In the last five to six years, the organic food industry grew by 30% largely due to the radical sentiments of the public that organic food is healthier than conventional food. There have been a number of environmental groups supporting the non-usage of pesticides and fertilizers in growing or producing food. They promoted the use of organic food and lobbied for this so strongly over time that the notion of organic food being a healthier alternative also became the preference of a vast number of people. Producers and manufacturers amplified this notion that organic food is better.
An advocate for organic food, Organic Facts aims to present accurate information regarding this matter. In recent years, there have been scientific studies conducted in the attempt to prove that organic food is, in fact, more superior compared with non-organic food; however, these studies have not been successful in providing clear-cut evidence for this premise. On the other hand, this resulted in the USDA and FDA announcing that non-organic food is just as healthy as organic food.
It has to be said that currently, scientific studies are being conducted to compare certain types of organically and non-organically produced food to find out what health benefits are presented. Scientific studies show that organically produced milk and tomatoes are factually healthier than their non-organically produced counterparts.
Organic milk is produced from organic cows that are grazed and pastured. Studies from the Danish Institute of Agricultural Research at the University of Aberdeen and the Institute of Grassland and Environmental Research show that organic milk is healthier than non-organic milk since organic milk contains more antioxidants, conjugated linoleic acid (CLA), vitamins, and omega-3 fatty acids.
The University of California, Davis conducted a 10-year study on organic tomatoes. This study confirmed that organic tomatoes, which are grown in an environment that does not contain nitrogen-rich chemical fertilizers, presented massive amounts of antioxidants. Data showed that the tomatoes contained 97% more kaempferol and 79% more quercetin which are antioxidants well-known to reduce the chances of cancer development or heart diseases in individuals.
Studies such as these have played a major role in making a lot of people believe that organic food is, in fact, healthier than non-organic food. More and more people have now stopped using pesticides and fertilizers in growing their crops, fruits, and vegetables but instead have opted to sustain an organic way of farming. It also has to be said that there is still a debate about organic food being contaminated with viruses or bacteria due to the absence of strong chemicals that could protect the farm products; however, there no studies currently that support this claim. There is proof though that non-organically produced farm products have been contaminated with fertilizers and pesticides.
Health Benefits of Organic Food
Organic food is relatively pricier in the market today. However, organic food farmers, consumers, and producers think that the benefits that can be provided by organic food are worth the price. In this article, we will take a look at some of these benefits.
It has been established by a number of studies that antioxidants reduce the risk of individuals developing cancer, heart diseases, vision problems, premature aging, and other illnesses. Many studies have shown that organic food contains excessive amounts of antioxidants resulting from these being grown without using harmful chemicals and heavy metals. Furthermore, aside from the quantity of antioxidants present in organic food, the quality these antioxidants impact a person’s overall health more positively as well. Choosing organic food, therefore, will increase both the quantity and quality of antioxidant in the body and decrease the risks from intake of hazardous metals.
Using pesticides in farming have been a practical option for farmers because these pesticides can prevent bugs and pests from attacking their crops. The effectivity of pesticides for this purpose cannot be denied; however, studies show that people have been eating along with pesticide-coated food the unnatural mineral compound called organophosphorus. In fact, 80% of this compound in our bodies comes from the food taken in. Although still highly debated, organophosphorus has been cited as the causing factor of developmental problems, but many people are opting to go organic if only to ensure that their children are growing up healthily.
Grazing animals can lead to the increased amount of CLA found in animal products. This fatty acid is very effective in boosting heart protection; it can be found in meat and milk from animals that have been left free to feed on pastures.
Genetically modifying food (e.g., producing larger tomatoes) has been on the table for the last ten years. It is still highly debated, and there are still many unanswered questions regarding this way of growing food. Some of the negative results in genetically modified food being fed to animals are weakened immune system, increased birth mortality rate, certain cancers, sensitivity to allergens, and sexual dysfunctions, among others. Organic food advocates are emphasizing the lack of evidence of positive long-term effects resulting from genetically modifying food, hence, they are still promoting organic food.
People are in the habit of taking antibiotics to fight off infections or taking vaccines to counter new string in bacteria; however, non-organic food sources such as poultry and livestock houses are also feeding antibiotics to their animals. The irony is that instead of benefiting from antibiotics or vaccines, man is actually taking in an overdose of these elements thereby weakening the immune system. Organic food growers, on the other hand, do not use antibiotics or other chemicals in their production.
Many can attest that farm fresh products taste better than conventionally produced products that have been frozen and shipped to grocery shelves and freezers. There is a strong belief therefore that organic food tastes better than non-organic food.
Because harmful chemicals and hazardous metals are not used in farming organic food, there is less pollution in the air, soil, and water resulting to a healthier and safer environment that can benefit people for many years.
Animals that are left to feed freely in pastures, fish that are not given artificial feeds, livestock that are not caged, these aspects give consumers a sense of satisfaction from the knowledge that they are taking part in appropriate animal welfare.
Since organic food producers opt to use natural fertilizers, such as manure instead of pesticides, they are not exposed to harmful chemicals nor are the consumers eating contaminated food – thereby resulting in a much better overall health of both producers and consumers.