When people hear the words “organic food,” they either roll their eyes or smile in delight. There are critics and proponents on both sides of the organic vs conventional debate, but there are plenty of reasons to start adding more organic foods into your diet.
1. Organic Food is Grown with Natural Pesticides
Contrary to what you may have heard, organic food isn’t necessarily pesticide-free. By law, organic farmers are allowed to use a wide variety of pesticide sprays and powders on their crops.
But what sets organic food apart from conventional produce is that the pesticides must be derived from natural sources.
Many of the pesticides used in organic farming contain natural substances, like lime sulfur, soaps and hydrogen peroxide.
The truth is that pests are going to attack plants regardless of whether it’s a conventional or organic farm. After all, these creatures need to eat, too. But with organic pesticides, these pets are kept at bay or killed using natural sources that are less harmful to the body than synthetic pesticides.
2. Organic Food is Environmentally-Friendly
Organic farming takes a more environmentally-friendly approach to growing food than conventional factory farms.
Farmers typically use soil-building practices, like inter-cropping, crop rotations, cover crops, minimum tillage, symbiotic associations and organic fertilizers, to keep soil rich and healthy. These practices encourage soil flora and fauna, and also prevent soil erosion.
Organic farming is also environmentally-friendly at the root level. The spraying of pesticides on conventional farms pollutes the air and the groundwater, but organic farming all but eliminates this problem.
3. Organic Food Cannot be Genetically Modified
Organic standards prohibit the use of GMOs anywhere in the organic system, from growing to processing and handling.
You can rest assured that foods labeled as oganic are not genetically modified.
Scientists are still unsure of the long-term repercussions of GMOs. Their effects on the environment and on the human body are still unknown.
With conventional produce, you have no way of knowing whether the food is genetically modified.
4. Organic Food is More Nutritious
A review of 343 studies found that organic food really is more nutritious. The research, published in the British Journal of Nutrition, found that organic crops and foods containing organic crops had higher levels of antioxidants than conventionally-grown foods.
Researchers also found that conventional foods contained higher levels of cadmium and residual pesticides. Cadmium, a metal, is also found in cigarette smoke, and can damage both the kidneys and the liver.
Scientists believe that organic crops may produce more natural toxins and antioxidants to fight against environmental threats and insects.
5. Pasture-Raised Meat is Healthier
Pasture-raised meat may not technically be an “organic food,” but it’s a food that health-conscious people try to incorporate into their diets.
Generally, pasture-raised meats are more nutritious than their conventional counterparts. Most factory farm animals are kept in confined spaces and rarely see the light of day. These animals are pumped with hormones and antibiotics to fatten them up and prevent illness. To top it off, these animals are fed an unnatural diet for the sake of keeping costs low.
We all know how unhealthy humans get from not moving around enough, not getting enough sunlight and not eating an appropriate diet. Animals also become unhealthy when they adopt this type of lifestyle.
An unhealthy animal produces unhealthy meat. That’s why pasture-raised meats are more nutritious. The animals are free to roam the pasture and eat what they would in the wild.
What are your reasons for eating organic food? Let us know!