The health benefits of going organic
There is an increasing popularity and demand for organic food in many parts of the world. Looking one step beyond eating healthy is the question of food safety, nutrition, and sustainability. How foods are grown or raised can impact both our health and the environment. So why are organic foods said to be better than conventionally grown foods?
What does “organic” mean?
It generally refers to foods that are produced using stringent agricultural methods that do not involve modern synthetic inputs such as synthetic pesticides, chemical fertilizers, Genetically modified organisms” genetically modified organisms (GMO), and are not processed using irradiation, industrial solvents, or chemical food additives.
Why are pesticides a concern?
Herbicides, fungicides, insecticides used can be sometimes carcinogenic, and can impact the nervous system.
• Children and foetus are most vulnerable to pesticide exposure due to their less developed immune systems
• Pregnant women are also vulnerable and pesticides can be passed from mother to child in the womb as well as through breast milk
• Lastly, most of us have accumulated build up of pesticide exposure in our bodies over the years. This “chemical burden” could lead to health issues and add strain to our immune systems.
What should I buy?
Switching to organic is tough for many families who don’t want to pay higher prices or give up their favourite foods. Just by choosing organic versions of a few foods that you eat often, you can increase the percentage of organic food in your diet without having a big impact on your wallet. It’s best to try as far as possible to eat organic meat – to avoid possible antibiotic contamination.
If you need to work within a certain budget, you can use this information to prioritise your organic purchases to help lower your overall pesticide exposure. It is also recommended to go through a detox programme if the toxic exposure is high. Always conduct a detox programme under a practitioner’s supervision.
Organic food is far more nutritious than ordinary produce, and can help improve health and longevity. On average, organic food contains higher levels of vitamins & essential minerals and cancer-fighting antioxidants.
Plants that are grown without fertilizers or pesticides adapt to the harsh environment by producing more proteins and anti oxidants to help them resist bugs and collect nutrients from the surroundings more effectively- hence the possibility of higher nutritional content
Organic foods do not contain food additives, chemical pesticides which are routinely used in conventional farming and residues often present in non-organic food.
No GM (Genetically modified) crops and ingredients are used. Genetically modified plants or animals have its DNA altered and these products have gone through only short term testing to determine their effects on human and environment.
Organically raised animals are not fed with antibiotics, growth hormones or animal by-products. There is growing concern about the high use of antibiotics on farm animals and the possible effects on human health.
Many people prefer organic food because they say it tastes better and fresher probably because it doesn’t contain preservatives that make it last longer.
Organic farming practices generally reduce pollution (air, water, soil), conserve water, reduce soil erosion, increase soil fertility, and use less energy.
Animals are not confined to a miserable caged life which can release stress hormones that get into your body when you consume them.