It is apparent at this point in time, we have access to tons of organic foods and products, leaving a big question as to whether we really need to eat organic or not. While it may seem trendy, and is undoubtedly, to eat healthy and care about organic, local, fresh, sustainable, green, unprocessed, grass-fed, hormone-free ingredients, it is also more than a flash in the pan. Our nation still produces chemical-packed, hormone-ridden foods that may be a dollar or so cheaper than the organic alternative, but for health reasons, it is important to consider organic eating more than a trend.
According to the USDA National Organic Program, organic food is grown by farmers who make it a priority to use renewable resources while conserving soil and water to optimize the quality of the environment for years to come. Meat, poultry, dairy products, and eggs of organic nature come from animals who have not been given antibiotics or growth hormones. Organic food is created without using most conventional pesticides; fertilizers of synthetic or sewage origin; bioengineering; or ionizing radiation. The Government regulates organic products by sending an official certifier to inspect the farm where the food is produced to ensure the farmer’s standards match USDA organic qualifications.
The Benefits of Eating Organic
If you’re interested in living longer, avoiding the doctor, and preventing health problems, organic foods will greatly assist you with these goals. When eating organic foods, you dodge the toxins of non-organic foods created by pesticides and other chemical residues discovered on produce. When eating foods that aren’t grown organically, your body is absorbing chemicals and pesticides as you digest. As a result, these chemicals can negatively affect many areas of the body, such as the immune system and endocrine function, and cause neurological problems and elevate your risk of cancer.
Research has given evidence that nearly everyone has hundred of detectable chemicals in their blood. Additionally, pregnant women can transfer these chemicals to their infants in the womb. To lower the number of toxins in your body, it is suggested to steer clear of chemicals from non-organic food and other sources (household products, anything you can breathe or absorb through the skin) to reduce your risk of chemical-related health problems.
To guide consumers in their smarter food choices, the Environmental Working Group listed the top 12 most typically contaminated kinds of produce. These fruits and veggies, when grown conventionally, contain the largest amounts of pesticide residue. This is also a good guide if you are unable to purchase organic foods near your home, so you can choose the least chemical-ridden produce available. Always try to buy organic so chemicals are not a concern, but if you can’t, keep these in mind.
The Dirty Dozen: 12 Foods with the Most Pesticides
- Bell peppers
- Cherries (from US)
- Cantaloupe (from Mexico)
- Green Beans
- Grapes (from Chile)
12 Foods with the Least Pesticides
- Sweet corn (frozen)
- Sweet peas (frozen)
Organic foods are not reserved to the plant-eaters only. Meats grown organically have immense health benefits as they are raised in a conscious environment and given healthy, chemical-free food. The lack of antibiotics and hormones not only makes it taste better, but the nutrients in dairy, meat, and poultry are much more pure as a result. Grass-fed or grass finished beef is the best kind of beef to purchase, as the animal has eaten pesticide-free grass for the entirety of its life. Grass-fed beef products contain healthy fats that are beneficial and far less damaging than the saturated fats of normal beef.
Five Reasons to Choose Organic
Still not sold? Here are a few key reasons to eat organic foods, use organic products, and support this industry. It’s all about preserving what we have, and keeping ourselves, our families, and our world healthier.
- Ward off Chemicals in the air, soil, water, and body. Purchasing organic food creates a better environment with less chemicals and toxins for all forms of life. At present, only 0.5 percent of crop and pasture land is organic in the U.S. – leaving 99.5 percent of farmland susceptible to noxious chemicals used in farming.
- Lower (and potentially get rid of) farm pollution. Industrial agriculture pollutes farmland, laborers, and the environment simultaneously. Use of pesticides affects people who live in nearby communities as the wind carries those chemicals away from the fields. Fertilizer made synthetically also damages ocean habitats, and its drifting has caused many areas to be lifeless.
- Consider your own fruit. Infants are exposed to all of the pesticides a mother has consumed, increasing risks of neurological and behavioral problems. Many studies have also shown that pesticides can negatively affect the nervous system, lower fertility, and increase your risk of cancer. We are now on generation #4 of agricultural and industrial chemical exposure, which needs to be reduced if we want to maintain our health and raise healthy children.
- Delicious, pure flavor. Organic food has been scientifically proven to taste better than non-organic. Researchers at Washington State University solidified this belief with organic berries being continually described as tasting sweeter. Other studies show that certain kinds of organic produce are lower in nitrates and higher in antioxidants than the toxic sort.
- Eat less scientific and artificial foods. Between cloning, genetic modification, and hormones like rBGH, conventional food is unsafe for people of all ages. About 30 percent of the nation’s cropland is planted in GMOs, leaving those gigantic apples to poison any unaware consumer. The organic label offers reprieve from chemicals, poisons, and scientifically altered ingredients looming in our food.
1. Beaverton Family Medicine. Why Eat Organic?
2. Organic.org. Top 10 Reasons to Support Organic in the 21st Century.
3. Image: Nofari.org