We are conventional because science has not shown there is any nutritional advantage in organically produced food over conventional.  Also, we believe that the major use of manures in organic farms can increase the chance for food borne illness.    We use no manure based fertilizer at Blueyouth Berries.

Eating organic may limit your exposure to pesticides.   Organic farms used pesticides—only they use those on the “organic list.”  A farm may use “organic methods,” but there may be no guarantee that their “methods” conform to the federally issued rules.  A farm may use some methods and not others, and may not be “certified organic” or have not had a third party inspection for organic certification.  It may make you feel environmentally conscious. It can help support local farmers.  But scientists warn it won’t necessarily protect you against food borne illnesses. 

Organics, like conventionally farmed foods, can harbor dangerous pathogens including E. coli and salmonella.

Organic foods have caused their share of outbreaks of disease. Last winter, for example, sprouts from an organic farm in Illinois infected at least 140 people in 26 states and the District of Columbia with salmonella. And over a three-month period in 2011, a massive outbreak of a deadly strain of E. coli linked to sprouts from an organic farm in Germany killed 50 people and sickened more than 4,300 in several countries.

A recent comparative analysis of organic produce versus conventional produce from the University of Minnesota shows that the organically grown produce had 9.7 percent positive samples for the presence of generic E. coli bacteria versus only 1.6 percent for conventional produce on farms in Minnesota.

The study, which was published in May in the Journal of Food Protection, concluded, "the observation that the prevalence of E. coli was significantly higher in organic produce supports the idea that organic produce is more susceptible to fecal contamination."

In addition, the study found the food-borne disease pathogen salmonella only on the samples of organic produce. There was no evidence found of the deadly strain of bacteria, E. coli, in either type of produce tested. The study looked at "preharvest" fruits and vegetables, not in retail stores.

The principle investigator of the University of Minnesota study, Francisco Diez-Gonzalez, told CNSNews.com that "organic agriculture was more susceptible to carry fecal indicators."

"In many ways it is confirming what is believed, indeed, if you are using animal manure for fertilizer, the chances that you are going to get fecal bacteria on the product are greater," Diez-Gonzalez said.

The higher incidences of fecal contamination in organic foods were linked to heavy reliance on composted animal manure for fertilizer. Though conventionally grown produce may use some manure, it chiefly relies on chemical fertilizers. Past research has shown that animal manure is the principal source of pathogens such as salmonella, campylobacter and E. coli.

“We don’t purport that organic is healthier than conventional food,” said USDA spokeswoman Soo Kim.

Despite the public’s favorable perceptions, however, “the science doesn’t show a difference,” said David Lineback, senior fellow in food safety at the Joint Institute for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition at the University of Maryland.

Federal organic standards set by the U.S. Department of Agriculture do not include explicit requirements for food safety, nor are they intended to. The primary purpose of organic farming is not to prevent foodborne illness but to practice and promote environmentally sustainable agriculture.

“We don’t purport that organic is healthier than conventional food,” said USDA spokeswoman Soo Kim-- See more at: http://foodsafety.news21.com/2011/safety/organics/#sthash.LEEQqZrm.dpuf