So why eat organic? Here are two very good reasons.
- It’s better for your health.
- It’s better for the environment.
In this blog, we’ll explain the ins and outs of organic food and why you should buy organic whenever possible. Sure, it is a bit pricier than conventional, but the more people that go organic, the cheaper it will become. Hopefully, after reading this blog, you will join us on the organic bandwagon.
The biggest downside of conventional farming is the use of pesticides. Pesticides are toxic chemicals designed to kill bugs. The problem is, bugs aren’t the only thing they kill. There is mounting evidence that pesticides have significant adverse effects on people. Some of the neurological affects include memory loss, loss of coordination, altered mood and behavior, and reduced motor skills. And many pesticides are known carcinogens.
Pesticides are applied directly to crops and cannot be completely washed away. Many pesticides are odorless and tasteless, so we don’t know when we are ingesting it. Traces of pesticides can now be found in our blood, urine, mother’s milk, amniotic fluid, even our exhaled breath. As the saying goes, we are what we eat. Unless you grow your own crops and raise your own livestock, you almost certainly have pesticides flowing in your body. It’s a pretty scary thought.
Pesticides also contaminate the soil, water, and other vegetation, making it toxic to other organisms including fish, birds, and beneficial insects and plants. To put it succinctly, pesticides are killing us and the plants and animals around us.
According to the latest research, organic foods have higher nutritional value than conventional food. That’s because in the absence of pesticides and fertilizers, plants produce more phytochemicals (i.e., vitamins and antioxidants) to strengthen their resistance to bugs and weeds.
Depending on a person’s size, activity level and metabolism, our bodies require a certain number of calories each day. Make those calories count. For optimum health, feed your body with as much good stuff as possible, and avoid the bad stuff. By eating organic, we are reducing the intake of toxic chemicals AND increasing the intake of essential vitamins and nutrients.
In order for a conventional farmer to convert to organic, they must go 3 years without using any pesticides? That’s right, it takes 3 long years to detoxify their farmland. During that period, their yields are generally lower. That’s why organic foods are pricier than conventional. If more of us ban together and buy organic, it helps farmers make the transition, and we cooperatively create better health for ourselves and a better environment.
GMO stands for genetically modified organism. GMO’s first hit the market in the early 90’s. In order for a food to be certified organic, it must also be non-GMO, but not the other way around. In other words, organic foods are always non-GMO, but non-GMO foods are not necessarily organic. Keep that in mind when grocery shopping.
The promise of GMO foods was higher yields with less pesticides. That translates to lower prices for consumers. However, since GMO farming became prevalent in the US, there is little evidence showing increased yields. In fact, most studies show that yields for GMO crops are about the same as non-GMO.
So far, there is no clear evidence that eating GMO food is bad for our health, but consider the fact that GMO crops are modified in a way that introduces special proteins in the crop. When bugs eat it, their stomachs rupture and they die. Proponents of GMO foods say that the special proteins are perfectly safe for humans, but if a bug dies from eating a food, then maybe we shouldn’t eat it either.
Eating organic foods is not only good for our health, it is good for the environment. Foods that are certified organic will bear a stamp that says “USDA Organic.” Look for that stamp when grocery shopping. Organic foods are also non-GMO, so you don’t have to worry about special proteins lurking in your food.
If we all pitch in, we can make ourselves and the world a healthier place. Every little bit helps. Next time you are at the grocery store, look for the USDA Organic label and buy those foods as much as possible. It’s good for you and it’s good for the world.