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August 2, 2009 – Since I didn’t begin buying organic fruits and vegetables because I thought they were more nutritious, I can’t be disappointed by reports that they aren’t. I’m guessing that buyers who are unaware of the carcinogenic effect of herbicides and insecticides on their food must have assumed that superior nutri-

tion was the reason to buy organic. The same would be said, therefore, about buyers who are unaware of the deleterious effect of soil compaction, caused by enormous, very heavy farming machinery being driven over the soil. (Plants grow best when the soil is loose, allowing for air, earthworms, and various microscopic residents of the soil to co-exist with plants.) And the effect of “mining” the soil, i.e., farming it without rest by merely supplying the needed fertility through chemical fertilizers, rather than replacing the lost fertility with the use of organic fertilizers, which not only fertilize the plants, but leave an organic residue that improves both tilth and fertility long term. Modern irrigation systems lead to increased soil salinity now, just as surely as ancient systems did, leaving behind a white crust (something you have undoubtedly seen form on the soil in which your houseplants grow). Carcinogenic pesticides which are washed into the freshwater close to a farm, by either rain or irrigation, poison that water. That’s part of the reason we have lived, and died, with a cancer epidemic for the last 40 years.

If all this isn’t reason enough to buy organic, then you’ll just love what global warming has in store for us, left unmitigated. All you have to do is what you’ve been doing. Nothing.

Not all foods need to be treated with pesticides. I gather that onions and garlic take care of themselves very nicely, thank you. Fruits and vegetables with thick skins are well protected. These would include oranges, avocadoes, and bananas. On the other hand, some of your favorite foods – apples, strawberries, peaches, and plums –

are sprayed with poisons which they retain all the way to your kitchen. Be sure, if you still do not wish to buy organic, to hold them under running water before serving, especially to children. Carrots absorb poisons so readily, they are actually used to clear fields of the remains of chemicals that have been used on them for years. You should never buy non-organic carrots! If you care to follow up with more research of your own, I suspect an online search like “foods best organic” would find not one but many lists of the best organic foods to buy. Once you’ve educated yourself, the final decision is up to you.

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