Hungry for facts

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I am appalled at the fight against organic foods! For over 15 years we have known that organic foods are healthier and more nutritious than genetically modified foods and food grown with pesticides. And yet the American Dietetic Association and a few state governments are denying the facts. According to the Journal of Applied Nutrition in 1993, "Organically grown apples, wheat, sweet corn, potatoes and pears were examined over a two year period and were 63% higher in calcium, 73% higher in iron, 118% higher in magnesium, 178% higher in molybdenum, 91% higher in phosphorus, 125% higher in potassium and 60% higher in zinc than conventionally grown produce." In addition, organic meats were not only found to be leaner, but also have about five times the omega-3s.

The American Dietetic Association's website claims, "Nutritionally there is no evidence that organic produce is better or safer than conventionally grown produce." This is unacceptable coming from the largest organization of food and nutritional professionals who claim they are "improving the nation's health and advancing the profession of dietetics through research, education and advocacy."

At the same time, some state governments are banning the use of WIC food stamps to be used on organics, saying that they are too expensive and not proven to be more nutritious, even though scientists and doctors are continually warning women and children about the health hazards of pesticides, genetically modified foods and antibiotics in our diet. In a letter from the American Academy of Environmental Medicine they write, "GM foods pose a serious health risk in the areas of toxicology, allergy and immune function, reproductive health, and metabolic, physiologic and genetic health," but they are still used and sold without labeling.

The only way to protect oneself from the harmful effects of modern food production is to buy organic. According to the Pesticide Action Network North America, when on a conventional diet, we are exposed to over 70 pesticide-related pollutants on a daily basis. It's no wonder cancer rates are so high!

Ashley Holtorf, Missoula

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