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Most definitely something to take seriously. Organic food is better for you as well as better for the environment. A win, win situation. Organic food contains more natural vitamins and minerals...meant to be in food. The lack of chemical and other manufactured ingredients make the food better for your body and help prevent cancer or the return of cancer.
Unfortunately, while the environmental aspects of growing food organically are positive with the avoidance of chemical fertilizers and pesticides, the food itself has never been scientifically shown to be significantly superior.
This is not a matter of the method of cultivation but more a function of the breeding to which our food has been subjected over the last 100 years or so.
Most of our fruits and vegetables are artificially pumped up with water diluting the nutrients significantly. This might be a matter of just eating more but that doesn't work. This is because we are breeding out fibre and micro-sugars and who knows what else as we chase the Holy Grail of infinite shelf life 'fresh' produce that's sweet to eat.It's a good thing that we can't easily get more fat into fruits and veges or we'd do that too. Luckily we can always deep-fry our apple slices and banana fritters. And fries are a vegetable aren't they?
So, you might ask, isn't fruit sugar good for you? well. no it isn't when the breeds we grow, the added water and rich soil we use all go to increase the levels of sucrose and not the far more important micro-sugars.
Have a look at this link (http://www.cherikoff.net/cherikoff/index.php?id=236) to read more about all this and for a solution, we need to go back to heirloom varieties and wild foods.
"Organic" can mean so many different things and while there are some standards, I'm not sure that you'll get higher quality fruits and vegetables that have the organic label. BUT, they are pesticide free. I know a few farmers that grow their produce naturally and have chosen not to jump through the hoops of having their products "stamped" organic.
I prefer my beef grass fed and organic- not grain fed. Grain fed beef lacks the vitamins certain vitamins that are essential in your diet. I don't need my chicken stamped organic- but I do want it locally grown. FIsh- I always look for wild caught-not farmed.
That being said- I prefer my meat & produce grown as organically as possible with no added chemicals, but I will most often choose locally grown over the organic label.
There is something about comforting about knowing the people who are growing your food and their own. If they're eating it and look healthy- chances are you'll get the same benefits.
I don't think that organic is a fad- but I think that more people will be turning to "locally grown food" because it will have a longer shelf life, will be fresher, and will be environmentally friendlier.