All foods were originally "organic," grown without pesticides, herbicides, chemical fertilizers, hormones, or irradiation, and whole or minimally processed. However, since the advent of chemical farming and food processing, much of the world's food has been depleted of many important minerals and nutrients, and is now tainted by pollutants.
There is growing consensus in the scientific community that small doses of pesticides and other chemicals can have adverse effect on health, especially during fetal development and childhood. Pesticides accumulate in tissue and can result in a weakened immune system. Organic certification is the public's assurance that products have been grown and handled according to strict procedures without persistent toxic chemical inputs. For details on just what the USDA Organic label means, click here.
Organic foods may seem expensive at first; however, our tax dollars pay for the hazardous waste clean-up and environmental damage caused by conventional farming.
The Environmental Working Group (EWG), a nonprofit organization that advocates for policies that protect global and individual health, annually publishes their Shopper's Guide to Pesticides in Produce. The 2014 lists, below, are based on test results collected by federal agencies over the past nine years.