Over the last few years, more and more people are making the decision to go organic. It can be worrying buying food from the supermarkets, all these different names and chemicals on the labels on your food. Do you really know what you and your family are putting into your body? This is a big reason why people are switching up their shopping style and purchasing organic food.
There are many different problems relating to health and environmental issues that eating non-organic food can cause. The chemical levels are increasing all the time in the food we eat, and the vitamin levels are dramatically dropping. Even food that you consider to be healthy such as fruit and vegetables, if they’re not organic then they are still full of chemicals.
Food producers need food in large quantities, cheap and fast, this leads to mass food production including chemicals like pesticides and herbicides. These chemicals are sprayed onto the soil and food to improve the shelf life. These chemicals have terrible effects on people's health and should not be in the foods people digest every day. If you are considering making the switch to organic food but need a bit more information and persuading, then read the points below.
What does organic mean?
Organic refers to the way that agricultural products such as meats fruits and vegetables are grown and processed. Organic crops must be grown without the use of chemicals such as pesticides, fertilizers and bioengineered genes (GMOs) and there are strict regulations in place to follow. Any organic livestock that is raised for dairy, meats and eggs must have access to outdoors and be given organic feed. They have strict living conditions to meet and cannot be given any antibiotics or growth hormones.
Organic vs non-organic
Non-organic produce is grown with chemical fertilizer, any weeds that grow are controlled with dangerous chemical herbicides and pests that might damage the crops are destroyed with pesticides. If you compare this to any organic produce, they are grown with natural fertilizers like manure. Any weeds are controlled by weeding and crop rotation and pests are eaten by birds or caught in traps. You will not find any form of chemicals used on organic food, they are completely naturally grown so you can control what is put into your body.
Organic livestock are given organic and GMO-free feed whereas livestock that are conventionally raised are pumped with growth hormones to promote faster growth, and are also fed GMO feed. Livestock that is organically raised have access to the outdoors, have high standards of practices by the farmers and are kept on rotational grazing. Livestock that is non-organically kept are given antibiotics to prevent diseases, and they may not have access to the outdoors. If the livestock is being given chemicals and antibiotics, then there will be traces of this in the meat you eat.
What are the benefits of eating organic food?
Now you understand a bit more about organic food, what makes it organic? How is organic different from non-organic foods? Now you need to see how eating organic foods can benefit you physically, mentally and emotionally. Here are ten of the top benefits from eating organic foods:
Many farmers who grow non-organic crops believe that the nutrients you require can be replaced by artificially- produced fertilizers and chemicals. These chemicals are poison and are dangerous to humans. Conventionally grown crops lose all the important nutrients and health benefits when poison is added.
Organic crops and livestock have been proven to be more nutritious then conventionally grown crop and livestock. For instance, one study has proven the organic fruits and vegetable contain 27% more vitamin C then those of non-organic fruit and veg. That is a lot of important nutrients you are missing out on. Organic foods are also full of antioxidants. This is an important nutrient found in fresh fruits and vegetables. Antioxidants have multiple healthy benefits including the prevention of cancers.
Another important substance everyone should be digesting is salicylic acid. This helps keeps your skin flawless and fights off acne. One bowl of organic soup contains roughly 600% more salicylic acid compared to non-organic soups. When it comes to livestock, organic meats have been proven to be less fatty and the fat that is on the meats is much healthier.
One of the big reasons why people make the switch to organic foods is because they want produce with lower exposure to pesticides. Herbicides and pesticides are poison. They are sprayed onto the crops and the soil to stop pests from eating the crops. The liquid then is all over the crops and being absorbed by the roots.
If you eat foods then have been sprayed with pesticides, you are eating neurotoxins, and this will slowly poison your nervous system. Certified organic produce however is free from pesticides. Farmers use natural fertilizers like manure or compost to nourish the soil used to grow organic crops. Organic farms have also started to utilize pests’ natural predators.
Organic food tastes delicious, it tastes better than non-organic foods. Organic foods are more nutritious, have better sugar and mineral structures and the crops themselves are given more time to develop and grow. Livestock are kept in clean conditions and have access to the outdoors where they can roam freely.
The lack of chemicals used, and more environmentally friendly farming practices add to the better tasting food. You also are assured that your food is fresh, fresh food always tastes amazing.
Higher quality meat and dairy
You probably hear all the time that meat is bad for you, particularly the meat sold in supermarkets. Meat that comes from concentrated animal feeding operations (CAFOs) are pumped with antibiotics and other drugs. This is meant to keep the animals healthy when living in squalid conditions.
Livestock that is raised organically does not need to be loaded with antibiotics to be kept healthy. Simple cleaning and farming techniques keep these animals clean and healthy. They also have access to outdoor areas and fresh air. If you are going to eat meat, stick to free range and organic meats.
Less chance of food-born illness
Any food produce that is produced by agribusiness can cause food-born illness. These outbreaks happen because the animals used in CAFOs are unwell. They are kept in horrible, unsanitary conditions and no matter how many vaccinations they are given they can still become sick. CAFO’s causes deadly drug resistant infection, such as E. coli. If the animals are sick, the meat you eat is also contaminated. The best way to completely prevent food-born illness is to eat organic food.
Better quality of life for the animals
Following on from some of the points above, livestock raised for organic meats have a higher quality of life. The farmers follow strict regulations on how to correctly house and clean the animals, compared to CAFO’s that can keep the animals in the cheapest and dirtiest living conditions. Free range or organic livestock have healthy and GMO-free feed and have access to the outside, while they are alive, they are living their best and healthiest life. Factory farming is cruel and unnecessary, but farmers do it as it is a cheaper option.
As well as the animals, the impact on the environment should also be taken into consideration. Soil erosion is a huge issue. A lot of farmers don’t think about the land or the damage they are doing to it, organic farmers focus a lot of time and energy into using the best farming technique that doesn’t destroy the land. Farmers need to stop using dangerous chemicals on the soil, these deplete the soil’s health. Without healthy soil, there will be no crops. By eating organic crops, you can sleep soundly knowing you are doing your bit to help the environment and the land we rely so much on.
Avoiding genetically modified foods
GMO stands for genetically modified organisms, which basically means mutation of real food or genetically engineered food. The DNA of plants has been altered in ways that would never happen naturally or in traditional crossbreeding. Farmers try to genetically modify their crops and they become resistant to the pesticide they use on them.
Food safety experts believe that GMO’s can cause slowed brain growth, internal organ damage, and gastrointestinal disorders. Organic food is completely free of GMOs and are left to grow the natural way and not altered with at all. When eating organic food you do not need to worry about the harm it could cause you because it isn’t genetically modified or enhanced in anyway.
Improve your health
Organic food is grown naturally and not tamped with in any way, because of this is doesn’t contain any toxic chemicals. Organics food cannot harm your health, farmers use natural techniques to grow the crops such as manure, fertilizer and crop rotation. These natural farming techniques mean that you are eating the freshest and naturally grown crops that you can. This means your food is safer, tastier and healthier than non-originally grown crops. You will be providing your body with the correct nutrients and nourishment that it requires and benefiting the environment, the lives of the livestock and helping your local community.
Supports local economy
Most organic farmers must support themselves, they aren’t backed by big companies like non-organic or factory farms. The only people who can support them, are you. People who are committed to buying organic food is what keeps the farmers in business. Most organic or free-range farms price small qualities of products and sometimes must shut down because they cannot financially support themselves. Non-organic farms can produce mass qualities of food with longer shelf live, but these are nowhere near the quality of organic foods.
When you buy organic or free-range food, you aren’t supporting the big factories or the chain companies. You're supporting your local economy and your local farmers. This helps to create jobs in your local community and provide good, hardworking people with a job and a wage. As long as people want organic food and support the farmers, they will continue to produce organic foods.
Nothing beats the taste of fresh food. Farmers who grow organic foods have very strict guidelines to follow during the production, processing and preparation of the crops. There are no chemicals at all allowed in the growth of organic crops, because of this your food is always fresher and bursting with flavor. Non-organic food is given chemicals to make it have a longer shelf life. Just because the shops sell it and you can eat it, this does not mean it is fresh. Most organic food is sold locally to where they are grown, in farms or markets so you will be able to tell the difference between fresh and non-fresh foods.
Whether you were stuck on the fence or just wanted to understand, hopefully these points have made you realise the numerous benefits that eating organic food has. These benefits not only affect you but also the local community, animals and the environment. In the current world we live in full of pollution and plastic waste, we all need to do our bit to save the world. By switching to organic food, you are looking after the health of you, your family and the planet we live on. Something to think about next time you visit the supermarket!