Benefits of Organic Food
One of the most controversial topics in the health industry is if organic food healthier for you? Well the truth is that all research up until today supports what consumers have been saying all along – that organic food is more flavourful, safer and more nutritious than the non-organic counterparts.
So what is it about the flavours that make organic foods better? Fruits and veggies are tastier, milk is richer, and cheeses burst out with more fragrance. For many with the old-school mentality this seems farfetched until they taste it for themselves. Once you’ve experienced the sweetness of fresh organic produce its hard to go back to the other stuff. But is it in fact more nutritious?
Well its pure food, nothing more, nothing less. Data from the US department of Agriculture shows that the mineral levels in fruits, veggies, meat and dairy have been rapidly decreasing since the 1940s. Factor in pre-ripened picking, longer storage and increased processing and it’s easy to see how we could be getting fewer nutrients from our foods.
The real difference with organic foods is evident when you see the lack of artificial colours, flavours, sweeteners, preservatives, residual antibiotics, growth hormones, and pesticides. In fact, none of these additives are permitted in organic foods. Very surprising isn’t it?[ad#ad-2]
Best of all, latest research does indeed support higher nutrient levels. On average, organic crops contain higher levels of trace minerals, vitamin C, and other antioxidants*. That’s because organic crops rely on their own defenses rather than chemical pesticides. Therefore the antioxidants involved in the plant’s own defense system (aka phytonutrients) will be higher in organic produce.
*If you don’t remember why antioxidants are beneficial to us here is a refresher… Oxidation reactions in our body produce free radicals which start chain reactions that damage cells and are thought to cause neurodegenerative diseases and cancer. Antioxidants terminate these chain reactions and keep our cells healthy.
So what makes organic food – organic? Well the main point is that organic foods are free of harsh chemical pesticides. Organic farms not only ban artificial pesticides, but must be free of these chemical pesticides for at least 5-10 years (depending on location). Non-organic fruit and veggies are covered in the stuff and it won’t all wash off. Pesticide residues turn up, not just on fruit and vegetables, but also in bread, baby food and other products. Governments claim that are no risks to health from these pesticide traces, but wouldn’t you rather feed yourself and your kids on food that’s free of these chemicals?
One other thing to think about… Often a lot of people believe they have developed food allergies later in life and this can definitely suck if it is one of your favorite foods. Surprisingly the allergy may not be to the food itself but actually the pesticides or chemical ripening additives! If this sounds familiar then you may want to experiment with organic foods to see if the allergy still exists!
So is organic food better for you? Well if you consider that decreasing your toxin burden and increasing your intake of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants can have a significant impact on health, then it certainly is. Of course, you have to be able to afford the increase in price, but it might be worth cutting out fast foods and spending your money more wisely on home-made meals.
What is your experience with organic foods? Good? Bad? Please leave a comment below:
I agree with you about the flavour. Whenever I buy strawberries they seem to lack so much taste, sometimes they’re even completely tasteless. Not only were they (surprise surprise) not organically grown, but they are commonly stored in a freezer for months on end, just so we can eat them out of season. Now I rarely stray from the whole food / organic path. After all, I think it makes sense seeing as we’ve been eating natural produce for most of our 40,000 year evolutionary history… and evolution is one slow process.