Organic Food Safety

Is the risk of foodborne illness from contaminated organic food higher than the risk of adverse health effects from chemicals in conventionally grown food?

Many of us think that going organic is better. A good friend of mine is a complete believer. She buys all organic fruits and vegetables and frequently juices organic produce for her family. Recently, her little daughter had to be rushed to the hospital. Diagnosis: Salmonella in her bloodstream, also known as typhoid fever. While my friend will never know for certain what caused her daughter’s severe illness, it is possible that her little girl ingested contaminated food.

Organic produce contains a significantly higher risk of fecal contamination

Because organic farms use natural fertilizers (manure, compost) instead of synthetic or chemical fertilizers, their crops are at greater risk of contamination from certain bacteria, such as Ecoli.

In 2011, a novel strain of Escherichia coli O104:H4 bacteria caused a serious outbreak of foodborne illness in northern Germany.  Continue reading “Organic Food Safety”

12 Fruits and Vegetables You’d Better Buy Organic

Strawberries remain at the top of the Dirty Dozen list of the Environmental Working Group (EWG) Shopper’s Guide to Pesticides in Produce, with spinach jumping to second place in the annual ranking of conventionally grown produce with the most pesticide residues.

EWG’s analysis of tests by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) found that nearly 70 percent of samples of 48 types of conventional produce were contaminated with residues of one or more pesticides. USDA researchers found a total of 178 different pesticides and pesticide breakdown products on the thousands of produce samples they analyzed. The pesticide residues Continue reading “12 Fruits and Vegetables You’d Better Buy Organic”