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The Carletonian

SWArticle: Benefits of buying organic food

<ganic foods provide numerous health benefits over conventionally farmed foods.

Organic foods are produced without the use of pesticides and other synthetic chemicals. Genetically engineered crops are also prohibited in organic production systems.

It is estimated that 60% of all herbicides, 90% of all fungicides and 30% of all pesticides are carcinogenic. Synthetic chemicals can also cause organ damage, birth defects, miscarriages, sterility and endocrine system problems.

Science is now suggesting that GMOs are posing significant health risks to the people and animals that consume them (especially people with allergies) as well as disturbing bio-diversity and natural ecosystems.

Organic foods have higher levels of vitamins, minerals and beneficial nutrients than conventionally grown foods.

Additionally, conventional farming has a negative impact on the environment.  Infiltration of pesticides, herbicides, fertilizers and other soluble chemicals into surface and groundwater is a major source of concern.

On top of the environmental effects, soil erosion costs the U.S. about $44 billion a year.

Organic agriculture enhances soil structures, conserves water, mitigates climate change, ensures sustained biodiversity and is prohibited from being point sources of nitrate. Inputs like fertilizer are naturally occurring and require less processing than substances manufactured by huge chemical companies.

Organic food generally travels fewer miles from farm to market, saving energy in transport.

Two options for finding organic food are through the Just Food Co-op (located at 516 Water Street South) or the Northfield Farmers Market, which runs May through October on Tuesdays and Fridays from 11:45 am to 1:00 pm and on Saturdays from 9:00 to 11:00 am. The market is located at West 7th St. in Riverside Park.

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