The word “organic” is a keyword that many focus on when choosing what to eat. This has not been around for all that long, although organic produce and meat have recently become extremely popular. The theory is that eating organic is healthier than the alternative; you aren’t filling your body with chemicals and pesticides.
There are many different benefits of eating organic food—for your body and the world around you. This article discusses organic food and the benefits of eating organically.
What is Organic Food?
There seems to be a bit of confusion regarding what organic food is. For produce, the food is grown with natural fertilizers. Conventionally grown produce is grown with chemical or synthetic fertilizers.
There are many natural weed control methods and organic-approved herbicides. However, in conventional farming, weeds are controlled using poisonous chemical herbicides.
Moreover, the same thing goes for pests. There are natural pest repellents used in organic farming. Conventional farming uses synthetic and poisonous pesticides.
Many people think “organic” applies to just produce—vegetables and fruit. However, this is not true. Meat, eggs, and dairy can also be organic.
Animals are raised without using hormones or genetically modified organisms. Diseases are prevented with healthy farming practices instead of using medications and antibiotics.
Organic animal farming also means that animals have access to outdoor environments. Conventionally raised farm livestock may or may not have access to the outdoors.
Read also: 7 Simple Tips on How to Eat Sustainably
The Benefits of Eating Organic Food
Many benefits come from eating organic food.
1. You Aren’t Ingesting Pesticides
One of the most significant benefits is that organic food doesn’t contain poisonous and toxic pesticides. Organic farmers can use organically approved pesticides that are safe for consumption. These pesticides can cause various health issues, including cancer.
Moreover, washing your produce won’t wash pesticides away. Those pesticides are ingrained in every fiber of whatever you eat. Pesticides are poison.
2. Pesticides and the Environment
Think about the environment when discussing pesticides designed to kill specific pests. However, most pesticides are indiscriminate and will kill any insect they come in contact with.
The simple reality is that pesticides kill more than what is intended. Our world is already in pretty dire straits in maintaining an ecological balance. Organic farmers find other ways to control pests that don’t involve poisoning animals.
3. No GMO
GMOs, or genetically modified organisms, are a hot topic today. Those who sell GMO products claim they are perfectly healthy to eat. Moreover, GMO products are designed to grow faster and resist various threats.
However, whether GMO products are healthy is questionable and more research is required. But, evidence exists to suggest that GMO foods are not overly safe to eat. When it comes down to it, we don’t know what effects GMO foods will have on our bodies in the future. Genetically modified products can also cause problems with neighboring farms.
4. Having Healthier Soil
Soil health is essential for farming. Unfortunately, various pesticides, herbicides, and fertilizers can damage the soil. It poisons the soil and also strips away valuable nutrients.
This is why conventional farming uses so many different fertilizers. Without these chemicals, that soil wouldn’t be fertile enough to grow much. However, because organic farming uses no chemicals, the soil stays healthier. It also contains many more nutrients.
Growing crops on the same soil yearly will strip it of its nutrients. However, organic farmers use organic matter as fertilizer. Animal manure, green manure, and organic fertilizers can create healthy soil without poisoning the earth.
Furthermore, produce grown in healthy soil is more resistant to various insects, diseases, and environmental conditions.
The bottom line is that organically grown food creates a healthier ground underneath. This means organic food is more nutritious, bigger, and more robust.
5. No Artificial Flavors or Colors
Organic food cannot contain any preservatives, artificial flavors, or colors. Once again, there is enough to write a whole book here.
There are hundreds of artificial colors, flavors, and preservatives that aren’t naturally occurring. Yet, conventional farming and food production use many of them.
These substances can lead to various health issues, including heart and cardiovascular problems, hormonal imbalances, cancer, etc.
Also, many of these substances can be addictive. This then leads to people becoming addicted to highly unhealthy food. This leads to even more health issues. Obesity and diabetes are always at the top of the list.
6. The Level of Nutrition in Food
Inorganically grown food tends to lack vital nutrients. However, the reality is that organic food is much healthier because it contains more minerals, vitamins, micronutrients, and enzymes.
For example, organically raised meat and dairy contains up to 50% more omega-3 fatty acids. Moreover, organic crops also have more antioxidants, flavonoids, and more.
We could list hundreds of studies, but the bottom line is that organic food has more nutrition that our bodies need to survive.
You might think you are eating healthy when your vegetables are inorganically grown. However, the amount of nutrients they really contain is questionable.
7. Food Irradiation
When you eat organic food, it is not irradiated, and organic food is often irradiated. This means that radiant energy, such as from X-rays, is directed at your food to reduce microorganisms.
Not having so many microorganisms in food may be beneficial in some ways. However, when food is irradiated, it absorbs some of that radiation. Radiation is known for causing cancer, so this is definitely not a good thing. Therefore, foods that have been irradiated are not qualified to be organic.
8. Preserving Pollinators
We want to go back to the pesticides point. Pollinating insects, or pollinators, are needed to maintain healthy plant populations. However, pollinators, such as bees and butterflies, are experiencing drastically reduced populations due to pesticides used in conventional farming. In addition, other practices in conventional agriculture are threats to pollinators.
Pollinators are vital for the overall biodiversity and health of the greater ecosystem, Simply put, without pollinators, plants do not reproduce. Who would have thought that something as small as a bee could significantly impact the environment?
9. And Much More
There are many more benefits from eating organic besides those listed above. Let’s take a quick look.
- Organic farming is much healthier for farm workers and neighboring communities. But, on the other hand, all those chemicals and pesticides are not beneficial for the people who have to work and live around them.
- Organic farming helps to preserve the health of water systems. However, byproducts, chemicals, and pesticides leach into the ground and water sources. This then causes the death of many plants and animals within those water sources. It also leads to those water sources becoming undrinkable.
- Organic farming is also much better for the environment because it produces fewer greenhouse gases than conventional farming. Some studies show that more than 100% of our carbon dioxide emissions could be sequestered with regenerative organic agricultural practices.
The bottom is that there are dozens of different benefits of eating organic compared to eating conventionally farmed foods.
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