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”