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REASONS TO EAT ORGANIC

Organic products are becoming increasingly more available to the general public. Twenty years ago, natural food stores were few and far between, but times are changing fast. Even large corporations have begun to see that the demand for organic foods is on the rise, and they donít want to miss out. This is made evident by the large number of natural food stores popping up across the country and the number of traditional supermarkets now offering organic choices.

Most U.S. cities and many towns now have at least one store where shoppers can find organic products, and major cities have many more. Catalogue companies and e-commerce businesses, too, have joined the ranks of companies offering organic products to ready consumers. For some people, shopping at these stores can be more convenient or at least no less convenient than shopping at a traditional supermarket. For some, however, finding out where these stores are and figuring out how to incorporate this type of shopping into an established weekly routine may require some work. For others still, making a change might mean purchasing organic products instead of conventionally-grown products at the supermarket where they usually shop.

Check your local telephone directory, chamber or commerce, and the Internet to find out what options are available to you. Check also with friends and neighbors for ideas on where to buy organic foods.

Whatever your situation, eating organic foods will certainly:

If you canít find organic produce in your area, speak to the manager at your favorite supermarket and request that they start an organic produce section there. Talk to your friends and have them express an interest as well. You never know what might happen! If the supermarket does satisfy your request, increase the programís likelihood of success by recommending it to all your friends and acquaintances. If organic products sell well there, they will be eager to expand their offerings and carry a greater selection of organic foods. If you live in an area where food is grown, consider shopping at farmersí markets or join a CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) program. You may be able to receive a weekly delivery of seasonal organic farm-fresh produce straight from the farm at a great price.

Pesticides in the food we eat vary greatly from product to product. The effects of these residues on each of us is determined not only by the toxicity of the chemical, but also by our body weight and the amount of the chemical we consume. Pesticide residues pose a greater health risk to children than to adults because children have a low body weight and tend to rely more heavily on certain foods, such as dairy and apple products. To minimize the effect of pesticides, buy organic varieties of the foods your children eat most frequently and make sure that your family eats a wide variety of foods.

If you have the time, the space, and the right climate, consider planting your own organic garden. Kids are more likely to eat something theyíve grown themselves, and caring for a garden increases their awareness of where their food comes from. Start a compost pile of grass, plant trimmings, and fallen leaves. From your kitchen add a regular supply of fruit and vegetable trimmings, egg shells, and coffee grounds. Check your local library, bookstore, or the Internet for more information on composting.

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