Reasons to Switch to Organic Food
If you are planning on going organic, it means you are committing to a healthy eating habit. It goes beyond eating the prescribed quantity of vegetables, good fats, whole grains and fruits. It also involves how exactly your food is grown, which may impact your health and the environment.
Understanding the ‘organic’ label
The term “organic” is the label given to fruits, vegetables and other food products that are grown as well as processed naturally. Certain prescribed requirements need to be maintained and met by the product to be labeled as “organic”. According to the US Department of Agriculture (USDA), organic food should be free from:
- Synthetic pesticides and fertilizer
- Fertilizers derived from sewer sludge
- Genetically engineered elements
- Growth hormones
- Ingredients made artificially in commercial laboratories
- Majority of synthetic additives
Benefits of organic food
Studies have revealed that organic food contains more beneficial nutrients, like anti-oxidants, compared to its conventionally cultivated counterpart. It is also seen that people who eat organic food are healthier than those who rely on non-organic food. The benefits of organic food include:
- Most organic produce is free from pesticides: Pesticides like herbicides, insecticides and fungicides, tend to stick to the vegetables and fruits. They can prove dangerous when they make their way into our bodies. They are widely used in standard conventional agricultural practices. While growing organic food, care is taken to keep it away from these chemicals, which makes it safer. Many different chemicals are used for making pesticides, most of which can be harmful if consumed by us. Many pesticides are known to contain carcinogens (cancer inducing agents) and affect more than their target crops. They also get mixed up in potable water and cause health problems.
- Organic food is fresher: Organic food is generally fresher as it does not have preservatives which are usually added to make food stay edible for a longer period of time.
- Organic farming helps the environment: It reduces water via conservation, air and soil pollution, reduces soil erosion, increases the fertility of the soil and uses less energy.
- Does not contain heavy metals: Toxic metals like lead, mercury and cadmium may get into the food supply via the industrial pollution of groundwater and soil. This is also possible through machinery utilized in packaging and food processing. Exposure to cadmium has been linked to a greater risk of prostate, testicular and lung cancers. Lead residues are often discovered in a number of food products, most frequently in canned food.
- For livestock: Through organic methods livestock are healthier, stronger, and more productive because of the better nutrition, reduced stress and humane living environment. They are not injected with artificial growth hormones or antibiotics.
Organic food may be comparatively expensive as it is a labor-intensive agricultural process, but is a better and healthy choice. Farmers do not use chemical fertilizers, drugs or pesticides while producing organic food. Organic certification is also expensive, which adds to the cost of the items. Many organic farms are too small to be recipients of government subsidies, so they cannot help but sell their organic produce at a higher price. However, when you look at the benefits of organic food, you will realize that you are actually paying a small price for staying healthy.
Reference Link: US Department of Agriculture
By Jimmy Chronicle