It couldn't have been scripted better. Without any comments from me, my soft-spoken 21-year-old niece picked up one of Colorado farmer Steve Ela's peaches, took a bite, and exclaimed, “This is the best peach I've ever had in my life!” And then, of course, I couldn't resist launching into a speech about why it was so good, starting with, “It's organic.”
Those of us who eat organic know how wonderful it tastes. But a growing body of research is proving what many of us already believe — that organic foods are, in fact, more nutritious than conventional foods. In a report released last March by the Organic Center, a Colorado-based nonprofit that supports organic research, with coauthors from Washington State and Florida Universities, researchers analyzed 97 studies that compared the nutrient levels in organic to those in conventional foods. The most comprehensive look at organics since 2003, the study concluded that organic foods are up to 25 percent more nutrient dense than their conventional counterparts and that they are particularly rich in polyphenols and antioxidants.
This month's feature story “Why Go Organic?” takes you on an aisle-by-aisle walk through the grocery store to help you understand what organic really means.
Organic starts with farmers who take a financial risk to spend three years converting conventional farmlands into soils that qualify as USDA Organic. When you buy national, regional, or local organic food, you are voting with your dollars to help support these dedicated growers. As Farm Aid cofounder John Mellencamp says in this month's Think About It, “By protecting the small family farmer, we protect our own families.” And if you happen to be in Mansfield, Massachusetts, on September 20, support farmers by stopping at the Farm Aid concert. Visit us there at the Delicious Living booth, and share your thoughts on organic farming.