Buy Organic

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In recent years, many farmers have begun to abandon conventional agriculture practices in favor of organic growing methods. Oftentimes, conventional farming practices lead to pesticide or fertilizer runoff into rivers and lakes, contaminating waterways and harming wildlife habitats.  Many of these pesticides are also toxic to human health and have been linked to respiratory problems, neurological disorders, reproductive problems, and cancer. The EPA estimates that 60% of herbicides, 90% of fungicides, and 30% of insecticides are carcinogenic. Additionally, the manufacture of fertilizer products is a major contributor to greenhouse gas emissions from agriculture.  

Organic agriculture provides an alternative to conventional practices and offers a number of environmental and health benefits. The food is grown or raised without the use of genetically engineered materials or synthetic chemicals such as fertilizers, pesticides, and hormones.  

To switch to an organic diet, keep the following tips in mind:

  • Keep an eye out for products bearing the USDA organic seal, like the one at right. Organic food that is imported may have an Agriculture Biologique seal.

     USDA Organic Food SealAgriculture Biologique Food Seal

  • Ask questions. Farmers at local farmers markets will provide firsthand information about how their produce or animals are raised, and the staff at your grocery store should also know about the origins of the food.
  • Stick to the cleanest conventionally raised produce. Some produce tests high for pesticide residues. This Shopper’s Guide will steer you in the right direction to minimize your exposure.