Organic farming is a sophisticated system that has been around for over one hundred years. A new report sheds light on how organic food is superior. In terms of health for our families – and minimal impact on the environment – organic is definitely the right way to go. Jim

“Previous reports have looked selectively at the potential benefits of organic food and agriculture—its environmental sustainability or whether it contains certain pesticide residues, for example. This report, however, takes an unusually comprehensive look at the full range of possible benefits, from nutrition to absence of toxics. It’s also based on hundreds of studies that include food analyses and epidemiological and laboratory studies.

“Their findings are clearest when it comes to minimizing exposure to pesticides and to antibiotics used in livestock production. But the report also found that organically grown produce tends to contain less of the toxic metal cadmium—which the authors note is ‘highly relevant to human health.’

“Most striking in its findings is the evidence suggesting organic food can help protect children from the brain-altering effects of some pesticides. And while there is evidence of greater nutrient content in some organic food—particularly milk and meat—as health benefits, these differences appear to be less significant than organic food’s lack of hazardous chemicals…

“‘The immediate benefit’ of organic food and agriculture “is to avoid pesticide exposure that can damage early-life brain development,” said report co-author Philippe Grandjean, a professor at the University of Southern Denmark and Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health…

“‘Even though the scope of this observation is limited, it is apparent that both pesticide exposure and the calculated health risks are far lower for organic products than for conventional products,’ says the report. ‘As a consequence of reduced pesticide exposure, organic food consequently contributes to the avoidance of health effects and associated costs to society,’ write the authors, noting that research suggests these costs are currently ‘greatly underestimated.'”