Updated: Mar 27
Organic food has exploded in popularity over the last few years. Although organic has been the countryside’s favourite all this time - urbanites too are now catching up and realizing the beneficial qualities of organic food. Many people believe that organic food is far superior to regular food. It is healthier for your physical as well as your mental health. It is even believed to be tastier than regular food.
So, is this a case of fad gone wild, or is organic food actually better for your health than conventional food? In this article, we break it down:
What is Organic Food?
Organic food is basically food that has been farmed in a more environmentally sustainable way than conventional foods. It is produced via standard organic farming methods.
Animal products like eggs, poultry, meat and dairy products are only considered organic if they have come from animals that were raised under certain conditions, and fed with an organic diet. Animals who are 'raised organic' can't be fed growth hormones or antibiotics. Organic food is produced without using pesticides that are toxic to the environment.
Even the food you grow in your own backyard, such as a homegrown vegetable garden, is organic if you've stuck with natural fertilizers and haven't used synthetic pesticides.
The 'Dirty Dozen' - This is a curated list of pieces of produce that contain the highest amounts of pesticide residues. It is compiled by the The Environmental Working Group. These are foods that are best bought organic!
Is It Good For The Environment?
Organic Food contributes positively to the environment in many different ways:
Supports Animal Welfare
Conventional farms have been known to destroy the natural habitat of birds, insects, fishes and all other species by using chemicals that threaten their existence. Moreover, livestock animals grown in regular farms are often caged and abused. On the other hand, organic farms allow animals to live freely and go about their natural processes in a natural and open space.
Reduces Water and Air Pollution
Regular farms rely on synthetic pesticides and chemicals that contribute significantly towards pollution. The nitrogen that is used in chemically-treated fields is eventually dumped into rivers and other ecosystems. Moreover, all of this takes a tremendous toll on the surrounding marine environment. In contrast, organic farming helps conserve water as crops are dependent on soil fertility instead of just irrigation.
Combats Global Warming
One of the main reasons why organic farming is so awesome is because it is helping prevent global warming. This is because organic soils trap carbon dioxide, a major greenhouse gas, and convert it to carbon.
Is It Good For My Health?
So many people are fully convinced that going “organic” has them much healthier that before. And there are many reasons to back this up:
If you didn't know already, Genetically Modified Organisms (GMO) have been linked with environmental damage and many health problems. They are also contaminating our food supply at a staggering rate. Thankfully, organic products use no GMOs or genetically engineered food.
Packed With More Nutrients
Organic crops have a high concentration of nitrogen and protein, while organic dairy products contain a significant amount of omega-3 fatty acids. Organic crops have also been found to have high levels of antioxidants. Antioxidants help reduce our risk of developing several chronic diseases, such as cancer and cardiovascular disorders.
Better Smell and Taste
The taste quality of crops has always depended on its environment, including how it was harvested and grown. Organic products do not make use of chemicals. Consequently, the quality is natural, and results in a natural flavor. Moreover, the higher concentration of antioxidants affects the aroma, mouthfeel and taste of the foods.
Organic food is NOT a food fad that makes a hollow promise. In fact, the sweeping public opinion that organic food has been a healthier choice is mighty proof of how organic food has made a difference in people's lives. When you switch to organic food, you're not just bettering your health, but also contributing to a sustainable community that supports its environment.
Having read all of the above, is it time for you to go organic? The call is yours!
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xo Laura Niesslein