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Although not included in the Woese study, conventional and organic foods clearly differ with respect to genetic engineering.The only way to be assured that food does not contain transgenic material is to buy certified organic.These have been demonstrated because it is easy to point at good or poor farming practices and report their effects on the farm and the surroundings.
No conclusions about mineral contents could be drawn about differences between organic and conventional production of other vegetables either.
There was a higher level of vitamin C reported in organic vegetables by about half of the 27 studies.
Many conventional farmers are implementing very good agricultural practices that are at the heart of organic farming, and some organic farmers may be doing no more than substituting natural products for synthetic ones while still implementing poor farming practices.
So, market-oriented studies of organic versus conventional have a real problem in that the origin of the samples cannot be identified.
The producers are not known and hence researchers have no information about the practices by which the food was produced.
The quality of the product clearly depends on the condition of the soil, the cultural care during growing, the kinds of spraying and the post harvest handling.Another topic that is receiving attention since the Woese article is pathogenic E. Recent research at Cornell University has shown that cows fed mainly hay generate less than 1% of the pathogenic 0157: H7 infection.Furthermore, only certified organic farms are required to follow guidelines on waiting periods between manure applications and crop harvests to enhance food safety. D., MOFGA Director of Technical Services When I started to write this article, I couldn’t help thinking about the quote from an election campaign a few years back that went, “It’s the economy …”.Well, here I have come up with, “It’s the environment …”.Conventional growers vary considerably in all of these practices.And, although we don’t like to think so, there is plenty of variation among organic growers too, especially when much of the organic food sold in stores is not certified organic.Comparison of side by side farms may be better because the practices are known, but the problem here is that the results apply only to the specific location and particular farming situations.In order to make general statements and to examine various orientations of organic and conventional farming, a very large, and probably unmanageable, number of tests would be required.Residue levels in the range between the detection limit and the maximum limit were reported for many of the conventionally produced vegetables, but rarely did any exceed the maximum statutory amounts. report that nitrate concentrations were clearly lower in vegetables from organic cultivation.Only traces were found in organic vegetables, probably from environmental contamination. Despite the limited nutritional differences supported by the scientific literature, organic food is clearly different from conventional in some notable characteristics. Higher nitrate levels in conventionally cultivated crops or in those treated with mineral fertilizers were found mainly in leaf, root and tuber vegetables.