Organics ARE Healthier, But What Will Really Convince People to Change?

Gulf of Mexico dead zone caused by fertilizer runoff from conventional farming. Image from NASA.

Yet another report comes out announcing that organic food is higher in nutrition (in this case, heart-healthy flavonoids in tomatoes) than conventionally-raised crops. While that’s not really surprising to me, I choose organics and vegetarianism not for the personal health benefits, which are a definite bonus, but because I know that organics are grown without soil- and water-destroying chemicals including pesticides and herbicides.

For just one example of the effects of conventional farming, fertilizer runoff from Midwestern farms pollutes the Mississippi River and has contributed to a 20,000 square mile dead zone in the Gulf of Mexico. Organic produce doesn’t use artificial fertilizers, poison the laborers who pick it, and non-chemical farming is healthier for wildlife that lives on or around crops.

But it seems to me that to get people to really care about any environmental topic, from organics to global warming, you have to make it about them, directly effecting their personal health or the health of their families, or about their safety, or as a means to save money. Why don’t people see the big picture about these issues and do the right thing because we’ve only got one Earth?


Thanks to Michael Schwarz for the link!

Starre Vartan is founder and editor-in-chief of Eco-Chick.com and the author of the Eco-Chick Guide to Life. She's also a freelance science and environment writer who has published in National Geographic, CNN, Scientific American, Mental Floss, Pacific Standard, the NRDC, and many more. She lives on an island in Puget Sound with her partner and black cat. She was a geologist in her first career, and still picks up rocks wherever she goes.