Colle Farmers Market Gives Advice to Students Who Want to Shop Organic

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Colle Farmers Market, organic farmers market aggregator and advocate for the organic farming community, responds to an article giving information on organic food labeling and shopping for college students

On February 22, after the publication of an article providing information on organic food for students, Colle Farmers Market issues a response, encouraging students to stay informed about the issues involved with organic versus conventional food production.

A recent article from the student-run paper at Grand View University runs through the whys and wherefores of buying and eating organic. “Go Green! Shop Local! Eat organic! The healthful messages that seem to be everywhere have been piling up and one must ask just what does it all mean? Does eating organic really make one a healthier person or is it just another craze?”

The article breaks down the basic differences between organic and traditional farming methods, saying “organic [food] refers to the process used when farming. Instead of using chemicals and fertilizers to prevent weeds and pest problems, farmers exercise more refined crop rotations and spread mulch, manure or compost.” The article claims that not only does organic farming reduce pollution, but it encourages water and soil conservation. Organic production methods may also be healthier for farm workers, since they do not have to handle harmful chemicals.

Several studies on organic food say that although the nutritional difference is negligible, the health advantage of organic products lies in the fact that they are less likely to contain pesticides and bacteria. While the article encourages students to try organic food, it does note that it can be more costly. This is mostly due to the fact that organic farming techniques cost more for farmers, as well as the high demand for organic food, reports the article.

The article urges students not to forget that not all organic labeling means the same thing. “There are strict government standards farmers must adhere to as to how foods are processed and handled. However, not all organic labels are created equal,” the article states. Foods that contain one ingredient (such as fruits and vegetables) can be labeled “100 percent organic.” A food can be labeled just “organic” if it contains 95 percent or more organic ingredients.

Colle Farmers Market responds to the article, saying that although organic food costs more, by buying organic products you are supporting the organic farming industry – which has faced some troubles in recent years. For students, since they're usually operating on a limited budget, Colle recommends singling out a few important “dirty” foods to try to always buy fresh and organic – including leafy greens and fruits like apples, strawberries, and grapes. Consumers should be aware that the Environmental Working Group publishes an annual list of the most pesticide-saturated fruits and vegetables, and these make a great checklist for students trying to prioritize their organic shopping, says Colle.

Colle is an E-Commerce enabled farmers market community that is passionate about sustainable consumption and responsible conservation. The Colle movement is dedicated to connecting natural product vendors, organic farmers and all people who are living an organic and natural lifestyle.

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Scott Darrohn
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