Further Research on the Web

Environmental Jeopardy questions are designed to pique your interest in environmental issues. This list of Web sites will serve as a good start for conducting research and learning more about what’s in your food, what’s in your body.

Earth Day Network: EDN has valuable information throughout its website regarding this version of Environmental Jeopardy, including lesson plans. Here are some places to start:

Organic Trade Association: http://www.ota.com/index.html - A collection of wide-ranging organic businesses with links to members’ sites and information about organics for consumers and producers.

National Organic Program: http://www.ams.usda.gov/nop/indexIE.htm - Run by the Department of Agriculture, it is the official site for organics information.

The Sustainable Table: http://www.sustainabletable.com/home/ - A user-friendly guide to healthy, environmentally conscious eating. It has a wide range of information on food and making conscientious choices while shopping.

The Department of Agriculture: http://www.usda.gov/wps/portal/usdahome - The official site of the government agency responsible for ensuring that food on the market is safe for consumption and for guiding and enforcing organics standards.

The Food and Drug Administration: http://www.fda.gov/ - A branch of the Department of Health and Human Services, the FDA regulates a wide range of products from prescription and over-the-counter drugs, to toothpaste and Tupperware containers, in order to ensure they are not hazardous to the public.

The Environmental Protection Agency: http://www.epa.gov - The EPA is the US government agency mainly responsible for environmental issues. Among other topics, it has information on clean air and water, and land contaminants.

The World Health Organization: http://www.who.int/en/ - Part of the United Nations, the WHO is in charge of human health on a world-wide scale.

Healthy Environments for Children Alliance: http://www.who.int/heca/en/ - A branch of the World Health Organization, HECA is dedicated to improving the environmental health of children around the world. It has information on children’s environmental health and what it is doing to improve the situation in many countries.

Greenpack: http://greenpack.rec.org/flash_wheel/index.html - A site with information about a host of environmental issues related to the questions in Environmental Jeopardy. It is very interactive and great for students.

See these additional resources for additional information on the topics covered in the Go Organic! for Earth Day Environmental Jeopardy game.

About Organics
Organic agricultural production benefits the environment by using earth-friendly agricultural methods and practices.

According to a 15-year Rodale Institute study, organic agriculture can reduce greenhouse gas emission and found that organic farming uses 50% less energy than conventional farming methods.

Organic fiber products have moved beyond T-shirts to include bed and bath linens, tablecloths, napkins, cosmetic puffs, feminine hygiene products, and clothing.

Prevention is the organic farmer’s primary strategy for disease, weed, and insect control. By building healthy soils, organic farmers find that healthy plants are better able to resist disease and insects.

When pest populations get out of balance, organic growers will try various non-toxic options like insect predators, mating disruption, traps, and barriers.

(Lori Drinkwater, “Legume-based Cropping Systems Have Reduced Carbon and Nitrogen Losses,” Nature magazine, Nov. 18, 1998, pp. 262–265.)
Allen Woodburn Associates Ltd./Managing Resources Ltd., “Cotton: The Crop and its Agrochemicals Market,” 1995.
Worthington V, “Nutritional Quality of Organic Versus Conventional Fruits, Vegetables, and Grains.” The Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine. 2001;7:161-173

Healthy Diets
Fruits make up eight out of the top 12 most consistently contaminated foods.

A study of apple farming published in the April 19, 2001, issue of Nature found organic orchards can be more profitable, produce tastier fruit at similar yields compared to conventional farming, and be better for the environment.

“Nutritional Quality of Organic Versus Conventional Fruits, Vegetables, and Grains,” by Virginia Worthington, published in The Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine, Vol. 7, No. 2, 2001 (pp. 161-173), available at: http://www.foodisyourbestmedicine.com.
Consistent with two previous EWG investigations, fruits topped the list of the most consistently contaminated fruits and vegetables, representing eight of the 12 most contaminated foods. Among the top six were four fruits—peaches, strawberries, apples and nectarines—followed by pears, cherries, red raspberries and imported grapes, also in the top 12.
Source: “The 6-a-day study: effects of fruit and vegetables on markers of oxidative stress and antioxidant defense in healthy nonsmokers”
American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, June 2004 (Vol. 79, No. 6)

Food Footprints
Ever wonder how much “nature” your lifestyle requires? Many people do not realize the impact their food and fiber purchases have on the environment. Conventional farming can produce toxic runoff into our waterways, and drift from genetically modified organisms can find its way into organic foods.

See http://earthday.org/Footprint/index.asp for an enlightening look at just what it takes to support what resources you use in your daily life, and just how much you throw away!

Lori Drinkwater, “Legume-based Cropping Systems Have Reduced Carbon and Nitrogen Losses,” Nature magazine, Nov. 18, 1998, pp. 262–265.
Earth Day Network, Ecological Footprint quiz
“Marine Pollution in the United States: Significant Accomplishments, Future Challenges,” review led by Dr. Donald Boesch from the University of Maryland Center for Environmental Science, Pew Oceans Commission, 2001.

Healthy Lifestyles
Going organic is an easy part of a healthy lifestyle. Eating organic food is the best way to avoid persistent pollutants in your diet. You also avoid the risk of ingesting genetically modified organisms (GMO’s),and can increase your intake of essential fatty acids.

Your purchases of certified organic products promote sustainable farming practices which reduce pollution in our soil and water, and leave the land better for the next generation.

Organic is not just food! Many cleaning products have toxic chemicals. Many cotton products are made with tons (literally!) of toxic chemicals. To minimize your family’s risk, consider buying organic cotton and cleaning products that use only natural chemicals and minerals.

Healthy Kids
Children are at higher risk of exposure to pesticide residue because of their smaller size and immature immune system.

Because U.S. national organic standards and industry practices do not allow the use of genetic engineering in the production and processing of organic products, organic agriculture offers a choice to consumers who wish to avoid genetically modified foods.

Proponents of Genetic engineering (GE) proponents claim GE crops will cut pesticide use, but organic agriculture already reduces such exposures because it avoids the use of toxic and persistent pesticides.

This problem is not only a health concern. According to one study, childhood illness linked to chemical exposure costs the US $55 billion in medical expenses each year.

http://seventhgeneration.com/living_green/resources.php
Epidemiology, Vol. 11(3): 327-338, May 2001.
Food for Thought: The Case for Reforming Farm Programs to Preserve the Environment and Help Family Farmers, Ranchers and Foresters, pages 12-13, found at http://www.environmentaldefense.org/home.cfm. Original source: Environmental Working Group, Overexposed: Organophosphate Insecticides in Children’s Food, 1998, pp. 1-3.
This problem is not only a health concern. According to one study, childhood illness linked to chemical exposure costs the US $55 billion in medical expenses each year. http://seventhgeneration.com/living_green/resources.php
Epidemiology, Vol. 11(3): 327-338, May 2001.
Food for Thought: The Case for Reforming Farm Programs to Preserve the Environment and Help Family Farmers, Ranchers and Foresters, pages 12-13, found at http://www.environmentaldefense.org/pubs/Reports. Original source: Environmental Working Group, Overexposed: Organophosphate Insecticides in Children’s Food, 1998, pp. 1-3.