Nowadays, consumers have become more health-conscious and they want to know more about where their food comes from and how it is produced. A1 similar buzz is going around organic food. Let’s find out what exactly does organic food means, what are the health benefits, and top seven reason why you should choose organic food over non-organic. So next time when you go to a grocery store, make a healthier choice for you and your family.
What Does 'Organic' Mean?
To simplify, let’s understand what organic means.
Organic refers to the way in which food products such as fruits, vegetables, grains, pulses, eggs, milk, and meat are grown and processed.
Basically, organic foods are produced without hurting nature and the environment. Organic produce can be grown with the use of only natural fertilizers and pesticides. The main difference between organic and non-organic (regular) food has to do with how food is produced. So, you can say an organic product means:
- NO use of toxic and synthetic (Man-Made) pesticides. Organic farmers may use natural pesticides (Manure, compost) approved for organic food production
- NO use of Synthetic/chemical herbicides. Weeds are naturally controlled by using methods like crop rotation, hand weeding, mulching, and tilling.
- NO GMO (Genetically Modified Organisms) ingredients
- NO antibiotics or synthetic growth hormones use to feed animals and no chemicals used to kill pests or weeds
- NO use of artificial flavors, colors, or preservative
- NO sewage sludge
- NO ionizing radiation or Irradiation (a way to preserve food with radiation energy)
The word “organic” is strictly regulated by the USDA. That means if a product certified as “organic” on the label it follows these strict standards.
Why Choose Organic?
Although there are multiple reasons to choose organic over non-organic products, here are the top seven most reason to choose organic:
Organic Food = Healthier Food
No artificial colors, flavors, or preservatives are allowed in organic food. NO harmful and toxic substances as I mentioned above (pesticides, synthetic hormones etc.)
In addition, there are multiple studies that demonstrate that organic food is healthier than non-organic food. One study found that organic food contains 48% lower levels of the toxic metal cadmium. Whereas, non-organic or conventional crops contain 4 times more pesticide residue than organic.
Also, eating organic food can reduce the risk of cancer as it is grown without the use of chemicals, pesticides, and synthetic fertilizers. One new study published in Medical Journal JAMA Internal Medicine in Dec 2018 found that people who ate the most organic food had a 24% reduced risk of cancer compared to those who ate the least. To simply put, cleaner food means cleaner diets which leads to cleaner health.
Organic Food = More Nutritious Food
Organic nutrition containing organic foods are always better for our health overall. Research indicates that organic fruits and vegetables are high in natural vitamins, minerals such as, vitamin C, calcium, iron, chromium, and magnesium as well as antioxidants such as flavonols.
Organic food contains more natural multivitamin, minerals, enzymes, and micronutrients than non-organic food. There are several research studies that indicate organic farming can positively influence the nutritional content of foods.
Organic Food is Free from GMOs Contamination
Genetically Modified Food is directly linked to health problems like infertility, genetic disorder, auto-immune diseases, and gut biotic alteration. Since GMO foods (Genetically Modified Organisms) or ingredients use is prohibited in organic certified products, hence eating organic food and products is the best way to avoid these health issues.
Organic Food Mean No Sewage Sludge and Irradiation
Organic farming never uses sewage sludge which is a product of wastewater treatment and contains various known and unknown hazardous materials and toxins even after treatment, it can be applied to agricultural cropland as fertilizer but not on organic food!
Similarly, method like irradiation is also strictly prohibited from being used when growing or processing organic foods. Irradiated food means food is exposed to an intense ionizing radiation, radiant energy to kill microorganisms. But the concern is that it is directly linked and known to cause cancer.
Organic Foods are Fresher and Taste Better
Many food experts found that organic food has a richer and better taste than non-organic food since it has come from more nutritious soil, not genetically modified, and not covered up with pesticides as well.
Organic Food Support Mother Nature
Organic farming results in several benefits to nature especially on soil and water as they are two extremely important natural resources necessary for growing food.
- Restores soil health and improve its quality.
- Stops harmful chemicals from getting into our water supplies.
- Greater plant food biodiversity.
- Helps in reducing global warming as organic farming releases fewer greenhouse gases such as CO2
- Pollinator-friendly and protects bees, pollinators, and wildlife from toxic chemicals.
Organics Support a Healthier Lifestyle and a Healthier Community
Growing food organically does not harm the farmers, climate, and surrounding community in which it’s grown. Unlike non-organic practices, organics keep chemicals and toxins out of the air, water, and soil. Also, farmers are not exposed to synthetic herbicides and pesticides all day.
Organic food and products are definitely way better than conventional or non-organic food for you, for farmers, or nature and for everyone.
However, eating organic food is not possible always, as it is a bit expensive and not accessible all the time. But if you can afford it , try buying organic so you can support your personal health as well as the health of everyone else on this planet.