Moleecules and the Mind

MOLECULES AND THE MIND Question 5 What are the primary health benefits of eating organic foods’ Organic food is not contaminated by harmful herbicides and pesticides. They are also free from artificial hormones and harmful radiations. Hence eating organic foods prevents the entry of harmful chemicals into the body.
It is claimed that organic food is more nutritious. Some studies have shown that when potatoes, oranges and leafy vegetables are grown using organic farming methods, they have more vitamin C than conventionally produced vegetables. It has been found that organic vegetables contain significantly higher concentrations of phenolic compounds. This can provide anti-oxidant protection against heart disease and cancer. But since studies have not shown clear consistent results, it is still debatable whether organically grown food has a higher nutrient value.
Organic food tastes better. Organic farming emphasizes soil nutrition. This can positively improve the taste of food. The better taste can also be due to the fact that organic food is often sold closer to the place of production and hence is fresher.
Question 6
What other reasons are there for supporting organic farming practices’
Organic farming emphasizes the use of renewable resources. It follows methods that conserve water and the nutrient value of the soil to ensure enhanced environmental quality to future generations. Organic agriculture is concerned with the health of the soil and the whole ecosystem in which crops are grown and livestock is raised. It recognizes the importance of sustaining healthy, vibrant and live soil for the conservation of the quality of the environment, which in turn benefits crops.
Question 7
Is rinsing fruits and vegetables likely to remove the pesticides from their surface’ Explain.
Washing fresh produce may help reduce chemical residues but it will not eliminate them. Simple washing vegetables and fruits under water is not likely to remove all traces of pesticides and chemicals. This is because most pesticides have chemicals that make them stick to the surface of the vegetable or fruit. These are not soluble in water. It has been suggested that washing with soap or detergent followed by thorough rinsing can remove most of the pesticide residues.
Question 8
Which fruit or vegetable in the EWG report had the highest average amount concentration) of pesticides’ Which had the lowest’ Give the reported average levels for each.
Peaches had the highest average amount (concentration) of pesticides among all the vegetables and fruits studied in the EWG Report. The concentration was found to be 1.137 ppm (parts per million). The vegetable with the least concentration of pesticide was sweet corn which showed NIL concentration of pesticide.
List of sources
Environmental Working Group, 2006. United States Department of Agriculture, April 2002.

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