One reason why most people are still on the fence about organic foods is its cost. Based on research, organic foods and products are priced about 45 percent more than conventional ones. But are they worth the extra penny?
The answer is yes, undoubtedly. That is if you care about your health and well-being as much as you should.
Fewer Chemicals, More Nutrients
There have been plenty of researches showing how eating organic foods eliminates toxins. This is because the use of pesticides is prohibited inorganic farming. Aside from pesticide residues, other toxins also appear in conventional food crops such as cadmium, which is a toxic metal that is said to cause cancer. As a result, by choosing organic, we are not subjecting our bodies to those harmful and dangerous chemicals.
Organic foods are not only proven to contain significantly lesser toxins and chemicals. You can also get significantly higher amount of nutrients.
Fruits and Vegetables
Fruits and vegetables, for instance, contain 20 to 70 percent more antioxidants than conventionally-grown kinds. We often hear how our bodies need antioxidants and how we should consume food that are high in antioxidants. One of the many benefits of eating foods with plenty of antioxidants is that it can slow down the aging process by fighting free radicals. Now who doesn’t want that?
Other nutrients found in non organic fruits and vegetables also decreased drastically since mechanized farming was introduced in the 1920s. One perfect example is the amount of nutrients in apple. It is said that to be able to get the same amount of iron in one apple in 1950, you had toeat26 apples by 1998. By now, you probably need to add a few pieces more. Whoever says the difference isn’t a big deal must be kidding, right?
Meat and Milk
Other organic foods, more often than not, have much more vitamins and minerals as well as healthy fatty acids, when it comes to meat and dairy. It has been discovered that organic free-range eggs contain more nutrients than factory-raised eggs; for instance, organic eggs have two-thirds more vitamin A, twice more omega-3, thrice more Vitamin E, and up to seven times more beta carotene 10. Organic meat such as those from free-range cows have more vitamin E, CLA, and beta-carotene.
When it comes to organic milk, it has been found out that it contains 25 percent less omega-6 fats and 60 percent more omega-3 fats. In fact, based on recent reviews, half a liter of organic full fat milk already contains about 40 milligrams or16 percent of the daily requirement omega-3. The conventional milk only has 25 milligrams. Omega-3 helps reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease and improve neurological and immune functions. Put simply, they have less of the bad stuff and more of the good stuff.
Another thing that should be properly noted when drinking milk is the iodine content of conventional varieties. Conventional milk already has74 percent more iodine than organic. If you are getting enough or even excessive iodine from other food sources, this cannot be a good thing for your health. To give you a better picture, half a liter, which equates to 2 cups, of conventional milk already gives you 88 percent RDI of iodine as compared to53 percent from organic milk. Thus, consuming conventional milk in excess is not helping in achieving a balanced diet.
You Know Where Your Food Comes From
The way your food is being grown matters. The quality of the food that is now on your plate is not only affected by how it is cooked but more so, by how it is grown and raised. Like other things in our life, cutting corners will also compromise the quality of both the food and our human health, by extension.
It would be great to grow your own food on your own backyard, but this is not realistic and viable for everyone. The next best thing to do is to connect with local farmers that grow these crops, fruits, and vegetables as well as poultry-raisers. You would want eggs hatched by pastured and free-range hens. As for meat, always look for the grass-fed label. Most, if not all, meat found in the supermarkets are contaminated with drugs used in concentrated animal feeding operations (CAFO), unless stated otherwise. You need to understand that the living conditions of these animals are highly connected to its safety. Consuming meat that are not organic poses a major threat to the public health, and this should bean important factor in your decision buying.
Soil plays a big part in organic farming, so organic farmers make it a point that they maintain the soils healthy. One way of doing so is by not using harmful chemicals that kill the microbial inhabitants. The use of these agricultural chemicals will eventually lead to the depletion of the soils, and sooner or later, we won’t be able to grow our food on these grounds anymore.
Aside from the nutrients, taste is also affected by the chemicals. You would often hear from older people how food used to taste better. Because of all the alterations caused by chemicals, the mineral content of our food is diminished. It must be noted that the flavor of the fruits and vegetables is from the mineral compounds. This deterioration all goes back to the condition of the soil.
If you couldn’t care less where your food comes from, at least care where your food goes especially when you are an expectant mother. There have been several studies showing the relationship f organic food consumption to beneficial health impacts.
Productivity and Sustainability
Many claim that organic farming is inefficient, but there are no sufficient studies to prove this. One reason that those who resist give is that it is impossible to feed the world with organic farming. It’s about time that we debunk this. Today, more and more studies show that organic farming result to better and higher yield in the long run.
A chunk of these conservatives is composed of conventional farmers. They are afraid that their productivity would decrease and as a result, their profit would also diminish. However, based on more recent researches, on the average, an organic farmer actually earns around 20 to 35 percent more.
In addition, it has been found out that organic farms are better during drought. The soil is made up or organic material, which can hold onto water more. Meaning, the crops have higher water content stored, and they will likely survive the drought.
Aside from productivity, organic farming promotes biodiversity. It thrives in a natural ecosystem and it benefits the ecosystem. Organic farming also provides social benefits. It encourages social interactions and communication between farmers and consumers, and it works both ways. Our farmers will be more empowered, and consumers will be more conscious – of their health, others, and the environment.
So going back to the question posed earlier. Is organic food worth the premium price? It definitely is. The benefits truly outweigh the minor setbacks, and everyone benefits from it – the consumers, the farmers, the planet.