Eat Organic and Live Organic in 2017: Ten New Year’s Resolutions from The Organic Center

2016 saw organic become a bigger part of our daily lives than ever. We are not just eating organic, we’re living organic. The Organic Center has transformed the top ten studies of 2016 into New Year’s resolutions, giving you even more science-based reasons to continue the healthy trends you established this year.

One: Be Organically Beautiful.

iStock_000018128884_Full.pngThink organic outside of the food box. Choosing organic skin care can drastically reduce your exposure to toxic chemicals, finds a new study led by researchers at the University of California at Berkeley and Clinica de Salud del Valle de Salinas. The study looks at the impacts on teenagers of avoiding personal care products with synthetic chemicals such as phthalates, parabens, triclosan and oxybenzone -- chemicals widely used in personal care products and shown in animal studies to interfere with the body’s endocrine system. The findings shows teens had significantly lower levels of chemicals in their bodies even within three days of using alternatives to conventional body care products. The Organic Center conducted an interview with Dr. Kim Harley, the lead author of the study, who noted that teen girls may be at particular risk for exposure to these dangerous chemicals.

Two: Nurture Developing Minds.

Girl-in-Garden.pngThe use of pesticides can have a dramatic impact on children’s cognitive development. A study published in 2016 finds that just living near agricultural areas where pesticides are sprayed can result in high enough exposure levels in children to decrease their IQ scores and verbal comprehension. Make sure to nurture the developing minds of youth by choosing organic!


Three: Stay Smart as You Age.

shutterstock_371623984.pngExposure to pesticides doesn’t only impact IQ in young children. Exposure to pesticides can also reduce cognitive function in elders. A study that came out in 2016 shows a link between exposure to persistent pesticides and low cognitive scores in adults ages 60 – 85. Avoid pesticides now to stay sharp as you age!


Four: Feed yourself, Your Family – and the World – Sustainably.

corn.pngOrganic farming has an important role to play in sustainably feeding an ever-growing global population, according to a recent study. Researchers found that while organic agriculture can produce lower yields when compared to conventional agriculture, organic farms are more profitable, deliver more environmental benefits, and are healthier in terms of increased nutritional benefit and reduced dietary pesticide exposure than conventionally produced foods. The study also shows organic agriculture provides social benefits and contributes substantially to human health by reducing occupational hazards such as pesticide exposure.

Five: Be Sweet to Wild Bees.


The benefits of organic in supporting honeybee populations get a lot of press, but native bees are also threatened by the use of pesticides, according to a new study.  Researchers analyzed almost two decades’ worth of data on 62 different species of wild bees and found that even low doses of

neonicotinoid pesticides can lead to population declines. This is the first long-term, large-scale study to investigate the effect of neonicotinoids on wild bees, so know that choosing organic can help both honeybees and native bees!


Six: Decrease the Dead Zone.

Nitrogen_Calculator(2).pngThe issue of nitrogen pollution was a hot topic in 2016, since it contributes to many environmental problems including dead zones in the ocean -- low-oxygen areas caused by excessive nutrient loads from sources such as synthetic fertilizers.  In 2016, the vast dead zone in the Gulf of Mexico was the size of the state of Connecticut. By choosing organic, you’re helping to decrease the amount of new reactive nitrogen released into the environment. During 2016, The Organic Center introduced an interactive tool allowing people to measure their own nitrogen footprint and to explore ways to decrease their impact.


Seven: Nourish the Soil.

shutterstock_304132082.pngChoosing organic is still the best way to support healthy soils, and every year more and more research comes out reinforcing this fact. This year, a study focusing on soil in fruit orchards found that organic orchard production improves soil biodiversity and soil nutrient content.  Specifically, the study shows soils from organic orchards have more healthy microbial diversity, more organic matter, and more of the important nutrients phosphorus and sulfur than conventional soils. Additionally, plant material collected from peach and apple trees in organic orchards were found to have more of the nutrients phosphorus and copper.


Eight: Drink Responsibly, and Deliciously.

MythBusting_Update_Square_W3--Bonus.pngAs if you needed another reason to drink organic wine, this year a new study found that organic production positively influences the quality of wine. Researchers compared experts’ rankings of over 70,000 California wines, and found that wines certified as organic or biodynamic scored higher in quality tests than conventionally grown wines. Cheers!


Nine: Avoid Antibiotic-resistant Bacteria.

eggs.pngChoosing organic animal products can cut the risk of antibiotic-resistant bacteria, and protect you and your family from exposure to these deadly diseases. The Organic Center released a report that reviews all the primary literature on antibiotic-resistant bacteria, showing that you can reduce your exposure to antibiotic-resistant bacteria through choosing organic.  Organic doesn’t use antibiotics in its production, so there is less prevalence of resistance with organic animal products.


 Ten: Be Heart-healthy with Organic Meat and Dairy.

Cattle-Ranch-000041202518_XXXLarge.pngGood news for organic cheeseburger lovers: in 2016, research came out supporting the nutritional benefits of organic dairy and organic meat. One study shows organic milk has 56% more heart-healthy omega-3 fatty acids than conventional milk, and the other finds that organic meat has 47% higher levels of omega-3 fatty acids than conventional meat. These findings are important because diets low in omega-3s, especially in combination with high omega-6 diets, are risk factors for cardiovascular disease, cancer, and inflammatory and autoimmune diseases. Diets with high omega-3 intakes, on the other hand, suppress these conditions.

For more information on The Organic Center and the science behind organic food and farming, visit

The Organic Center's mission is to convene credible, evidence-based science on the health and environmental benefits of organic food and farming and to communicate the findings to the public. The Center is an independent non-profit 501(c)(3) research and education organization operating under the administrative auspices of the Organic Trade Association.