I'll take organic, please

Staff writer
November 9, 2012 01:00 AM


In Paul Martiquet's column "Is organic better for you?" (Coast Reporter, Oct. 26), he makes the claim that: "When it comes to individual health, there isn't much difference" between conventional and organic food.

Whoa! If the doctor is going to make such claims, his conclusions need some due diligence.

Most of the article is a parroting of a Stanford University study on organic foods and its findings. But there are three major benefits to organic that the column ignores. The study found a 30 per cent higher risk of pesticide contamination in conventional food than organic. That in itself is significant. The negative effects of pesticides on the body accumulate over time. A little pesticide contamination today is no problem, but a little residue every day over a period of time adds up to a slow poisoning.

Even the American Academy of Pediatrics weighs in on the side of organic. Their advice -minimize using foods in which chemical pesticides or herbicides were used by farmers.

Choosing organic meats reduces the risk of ingesting antibiotic-resistant bacteria by one third. Is that not a huge benefit? As the XL meat fiasco proves, centralizing and standardizing agricultural production and processing comes with substantial risks to our health. Give me a meat source where I know the animals were raised and treated with respect.

The study and column fail to address the use of genetically modified organisms (GMO) in our food production. Fifty countries in the world - including Russia, Europe and India -require labelling of GMO foods. Not so in Canada or the U.S. where consumers are kept in the dark.

I'd rather know what's in my food, and that it's real. Give me organic.

Combining common sense, intelligence and a little evidence is all you need to settle the organic debate.

Luke Vorstermans, Gibsons

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