Someone gave me a challenge; Why organic food is better for you.
This is a challenge that I got from a friend to explain and figure out why organic food is better for you.
I was, at one point, against buying organic food. Why pay more for the same product. It looks exactly the same as non-organic food.
Then, I started to listen to some seminar and do some research and started to realize that all the pesticides in the fruits and vegetables, and the antibiotics given to animals are not so good for us.
Why organic food is better for you?
Pesticides and Antibiotics
Pesticides do not concern meats and dairy products. Animals may consume some pesticides depending on their diet.
(Environmental Working Group Shopper’s Guide to Pesticides in Produce.)
But the concern is about the antibiotics being given to most farm animals. Many are the same as what the humans rely on, and overuse for these drugs has already enabled bacteria to develop resistance to them, becoming less effective in fighting infection.
To be able to use the word Organic Food, the product need to adhere to specific standards regulated by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) and Canadian regulations. Standard varies worldwide.
Organic foods have a higher nutritional value than conventional food. The reason is that because of the absence of pesticides and fertilizers, the plants boost their production of the phytochemicals that strengthen the resistance to bugs and weeds.
Some studies have linked pesticides in our food with some health problems such as headaches to cancer to birth defects. Many expert maintains that the levels in conventional food are safe for most healthy adults. Even low-level pesticide exposure, however, can be significantly more toxic for fetuses and children (due to a less-developed immune system), according to a report by the National Academy of Sciences.
Study shows that eating an organic diet can reduce children’s exposure to pesticides (2)
Studies have found that children who eat conventional diets have significantly higher levels of OP pesticide metabolites in their urine than do children who eat organic diets.4 In one study5, children were switched from conventional to organic diets. The urinary concentration of the OP pesticide metabolite immediately dropped so low it was undetectable.
When a conventional diet resumed, urine concentration of the OP metabolite increased to previous levels. When organic produce is available and affordable, buying organic is a relatively easy way for parents to reduce children’s exposure to OP pesticides.
Fruits and Vegetables, Is buying organic better for the environment?
The main reason farmers want to farm organically is their concern for the environment.
Organic farming is a method of crop and livestock production that involves much more than choosing not to use pesticides, fertilizers, genetically modified organisms, antibiotics and growth hormones.
Organic production is a holistic system designed to optimize the productivity and fitness of diverse communities within the agro-ecosystem, including soil organisms, plants, livestock and people.
The general principles of organic production include the following:
Protect the environment, minimize soil degradation and erosion, decrease pollution, optimize biological productivity and promote a sound state of health.
Maintain long-term soil fertility by optimizing conditions for biological activity within the soil.
Maintain biological diversity within the system.
Recycle materials and resources to the greatest extent possible within the enterprise.
Provide attentive care that promotes health and meets the behavioural needs of livestock
Rely on renewable resources in locally organized agricultural systems.
Organic farming promotes the use of crop rotations and cover crops and encourages balanced host/predator relationships. Organic residues and nutrients produced on the farm are recycled back to the soil.
Personally, I find that organic food tastes better, like in the old-time when you were grabbing a tomato from your grandma’s garden.
Todays’ tomatoes don’t have much taste like the ones you buy in the supermarket.
The real thing is to get back to the source. Way back, the only way was the organic way. Through the years we have created pesticides to help the plants grow better and quicker. Now we need to get rid of those pesticides.
Local farmers market is the best place to buy organic products at a lower cost. They compete between farmers and they want to offer you quality at a lower cost. I also found a selection of vegetables at Costco, at a decent price.
Organic meat is still expensive to get. I do have a hard time to spend 3 times more for it but it is still way better for our health.
Wen wee will have more local organic farmers with livestock, it will create a bigger market and a better price.
If the demand is there the market will grow bigger.
There are some fruits/vegetables that are OK to buy non-organic.
Here a list that I shared before:
- Sweet corn
- Sweet peas
- Honeydew Melon
I hope you will enjoy buying local food in your area and discover the tasty organic products that are available to you.
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To your health.
(2) The Center for Ecogenetics and Environmental Health, University of Washington, 1/2013. NIEHS Grant #ESO7033, contact