By now, you have probably heard all about choosing organic rather than conventional foods. But why? Is organic really any better than conventional? Newcastle University conducted a study that shows organic foods not only have more nutrients than conventional products, but organic farming practices are better for our soil, air, and water. There have also been studies that have linked the increase of various diseases to increasing exposure to harmful byproducts of conventional farming. Choosing organic can improve your health with reduced exposure to toxic chemicals and promote a healthier ecosystem by only utilizing farming practices that are beneficial for the animals, soil, water and air.
Choosing organic is a great way to avoid toxic chemicals
You may not realize it, but your health, your family’s health, the health of your pets, plants, and the entire planet as a whole is at risk. Consuming commercially grown foods that are drenched in pesticides, herbicides, fungicides and animal products that are packed full of growth hormones and antibiotics have been shown to greatly contribute to the increase of cancer, Alzheimer’s and dementia, neurological disorders, and several others. It is also wise to be weary of packaged and processed foods which contain harmful chemical additives, preservatives and often times genetically engineered or modified organisms. Not only are these poisons in our food supply, they are destroying our soil, our air, and our water. While industrial, mono-crop farming creates a host of ecological, environmental, and biological issues, organic farming is the exact opposite. Organic farming uses little, if any, of these toxic substances. Organic farmers work in harmony with nature to produce chemical-free, nutrient dense foods, but also to protect and maintain the health of the Earth. We can make a difference, a little at a time, with our consumer choices. Our food choices give power to either the giant corporations who care very little of you, your family’s or the planets health, or to farmers who invest in the health and wellness of all living beings on Earth. It seems obvious to choose organic.
Choosing organic may lower your risk of developing disease
We often forget that we are not separate from nature, as a matter of fact, we ARE nature, we ARE the environment. With that being said, wouldn’t it make sense then to eat foods that are from nature, from the environment? Foods that have not been tainted with carcinogenic compounds? Absolutely! There is more and more research that has linked the consumption of toxic pesticide residues, artificial food preservatives and additives, and growth hormones and antibiotics in animal products to an increase in cancer, Parkinson’s disease, endocrine and neurological disorders, and auto-immune diseases, such as multiple sclerosis. The United States Department of Agriculture(USDA) defines organic as “Organic is a labeling term that indicates that the food or other agricultural product has been produced through approved methods that integrate cultural, biological, and mechanical practices that foster cycling of resources, promote ecological balance, and conserve biodiversity. Synthetic fertilizers, sewage sludge, irradiation, and genetic engineering may not be used.” Therefore, consuming organic products significantly reduces your exposure to toxic chemicals that have attributed to the increase of numerous diseases.
Choosing organic rather than conventional may actually save you money
Unfortunately, most the time, organic foods tend to be more expensive than conventional foods. However, this seems to be the case most often when you shop at a big grocery retailer such as Kroger, and not so much the case when you shop at your local farmer’s market or health food stores that supply local, organic foods, like Sprouts Farmers Market. While the upfront cost may stretch your pocket book a little, you may save money in the long run. Not only will eating mostly, if not all, organic foods improve your health, the health benefits you experience will reduce or eliminate your healthcare costs. This means less doctor visits, less money spent on pharmaceuticals, therefore you have more in your organic food budget to fuel your body with all the good stuff.
Choosing organic is one of the best ways to give back to and work in harmony with the Earth
As already stated, commercial farming focuses on mono-crop farming and factory farming of animals. Fields are planted with a single crop repeatedly. This lack of diversity and increasing use of synthetic fertilizers and toxic pesticides is taking its toll on the ecosystem. Excessive pesticide use has actually been linked to the massive disappearance of the honey bee, which are vital to the pollination of a huge portion of our food and the food of animals all over the planet. Factory farms are raising one animal, for example only raising cattle, and they are fed an un-natural diet(for example corn-fed cattle). They are also confined to small spaces with limited space for movement, rarely see the light of day, and animal waste is so prevalent, harsh chemicals are needed to clean the area. As with mono-crop farms, these types of situations are creating the need for an increasing amount of carcinogenic chemicals to be used in the production process. These toxic substances don’t just disappear once they have been utilized. In fact, they trickle into the water systems, proliferate through the air, and seep into the soil, therefore polluting the entire ecosystem. Mono-cropping also strips the soil of vital minerals and nutrients needed for plants to grow healthy and strong. Again, organic farming is the exact opposite. Most organic farms have a variety of crops and or animals. Animals are cage-free and free-range, meaning they are raised in their natural environment. They are also fed their natural diet, for example cows are fed grass not corn or feed that has been contaminated with animal waste, animal byproducts or harmful antibiotics and growth hormones. Also, organic farmers are not allowed to use poisonous pesticides, or other harmful practices to produce. Organic farmers must work in harmony with nature and the environment to produce. Therefore, you can feel good about choosing organic, because you are not only giving you and your family the benefits of eating healthier, you are giving back to and doing your part to help conserve our planet.