The Difference Between Organic and Non GMO
According to the World Health Organization (WHO), GMOs, i.e., genetically modified organisms can be defined as organisms (i.e. plants, animals or microorganisms) in which the genetic material (DNA) has been altered in a way that does not occur naturally by mating and/or natural recombination.
To be certified Non-GMO a product must be produced without any genetically engineered (also known as bioengineered) ingredients. Synthetic fertilizers, pesticides and herbicides can still be used on produce.
For a product to be certified organic it must be non GMO and be produced naturally. For produce, only natural fertilizers, weed killers and pest management techniques are used. This includes natural fertilizers, pesticides, herbicides and manual techniques such as mulching, tilling, crop rotation, birds, insects and traps. Livestock must have access to the outdoors, natural and organic food, and healthy life styles in order to be considered organic.
The use of synthetic fertilizers, pesticides and herbicides is causing huge problems for our environment. Soil is depleting quicker than it can be regenerated and many farmers are not doing anything to help solve the problem. The mix of synthetic chemicals is causing important organisms to die of which in turn kills the soil turning it into dirt. Soil is thriving with life which is what makes it so easy for plants to grow in it. Dirt lacks many organisms and nutrients making it harder for plants to grow in. Fertilizers are used to synthetically make up for the nutrients poor or dying soil lacks but this only hurts the soil more causing it to turn to dirt and drift away. Wind and water erosion are the main contributors to soil disappearing. When soil isn’t healthy it cannot absorb as much water, it is also loose making it easy for water to carry it away.
Benefits of Buying Organic
“You are what you eat”
Filling your body with pesticides and genetically modified organisms might cause some serious damage. Although long term effects of consuming GMOs are hard to determine, many studies are being done. Much research has been done on pesticides and the problems they may cause.
To break it down pesticides kill “pests” or any insect and small animals that may be trying to eat the crops being grown. The consequence of being exposed as a consumer is much different than a producer. Farmers often have to wear protection gear to handle the chemicals used on the foods we eat. Symptoms of exposure to a small amount of harmful chemicals include skin irritation, asthma, headache, nausea, confusion. In more serious cases irreversible damage can be inflicted leading to dementia, lung disease, a variety of cancers and more.
You’re probably wondering why this is even considered legal? Well, even though it may be dangerous it’s profitable. In the eyes of the government the economy must come first. There are many organizations fighting for many pesticides to be banned. There is proof of the damage they are causing to many people and the environment. Every 15 years chemicals used are reassessed, the next one is October 1st of 2022. Hopefully we will see some major changes.
Here is a list of some commonly used pesticides and their side effects.
Not Everything Needs to be Bought Organic
Some foods are more prone to absorbing harmful chemicals than others. Buying organic can be expensive due to lack of demand. Organic foods are also more costly to produce due to the way they are farmed, a lot of work is done by hand and with natural resources.
This is a list of the "dirty dozen" and the "clean fifteen".