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Sydni Rucks

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What are ecosystem services that you rely on everyday? Are you willing to pay for them?

Ecosystem services are what we gain from an ecosystem, be it medicines, clean water, or any cultural and spiritual benefits we get from nature. Ecosystem services are not specific to the science realm and they are open to interpretation based on our individual views. What ecosystem services do you value?

Although ecosystem services have monetary value, determining pricing has proven challenging. For example, every time you shop for produce, you can choose to support the ecosystem services offered by organic farming. There has been a boom in the organic foods market due to the ever-growing assumption that organic farming methods contribute to ecosystem services including increased pollination (bee populations are higher due to larger production of flowers on organic farms), increased biodiversity, natural pest control, and natural soil fertility. Are these methods worth the extra cost at the grocery store? What factors do you consider when making your choice between conventionally and organically grown produce? What are ways to promote organic farming, or more generally the valuation of ecosystem services, so that more people will be inspired to pay for the benefits?

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    May 1 2012: Yes, i feel that it is just fine to pay some extra cash on the organic food we eat. As the organic food is quite healthy it also protects us from various viruses and bacteria in some way or the other and also the fact that it doesn't have harmful pesticides. So i would prefer to go with organic food. To promote it we can't do much but ya we can inform our near and dear ones about the ill effects of the conventional food and try to pursue them to buy organic foods.
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      May 1 2012: You realise there are no scientifically performed studies that show any health benefits from organic produce. It's like the fresh verses frozen arguement. When they actually did the studies it was found that frozen vegetables retain more vitamins than fresh as the low temp prevents oxidation of the vitamins.
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      May 2 2012: The health impacts of organic foods vs conventionally grown are often the deciding factor when making the choice at the store. The Mayo Clinic (http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/organic-food/NU00255) goes over some of the differences between organic and conventional methods.
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        May 2 2012: This link also states that there are no confirmed health benefits from eating organically grown food.
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          May 2 2012: Very true. People often think that there are health benefits given the absence of many chemical pesticides. The article states the differences that lead to said assumptions.

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