The Vital Benefits of Consuming Organic Food

There was a time when all food was grown using natural methods. However, since the industrial revolution, with the introduction of new farming techniques, the use of synthetic chemicals as pesticides, genetically modified seeds and excessive use of fertilizers became widely accepted to get rid of insects and weeds which affect the health of the crops and help farmers grow more and bigger foods. But the price we have pay for modern agriculture is substantial, both on human health and on the health of our water bodies, the earth’s soils and the earth’s atmosphere.

Fortunately, some farmers today have chosen to remove themselves from the practice and have adopted organic methods that use natural practices to control pests and promote soil health.

When you consume organic food, you have peace of mind knowing that it was grown without the use of chemicals and without inflicting unnecessary harm on the environment. Here are six benefits of consuming organic food:

 

Weight loss

Choosing organic is a lifestyle. Being cautious about introducing chemicals into your body ensures that you won’t be keeping excess fat deposits on, and when you do get rid of them through a weight loss program, the process won’t be very traumatic to your overall health. The reason for this is that another duty of fatty tissue is to act as a storage compartment for certain pollutants. By closing in on chemical pollutants, the fatty tissue actually protects other organs and tissues from pollutant overload. That’s why it becomes challenging to lose this fatty tissue. The body does not want to release these pollutants back into the body.

During weight loss, these accumulated pollutants are released into the bloodstream inducing inflammation, and other detrimental health effects.

Based on research published in Environmental Health, regular organic food consumption significantly reduces the likelihood of obesity. [1]

Better for the Environment

Not only does choosing organic food mean enhancing your overall health, but you’re also supporting safer farming methods. Conventionally-grown produce involves chemical fertilizers, chemical herbicides, and synthetic pesticides. Not only do those chemicals find their way into our food and get absorbed by our body, but they also get absorbed by the environment, affecting nearby communities as well as wildlife that live in the area.

Organic farming is considered to deliver significant benefits in terms of biodiversity and resource protection. There is a strict limitation on the inputs which organic farmers are permitted to use on their land and constraints on the systems of management which organic farmers are required to adopt. Crop rotation, which is a central feature of organic systems, encourages soil health both in terms of fertility and in terms of microbial and invertebrate activity.

Organic farming uses farming practices that aim to conserve water, consume less energy, and lessen soil erosion.

As a side note: Although most organic farms do use manure from organic animal farms as fertilizers, some use manure from non-organic farms. This may pose as a problem for the environment as the foods grown for non-organic animals rely on synthetic fertilizers which are produced in an energy-intensive process and are one of the primary sources of greenhouse gas emissions associated with non-organic farming.

 

Less Exposure to Pesticides and Herbicides

Organic farmers have available to them only a limited range of, mostly natural, pesticides.

Conventional agriculture uses synthetic pesticides. Chronic pesticide exposure can potentially lead to neurotoxicity and affect cognitive development in children. Many studies also indicate that accumulated build-up of pesticides in the body increases the risk of diseases such as breast cancer, leukemia, and prostate cancer. It also leaves pregnant women and their unborn babies most vulnerable, causing delays in development, harm to their immune systems, and increased risk of childhood brain tumors. [2]

 

Supports the Local Community

When you choose organic food, you support local farms which are typically family-owned businesses. Therefore, you are helping to keep money within the local community. Instead of your money going to corporate marketing and distribution, it goes to support local farmers.

 

No GMO’s

In 2009 a report titled “Who Benefits From GM Crops” [3]  analyzed much documentation from all around the globe, concluded that not a single GM crop had increased crop yield, nor enhanced human nutrition, nor provided drought-tolerance or salt-tolerance to crops. They stated clearly that GM crops offer no advantages to consumers nor the environment. Moreover, GM agriculture cannot feed the growing population and have shown to have very little potential for alleviating poverty and hunger. In fact, GM crops have shown to increase the use of pesticides, raising costs for farmers while causing agronomic, environmental and health problems as I mentioned before. There are many potential health risks to the use of GM agriculture that we are only beginning to understand now. Organic agriculture forbids the use of GMO’s.

 

Guaranteed Freshness

Conventionally-grown food uses preservatives to extend their shelf life. When markets can store food for a prolonged time and market food before they spoil, the more sales they can make. Because organic food does not use preservatives, the product must be delivered to consumers immediately. They are harvested when ripe, guaranteeing they are fresh and flavorful. When you go to your local farmer’s market and choose organic fruits and vegetables, you know they’ve just been harvested and straight from the farm.

In conclusion, when you choose to consume organic food you are making the right choice for your body. You are also supporting local farming communities and helping protect the environment. 

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References

[1] Axel Mie, Helle Raun Andersen, Stefan Gunnarsson, Johannes Kahl, Emmanuelle Kesse-Guyot, Ewa Rembia?kowska, Gianluca Quaglio, and Philippe Grandjean. Human health implications of organic food and organic agriculture: a comprehensive review. 2017 Oct 27. doi:  10.1186/s12940-017-0315-4.

[2] Nicolas Vidart d’Egurbide Bagazgoïtia, Helen D Bailey, Laurent Orsi, Brigitte Lacour, Léa Guerrini-Rousseau, Anne-Isabelle Bertozzi, Pierre Leblond, Cécile Faure-Conter, Isabelle Pellier, Claire Freycon, François Doz, Stéphanie Puget, Stéphane Ducassou, Jacqueline Clavel. Maternal residential pesticide use during pregnancy and risk of malignant childhood brain tumors: A pooled analysis of the ESCALE and ESTELLE studies (SFCE). International Journal of Cancer, 2017; DOI: 10.1002/ijc.31073

[3] Friends Of The Earth International. Who Benefits From Gm Crops? Feeding The Biotech Giants, Not The World’s Poor. February 2009 | issue 116

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