that it includes. Is organic food really better for you overall? How do you read all the labels? Is Organics Worth it?
This guide will answer those questions and help you make better choices. Importantly we have added resources including keys to buying Organic Food. Welcome to Organic Facts where you will Get Answers.
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The term “organic” explains the way agricultural products are grown and processed. The regulations vary from country to country. In the U.S., organic crops must be grown without the use of synthetic pesticides, bio-engineered genes (GMOs), petroleum-based fertilizers, and sewage sludge-based fertilizers.

Organic livestock raised for meat, eggs, and dairy products must have access to the outdoors and be given organic feed. They may not be given antibiotics, growth hormones, or any animal by-products.

Livestock are given growth hormones for faster growth, as well as non-organic, GMO feed.Antibiotics and medications are used to prevent livestock disease.

Weeds are controlled with chemical herbicides. Pests are controlled with synthetic pesticides

Pests are controlled using natural methods (birds, insects, traps) and naturally-derived pesticides.

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Organic vs. Non-Organic
Organic produce: Conventionally-grown produce:
Grown with natural fertilizers (manure, compost). Grown with synthetic or chemical fertilizers.
Weeds are controlled naturally (crop rotation, hand weeding, mulching, and tilling).
Organic meat, dairy, eggs: Conventionally-raised meat, dairy, eggs
Livestock are given all organic, hormone- and GMO-free feed.
Disease is prevented with natural methods such as clean housing, rotational grazing, and healthy diet.
Livestock must have access to the outdoors. Livestock may or may not have access to the outdoors.





How food is grown or raised can have a major impact on your mental and emotional health as well as the environment. Organic foods often have more beneficially unique nutrient characteristics, such as antioxidants, compared to conventionally-grown counterparts. Many people with allergies to foods, chemicals, or preservatives often find their symptoms diminish or stop when eating organically.

Organic produce contains fewer pesticides. Chemicals such as fungicides, herbicides, and insecticides are widely used in conventional agriculture and residues remain on (and in) the food eaten.

Organic food is often fresher because it doesn’t contain preservatives that make it last longer. Organic produce is often produced on smaller farms near where it is sold. Do the due diligence in your area to learn where the food sources are.

Organic farming is better for the environment. Organic farming practices reduce pollution, conserve water, reduce soil erosion, increase soil fertility, and uses less energy. Farming without pesticides is also better for nearby birds and animals as well as people who live in farming areas.

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Organically raised animals are NOT given antibiotics, growth hormones, or fed animal byproducts. Feeding livestock animal byproducts increases the risk of mad cow disease (BSE). The use of antibiotics can create antibiotic-resistant strains of bacteria. Organically-raised animals are given more space to move around and access to the outdoors, which help keep them healthy.

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Organic meat and milk are richer in certain nutrients. Results of a 2016 European study show that levels of certain nutrients, including omega-3 fatty acids, were up to 50 percent higher in organic meat and milk than in conventionally raised products.

Organic food is GMO-free. Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs) or genetically engineered (GE) foods are plants whose DNA has been altered in ways that cannot occur in nature or in traditional crossbreeding. This done commonly in order to be resistant to pesticides or produce an insecticide.

What are GMO Foods | Get Answers

Organic food vs. locally-grown food | ORGANIC FACTS GET ANSWERS

Unlike organic standards, there is no specific definition for “local food”. It could be grown in your local community, your state, your region, or your country. During large portions of the year it is usually possible to find food grown close to home at places such as a farmer’s market. Check out LocalHarvest a listing nationwide to help you find local food resources.




The benefits of locally grown food

Financial: Money stays within the local economy. More money goes directly to the farmer, instead of to things like marketing and distribution.

Transportation: In the U.S., for example, the average distance a meal travels from the farm to the dinner plate is over 1,500 miles. Produce must be picked while still unripe and then gassed to “ripen” it after transport. Or the food is highly processed in factories using preservatives, irradiation, and other means to keep it stable for transport.

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Small local farmers often use organic methods but sometimes cannot afford to become certified organic. Visit a farmer’s market and talk with the farmers to find out what methods they use.



The ongoing debate about the effects of GMO on health and the environment is a controversial one. In most cases, GMO are engineered to make food crops resistant to herbicides and/or to produce an insecticide. For example, much of the sweet corn consumed in the U.S. is genetically engineered to be resistant to the herbicide Roundup and to produce its own insecticide, Bt Toxin.

GMOs are also commonly found in U.S. crops such as soybeans, alfalfa, squash, zucchini, papaya, and canola, and are present in many breakfast cereals and most of the processed food that we eat. If the ingredients on a package include corn syrup or soy lecithin, chances are it contains GMOs.


The use of toxic herbicides like Roundup (glyphosate) has increased 15 times since GMO were introduced. While the World Health Organization announced that glyphosate is “probably carcinogenic to humans,” there is still some controversy over the level of health risks posed by the use of pesticides.

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While the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the biotech companies that engineer GMOs insist they are safe.  Although, many food safety advocates point out that long term studies have never been conducted to confirm the safety of GMO use. Importantly, some animal studies have indicated that consuming GMOs may cause internal organ damage, slowed brain growth, and thickening of the digestive tract.

GMOs are linked to increased food allergens and gastro-intestinal problems in humans. While many people think that altering the DNA of a plant or animal can increase the risk of cancer, the research has so far proven inconclusive. Future studies may find alternative results.

What are GMO Foods | Get Answers


Does organic mean pesticide-free?

As mentioned above, one of the primary benefits of eating organic is lower levels of pesticides. However, despite popular belief, organic farms do use pesticides. The difference is that they only use naturally-derived pesticides, rather than the synthetic pesticides used on conventional commercial farms. Natural pesticides are believed to be less toxic, however, some have been found to have health risks. That said, your exposure to harmful pesticides will be lower when eating organic.

Develop a relationship with a farmer that will be more diligent and avoid pesticides that are not allowed. The emphasis of developing this relationship cannot be over emphasized.

Organic Facts Get Answers

What are the possible risks of pesticides?

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Most of us have an accumulated build-up of pesticide exposure in our bodies due to numerous years of exposure. This chemical “body burden” as it is medically known could lead to health issues such as headaches, birth defects, and added strain on weakened immune systems.

Some studies have indicated that the use of pesticides even at low doses can increase the risk of certain cancers, such as leukemia, lymphoma, brain tumors, breast cancer and prostate cancer.

Children and fetuses are most vulnerable to pesticide exposure because their immune systems, bodies, and brains are still developing. Exposure at an early age may cause developmental delays, behavioral disorders, autism, immune system harm, and motor dysfunction.

Pregnant women are more vulnerable due to the added stress pesticides put on their already taxed organs. Plus, pesticides can be passed from mother to child in the womb, as well as through breast milk.

The widespread use of pesticides has also led to the emergence of “super weeds” and “super bugs,” which can only be killed with extremely toxic poisons like 2,4-Dichlorophenoxyacetic acid (a major ingredient in Agent Orange).


Does washing and peeling produce get rid of pesticides?

Rinsing reduces but does not eliminate pesticides. Peeling sometimes helps, but valuable nutrients often go down the drain with the skin. The best approach: eat a varied diet, wash and scrub all produce thoroughly, and buy organic when possible.

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The best bang for your buck when shopping organic

Organic food is often more expensive than conventionally-grown food. But if you set some priorities, it may be possible to purchase organic food and stay within your food budget.

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Produce Pesticide Levels | Organic Facts Get Answers

Types of conventionally-grown produce are much higher in pesticides than others which need to be avoided. Others are low enough that buying non-organic is relatively safe. The Environmental Working Group, a nonprofit organization that analyzes the results of government pesticide testing in the U.S., offers a annually-updated list that can help guide your choices.

Fruits and vegetables where the organic label matters most

According to the Environmental Working Group, a nonprofit organization that analyzes the results of government pesticide testing in the U.S., the following fruits and vegetables have the highest pesticide levels so are best to buy organic:

  • Apples
  • Sweet Bell Peppers
  • Cucumbers
  • Celery
  • Potatoes
  • Grapes
  • Cherry Tomatoes
  • Kale/Collard Greens
  • Summer Squash
  • Nectarines (imported)
  • Peaches
  • Spinach
  • Strawberries
  • Hot Peppers

Fruits and vegetables you don’t need to buy organic

Known as the “Clean 15”, these conventionally-grown fruits and vegetables are generally low in pesticides.

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  • Asparagus
  • Avocado
  • Mushrooms
  • Cabbage
  • Sweet Corn
  • Eggplant
  • Kiwi
  • Mango
  • Onion
  • Papaya
  • Pineapple
  • Sweet Peas (frozen)
  • Sweet Potatoes
  • Grapefruit
  • Cantaloupe

Organic Facts Get Answers

Buy organic meat, eggs, and dairy if you can afford it

Prominent organizations such as the American Heart Association maintain that eating saturated fat from any source increases the risk of heart disease. In contrast other nutrition experts conclude that eating organic grass-fed meat and organic dairy products doesn’t carry the same risks. It’s not the saturated fat that’s the problem, they say. They believe the unnatural diet of an industrially-raised animal which includes corn, hormones, and medication is the cause.

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Organic Facts Get Answers

What’s in American meat?

According to Animal Feed, conventionally raised animals in U.S. can be given:

  • Dairy cows – antibiotics, pig and chicken byproducts, growth hormones, pesticides, sewage sludge
  • Beef cows – antibiotics, pig and chicken byproducts, steroids, hormones, pesticides, sewage sludge
  • Pigs – antibiotics, animal byproducts, pesticides, sewage sludge, arsenic-based drugs
  • Broiler chickens – antibiotics, animal byproducts, pesticides, sewage sludge, arsenic-based drugs
  • Egg laying hens – antibiotics, animal byproducts, pesticides, sewage sludge, arsenic-based drugs

Chicken Farm Abuse

Other ways to keep the cost of organic food within your budget

Farmers Market

Shop at farmers’ markets. Both cities and small towns will host a weekly farmers’ market where local farmers sell their produce in open-air street market which is available at a discount to grocery stores prices.

Join a food co-op. A natural foods co-op, or cooperative grocery store typically offers lower prices to members, who pay an annual fee to belong

Join a Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) farm, in which individuals and families join up to purchase “shares” of produce in bulk, directly from a local farm. Local and organic!

Organic Facts Get Answers

Organic food buying tips

Buy in season – Fruits and vegetables are the cheapest and freshest when they are in season so make sure to attend your market for the freshest food possible.

Shop around – Compare the price of organic items at the grocery store, the farmers’ market and other venues (even the freezer aisle).

Remember that organic doesn’t always equal healthy –Making junk food sound healthy is a common marketing ploy in the food industry. Importantly organic baked goods, desserts, and snacks are very high in sugar, salt, fat, or calories. It pays to read food labels carefully.

How to Afford Organic Food |

natural organic products

Why is organic food often more expensive?

Organic food is more labor intensive because the farmers do not use pesticides, chemical fertilizers, or drugs. The certification is expensive and organic feed for animals can cost twice as much. These wonderful farms tend to be smaller than conventional farms, which results in fixed costs and overhead  distributed across smaller produce volumes without government subsidies.

Is It Expensive to Eat Healthy? |

Thank You for your comment BELOW


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  1. CrystalCrystal

    This is the most comprehensive source of information on organic foods that I have seen so far. Thanks for all the info.
    I had no idea that organically grown plants used pesticides. It is great to know that they only use natural and not synthetic pesticides though. As you said, those are less toxic so I guess I do not need to worry there.
    Question, is there any way to know if something is organically grown by just looking at it? Also, do you have any tips for growing organic food?

    • Robert ClackRobert Clack

      Many thanks Chrystal… for your comment. Appreciate your interest in Organic Food… the more the better. Organics….Like with everything it is not perfect, but we can strive to do better daily. I think the best tip is get some organic seeds and start the process. This causes us to have to reach out to finish. Getting help just like you asked grows us as we strive to grow better.

  2. KellyKelly

    This is a very interesting article. I haven’t been eating organic. Mainly because of cost, but after reading this I may reconsider. All of my favorite fruits and vegetables are on the list with the worse pesticide contamination. That is a wake up call. I will have to do some research locally and see where there are farmers markets etc. How long have you been eating organic? Did you notice a better flavor in the organic food?

    • Robert ClackRobert Clack

      Hi Kelly! Thanks for the comment!

      I hope that you will consider at least eating organically the foods that are high pesticide contamination. Here is a link that offer information for your research

      Although I have learning every day  for several years how to afford organic foods I concentrate on a Whole Foods Plant Based Diet. I believe the important thing is the foods not the Organic Designation which sometimes causes people to eat Organic Processed foods which are still unhealthy. Regarding the difference in taste I have found the high antioxidants foods do have an edge although some others unofficially seem comparable. Without an official test the cosmetics applied to conventional foods I think influences the taste by most. Just one mans opinion.

      Thank you again for your contribution. Have a Happy, Healthy DAY!


  3. Gomer MagtibayGomer Magtibay

    Thank you so much as this reminds me of my knowledge of this matter. I studied Bachelor of Science in Pharmacy in college, and part of our curriculum then was to study Organic Chemistry and Biochemistry. It is in those subjects that we learned about alteration of DNA for a specific goal. Although commercially good, as a person who’s aware of the possible effects of these process in our own DNA, I am very wary of taking food that are generically modified. You’re right, going “organic” is the best way to go.

    I’d like to ask… What can you say about the process being used by farmers here in our place which they tag as “organic farming” because they’re using fertilizers from chicken manure when in fact, the chickens are being fed with processed feeds?

    • Robert ClackRobert Clack

      HI Gomer. Many thanks for your contribution. Your educational background from my perspective is both a benefit and liability. However, you have drawn the larger approach when it comes to food. Although I have a contrary view overall regarding DNA alteration we will leave that for another day. Your words are a great asset for others and am grateful again for you sharing.

      Thank you for the question regarding Organic Chickens and processed feeds. The USDA states…Organic feed cannot contain animal by-products, antibiotics or genetically engineered grains and cannot be grown using persistent pesticides or chemical fertilizers.

      These are the US certification requirements. Please feel free to reply.

  4. KatieKatie

    Thanks for the really informative article. I only buy organic foods and I feel really good about not putting toxic pesticides and antibiotics into my body. Organic food is more expensive but if you focus on buying only whole foods and not packaged/processed foods it will be much more affordable. Buy in bulk and make large batches of soups you can freeze.

    Thanks for having a great site to help educate people, food is medicine!

    • Robert ClackRobert Clack

      Hey Katie… Thanks for the comment and the positive message you shared. I have nothing to add except so honored to have you on the site.

      Have a Happy, Healthy Day!


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