Help organics grow glow-in-the-dark fruit and veggies

StoryImage( ‘/Images/Story//Auto-img-117872944813221.jpg’, ‘Photo courtesy of‘, ‘So should the irradiation of fresh produce be unleashed on the public? The clear answer is “No!”‘);

Should irradiated produce be allowed into the food supply?

In the wake of last year’s serious E. coli O157 outbreak from fresh-cut spinach, several newspaper editorials have called for the speedy approval of radiation to treat fresh-cut produce, arguing that more than enough is known to prove the practice as safe and effective. Some have gone so far as to blame the deaths associated with the 2006 outbreak on consumer groups who have opposed or raised questions about irradiating fresh produce.

So should the irradiation of fresh produce be unleashed on the public?

The clear answer is “No!” Doses of radiation high enough to reliably kill all pathogens clearly damage the quality and impair the taste of fresh produce. Plus, research has shown that irradiating produce sometimes triggers the formation of possibly toxic products in irradiated produce, a new risk that needs more careful study.

Americans are nutrient-starved

Most people are surprised to learn that, despite the abundance of nutrient-rich foods accessible to Americans, we consume inadequate levels of essential nutrients on a daily basis.

The Organic Center analyzed detailed tables from the USDA on nutrient intakes across the U.S. population and found nutrient deficiencies grow more severe with age, and that deficiencies among women are greater than men. The opportunity to increase the nutrient density of fruits and vegetables through organic farming is one of the most important benefits following consumption of organic food.

Pesticides present even before birth

One study shows how an organic diet can cleanse the body in just three days to prevent pesticides from affecting births.

Multiple pesticides and their breakdown products, often called metabolites, are present in every American child, from before birth throughout adulthood. But an organic diet can cleanse a child’s body of certain insecticide residues in just three days, a University of Washington study found.

The published research was carried out by two teams of scientists at the University of Washington (UW). Both focused on school-age children and found dietary exposures to organophosphate (OP) insecticides were essentially eliminated when children consumed a diet composed mostly of organic foods. A dramatic reduction in exposure occurred after just a few days eating organic foods. Exposure levels went back up to pre-study levels after just a few days back on conventional foods.

Organic Center names interim exceutive director

After accomplishing his goal to build a fiscally-sound and thriving organization, Organic Center CEO Mark Davis will step down to return to the private sector as an organizational consultant, effective May 15.

“During Mark’s tenure, The Organic Center has led the charge in providing scientific research showing the clear benefits of organic agriculture to our health and that of the environment,” says Anthony Zolezzi, chairman of the board of The Organic Center. “We are very grateful to Mark for his many contributions and wish him continued success.”

Steven Hoffman will serve as interim executive director for The Organic Center until a search for a new executive director is complete.

Hoffman was part of the original task force team responsible for launching The Organic Center in 2002. He has been at the fore of the LOHAS movement (Lifestyles of Health and Sustainability) since its inception, and has spearheaded many of its initiatives, including co-founding two leading industry business publications and conferences, the LOHAS Journal and Natural Business.

Got a question? Ask Dr. Chuck at All Things Organic

Organic Center Chief Scientist Dr. Charles Benbrook was available, along with the rest of the staff, to answer questions at the nation’s largest organic trade show, All Things Organic, in Chicago May 6-8. Those who stopped by booth No. 719 learned the latest about issues that include: higher levels of antioxidants in organic; better taste and storage in organic; pesticides; preventing E. coli outbreaks; cloning and more.

New Core Truths book selling fast

Core Truths, a graphically stunning 108-page coffee table book, offers the science behind the health and environmental benefits of organic products. Be sure to order yours now while they last.

The book includes fascinating research about why:

Organic tastes better ;

Organic produce contains 30 percent higher levels of antioxidants;

Organic farming can cut mycotoxin risk by more than 50 percent;

Organic food reduces pesticide exposure; and

Organic farms typically use less energy.

The book also includes sections about “Better tools for building soil quality,” “Preventing future outbreaks of E. coli 0157” and “Mission Organic 2010—what you can do to help grow the organic market.”

Perfect in your reception area, or as a vital resource near your desk, Core Truths explores the organic benefit as never before. Order yours now! Only $30 (plus $5 shipping and handling in the United States).

Make your voice heard

Even though the market for organic products has experienced tremendous growth in the last decade, only 3 percent of the food now purchased in the U.S. is organic.

But you can change that. Join Mission Organic and pledge to buy at least one organic item for every 10 purchased. With support from you and others, the amount of organic food consumed will skyrocket to 10 percent by 2010. Make your voice heard and join a growing community who is sending a message of support to organic farmers, manufacturers, distributors and retailers. When you demand the supply, the organic marketplace will supply the demand.

Go to:

The Organic Center

Backed by the world’s leading scientists, physicians and scholars, The Organic Center is passionately committed to two goals.

1) RESEARCH: providing free, peer-reviewed, credible science that proves the health and environmental benefits of organic agriculture.

2) EDUCATION: reaching and activating millions through Mission Organic 2010—a national campaign to increase the amount of organic food purchased from 3 to 10 percent by 2010.

To access free downloads of the latest in organic science or to join Mission Organic 2010, go to

from the May 2-8, 2007, issue

Enjoy The Rock River Times? Help spread the word!