Top 5 Reasons To Go Organic
Updated: Jan 15
My health journey has not only led me to eat more fruits and veggies but to now "go organic". I am now acutely aware of what I put into my body and it does not include foods laced with harmful chemical residues which are difficult to remove. I decided to do a little research to find out the real deal about organic foods to strengthen my conviction about going organic. Sure, organic foods are more expensive than conventionally produced food. But it's worth it, if it promotes long term health. I hope by the end of this article you will make the choice to go organic also.
1. ORGANIC FOODS ARE BETTER FOR YOUR HEALTH
Let's start with a definition. Organic farming is the production of food without the use of synthetic chemicals or genetic engineering techniques. Synthetic chemicals include man-made fertilizers, pesticides, artificial dyes, wax, hormones, steroids or antibiotics. These chemicals are generally feared to be hazardous to human health, many of which may be carcinogenic. However, the conventional agricultural industry depends on their use. The insecticide chlorpyrifos has been linked to neurological effects, persistent developmental disorders and autoimmune diseases. An organic based diet was associated with a reduced risk of cancer. In addition to the lack of pesticides, organic produce has been shown to be higher in nutrients such as vitamin C, iron, magnesium and phosphorus and significantly higher in antioxidants. Free range eggs have been found high in vitamin A and E and double the amount of fatty acids. They also contain less cholesterol and saturated fats. Grass fed animals produce meat which is usually higher in protein, vitamins and other nutrients. It is important to note that organic foods may not be 100% free from harmful chemicals. Some foods may have been grown on land which used synthetic chemicals and may contain chemical residues. However, the pesticide residues would be considerably lower than those found in conventional farming.
2. ORGANIC FOODS TASTE BETTER
Organic produce is allowed to grow to maturity in natural light without the use of steroids and other growth chemicals. They do not undergo lengthy shipping and gassing to force the ripening process. Because of this they develop more naturally occurring nutrients which contribute to their more delicious flavour. You can think of it as "slow-cooking". Slow-cooked foods always taste better as more of the flavour is preserved. Crops grown under conventional farming methods grow faster and bigger but as a result, their nutrients get diluted and so do their taste.
3. IT'S A SURE WAY TO AVOID GENETICALLY MODIFIED FOODS
A genetically modified organism is a plant, animal, microorganism or any other organism whose genetic makeup has been modified using genetic engineering. Advances in biotechnology has allowed scientists to create food with desired traits, such as higher yield, longer shelf life, resistant to diseases and pests and better taste. Approximately 90% of the corn, soybean and sugar beet that are on the market are GMOs. Salmon is another GMO which has been engineered to mature faster. However, as wonderful as these desired traits sound, they come with a price. Although GMOs are tested for safety, questions of ethics are raised as the genetic arrangement of GMOs do not occur in nature. Scientists are also able to insert genes from a completely different organism into another organism causing unexpected serious allergic reactions especially in the absence of proper labelling. The foreign DNA may also spread to non-GMO plants and animals. According to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, only starting in January 2022 will certain types of GMOs require a disclosure that lets you know you are eating a bioengineered food. GMOs are inherently unstable. According to the Center For Food Safety, scientists produce these foods hoping that they do not destabilize and produce previously unknown dangerous toxins in foods.
4. ORGANIC FARMING IS BETTER FOR THE ENVIRONMENT
Monocropping, as well as prolonged exposure to pesticides and fertilizers significantly degrade the quality of the soil which is vital for producing healthy crops. These chemicals not only pollute the soil but also the water and the air. Fertilizers and pesticides run off from the soil and enter rivers and streams which eventually find their way into coastal waters and the ocean and cause significant damage to the ecosystems there. A study showed that sulphur, a common pesticide used to control fungus and pests, is linked to asthma and decreased lung function in children living in close proximity to farms. Organic farming works in harmony with existing ecosystems. It conserves water, soil quality and energy by using renewable resources and natural farming cycles such as crop rotation to prevent nutrient depletion and integrating crops and livestock.
5. ORGANIC FARMING IS KINDER TO ANIMALS
Animals reared on organic farms are treated much more humanely. They are allowed to grow free range. In addition to space, they enjoy sunlight, a clean environment and get much needed exercise which help them to grow properly. They socially interact and mate naturally and are generally under less stress if any. They are also allowed to grow to adulthood at their own rate, i.e. without the use of growth hormones, steroids or antibiotics. They may, however, be given vaccines to prevent diseases. All these conditions result in a healthier and safer meat.
Organic foods are ideal for growth and overall health. You can eat these foods guilt and worry free taking comfort in the fact that you are not harming yourself or participating in any harm of the environment. Do you eat organic foods or plan to? Please leave a comment below. We'd love to hear from you.