Have you ever wondered, when at the supermarket, what is ‘organic food’?
Why is it more expensive than standard food?
Is it any different?
Well, buying organic food can make a world of difference, not just for you, but for others as well.
The exact definition of organic food is food that is produced using methods that do not involve modern synthetic pesticides and chemical fertilisers. They are also regulated so that the production process doesn’t involve irradiation, the use of industrial solvent or chemical additives.
Before the 20th century, all food was organic but since then has seen the introduction of chemicals to boost crop yields.
The fact that organic food has so many regulations to class it as organic food is probably the reason why it’s so expensive in the first place. Without the use of commercial chemical growth encouragement, organic farms have a lower yield and take longer to fully mature their crops or livestock.
And for this reason, organic food is given a higher price than conventionally grown foods.
Many people will look at organic food and think:
‘It’s more expensive than the standard one but is the exact same product. Why would I spend more of my money on the same thing?’
You would do it because the organic product is not the same as the conventionally grown one and there are more than enough reasons why you, as the customer, should purchase organic food.
I’ve come up eight reasons which I think will encourage you to buy organic.
Table of Contents
- 1. Buying Organic Means You’re Only Putting Food In Your Mouth
- 2. Organic Food Has More Nutrients
- 3. Buying Organic Helps The Future Generations
- 4. Buying Organic Helps Preserve The Environment
- 5. Buying Organic Improves Animal Welfare
- 6. Buying Organic Helps Farmer Welfare
- 7. Buying Organic Tastes Better
- 8. Buying Organic Will Become Cheaper
1. Buying Organic Means You’re Only Putting Food In Your Mouth
The main concern with non-organic foods is that the artificial chemicals used remain on the food, albeit in trace amounts, but nevertheless present.
To give you a brief run-through of the extra things you’re eating with non-organic foods: Crops have artificial fertilizers, insecticides and fungicides dusted on them while animals are boosted with antibiotics and excessive growth hormones.
Lets face it: Chemicals designed to kill insects and fungus aren’t going to be doing you much good either, increasing the risks of cancer, neurological outcomes and hindering reproduction.
In organic foods, these artificial chemicals are banned and natural chemicals are used instead. For example, manure. This poses much less of a health risk than non-organic foods.
2. Organic Food Has More Nutrients
One of the main benefits of organic food is that it’s generally richer in nutrients.
For example, a study carried out in 2012 found that the levels of phosphorus in organic foods were significantly higher than in non-organic foods.
Phosphorus is a key building block in DNA and is vital for a normal, functioning body.
Similarly to this, the study conducted also concluded that organic chicken was found to have higher levels of omega-3 fatty acids than conventionally grown chicken.
Omega-3 fatty acids are also extremely important because they play a vital role in maintaining a normal metabolism and since they are an essential acid, they cannot be synthesised in the human body.
Eating organic allows you to reap the benefits of increased nutrition in your diet and to live a healthier, more active lifestyle.
3. Buying Organic Helps The Future Generations
As already established, non-organic foods contain trace amounts of pesticides. Consuming them doesn’t just affect you, but on the next generation as well.
In fact there is strong existing evidence that pesticide exposure in pregnant mothers can cause birth defects, death and altered growth to a developing fetus.
This was proven in the US, when the concentration of agrochemicals increased in surface water, leading to more cases.
It is also shown that repeated exposure can cause infertility in females and sterility in males. So pesticides found in non-organic food doesn’t just affect unborn foetuses; it could also make you unable to have a baby.
Since agrochemicals are banned on organic farms, buying organic means you’re not going to be putting synthetic chemicals in your mouth which will damage your future generations.
4. Buying Organic Helps Preserve The Environment
Fertilisers used on non-organic farms typically consist of nitrates, phosphates and potassium ions, all essential in their growth processes. However, these ions are highly soluble and can dissolve in rainwater.
When these run off into a body of water, it can have some serious effects. It can result into the complete death of all life in the water by speeding up a process called eutrophication.
It’s a long process, which I’m not going to explain, but you can read up on it if you want.
Pesticides, leached into bodies of water, may also have disastrous consequences on life. In a process called bio-accumulation, the concentration of toxins is increased as it moves up the food chain. This is also quite complex so I’m not going to explain it but please read up on it.
Long story short, the use of artificial chemicals on farms is seriously damaging the environment. Since organic farms don’t use them, by buying organic, you will be helping sustain the environment.
5. Buying Organic Improves Animal Welfare
Have you ever seen the inside of a chicken farm?
You probably don’t want to because the treatment of the chickens is inhumane at best. They are cramped into tiny boxes for their entire lives, fed commercial feed which has been spiked with antibiotics and growth hormones.
Frustrated at spending their lives in a box, they peck each other and to stop this, farmers cut their beaks off at one day old. The beak isn’t dead tissue like a horse’s hoof. Instead it’s complex, with many nerve systems. It’s about as painful as getting your nose chopped off.
The treatment of chickens is only one example of animal cruelty; dairy cows, sheep etc. Whatever the livestock, they are all treated the same. This is where you can help.
Organic farms allow chickens to roam around, for cattle to graze the fields and for sheep to enjoy life. They are already dying for us so we should let them live a life worth living for.
6. Buying Organic Helps Farmer Welfare
If the effects of pesticides can be seen when consuming trace amounts, imagine the effects on the farmers, who have to spray the fields, when they are exposed to its vapors. Farmers who apply these chemicals have a higher risk of a variety of cancers, neurological conditions, such as Parkinson’s or Dementia and reduced fertility.
Thankfully, organic farmers don’t have the same problems because they don’t use artificial chemicals which can seriously damage their health. Buying organic helps improve the conditions in which hard working farmers work under.
7. Buying Organic Tastes Better
According to studies, organic and non-organic food taste pretty much the same, give or take. However, the mistake they made was not taking into account that their study was purely scientific.
Knowing that organic food was grown naturally, free from synthetic chemicals, industrial processes and that you’re eating an animal which has lived a good, natural life, feels good.
8. Buying Organic Will Become Cheaper
Organic food may be expensive now but it will become cheaper. If more and more people realise the benefits of buying organic, the demand will rise. More and more farms will start to produce organic food instead.
With a larger supply of organic food, the price will decrease and eventually, the majority of food produced will be organic. So next time you’re out shopping, maybe switch a few items in your shopping cart to organic and see the difference for yourself.
Remind yourself, that by buying organic, you’re not eating food tainted with synthetic chemicals or meat tainted with antibiotics and growth hormones. Know that the animals have lived a good life and, most importantly, know that’s why organic food rocks.
Health by choice, not by chance.
I’ve read a few things about organic food and one of them is that it isn’t the chemical put on that it that is bad for you but that the chemical will block the plant’s (e.g cabbage) ability to photosynthesis some of the cancer preventing properties thus reducing it’s power to keep us well.