Sunday market in Paris: All organic food – Photo Courtesy: Richard Smith
One of the biggest reasons why people around the world are switching to organic food is because it is more nutritious. Organically grown food is rich in fiber, minerals and vitamins. So, switching to organic food makes your body more resistant to various diseases, mainly because it has a much higher level of essential nutrients needed by your body to fend off against infections.
Here are a few other reasons to go organic:
- Organically grown foods, especially the non-processed and raw foods, have a higher level of beta carotene, Vitamins C, E, and D. They also contain health promoting polyphenols, bio flavonoids, and cancer fighting antioxidants which help to ward off conditions like heart disease.
- On average, organic food is said to be around 25% more nutritious in the way of minerals and vitamins as opposed to foods derived from industrial agriculture processes. Since the average shelf price of organic foods is just 20% higher, on average, than their chemical counterparts, it is, in fact, still cheaper in terms of its per gram nutrition value, even if the astronomical hidden costs of industrial foods are taken into account. For instance, the levels of antioxidants in milk which stems from organic cattle is around 80% higher. Also, organic tomatoes, wheat, cabbage, potatoes, lettuce and onions are around 20% to 40% higher in nutrition compared to non-organic foods.
- Foods that are grown using chemicals like nitrates and pesticides not only ruin the soil but also have a drastic effect on the food’s quality. The US and UK government statistics show that the levels of trace minerals found in food grown using chemicals is less than 76% when compared to their organic counterparts. Many researchers also conclude that it is this very reason why obesity is on the rise in the developed and now the developing world.
So what is organic food?
By definition, all food is organic. So, labeling one food as being organic does not mean that other foods have been grown in a test tube. That said, there are a number of reasons why organic foods are in fact labelled organic which include:
- Organic foods do not contain flavor enhancers, additives, artificial sweeteners, contaminants, preservatives, etc. – all of which can cause an array of health issues.
- Eating organic food does have the potential to literally lower the incidence of conditions like cancer, diabetes, autism, osteoporosis, heart disease, learning disorders, hyperactivity, dementia and migraines.
Organic food is not only healthy but safe too
- Organic food is not genetically modified, mainly because under the organic standards, all genetically engineered fruits, vegetables and crops are prohibited.
- Organic standards dictate that animals are not raised on drugs. Organic farmers do not use growth hormones, antibiotics, and genetically modified vaccines on their farm animals. This is mainly because hormone laced dairy products are often linked to an increase of testis, breast and even prostate cancer.
- Also, organic animals are not fed the remains of other animals which come from slaughter houses. Waste like blood or manure is kept away from organic animals which reduces the instances of CJD which is the human version of the infamous mad cow disease as well as Alzheimer’s in the long term.
- Organic farms do not feed their animals arsenic.
- Organic animals are also not fed the byproducts of corn ethanol production which has been linked to an increase of the E. Coli virus contamination.
- Organic crops are grown using natural fertilizer and not using toxic sewage sludge, waste or coal waste or even using E. Coli contaminated water.
- Also, organic food is never irradiated. In a recent study, cats which were fed a steady diet of irradiated food ended up with sclerosis in just 4 months.
- Organic foods are known to contain far less illness inducing viruses and bacteria. For instance, organic chicken is known to be free of salmonella as well as a reduced incidence of campylobacter.
While you may be paying extra up front for organically grown and raised food, the fact is that you’re saving in the long run. Consider how much treating cancer, diabetes, and heart diseases costs these days. You also need to factor in the pain and suffering you’ll go through when combating these illnesses. Also, organic foods help you live longer and healthier.
Mark (Manu Alias) is one of the leading authorities on organic foods grown in Sydney. He runs his own organic operations where he raises and sells everything organic.