You may think that organic food and farming is just a fad, or a scheme to make you pay more money for the same thing. In reality, organic food options actually offer many benefits to your health, and are devoid of many of the additives, pesticides, and hormones that taint traditional produce, meat, and dairy.
Benefits of Organic Foods
Below you’ll learn about some of the top benefits of opting for organic as often as possible.
1. More Antioxidants and Nutrients
Although scientists aren’t quite sure why, organic fruits and vegetables can have almost 70% higher levels of antioxidants than non-organic produce. These antioxidants help our bodies fight off free radicals and reduce our chances of cancer and other diseases. In addition, they also support the overall health of our bodies, from providing reinforcements to our immune systems to promoting a healthy weight. It is also believed that organic options also contain more nutrients, presumably because their nutrient profiles have not been altered by pesticides or other chemicals.
2. Higher Levels of Fatty Acids
Although this mainly applies to organic dairy and meats, it is true that these categories can have 50% more omega-3 fatty acids when grown organically. These fatty acids are important in maintaining brain health and preventing heart disease.
3. Fewer Chemicals
It’s not surprising that consumptions of the chemicals and pesticides used on conventionally-grown produce can be harmful to humans. Thus, organic produce makes for a much better option because it reduces exposure to chemicals and certain antibiotic-resistant bacteria.
4. Lower Nitrate Levels
Although nitric oxide is good for the body, studies suggest than an increased level of nitrates in the body can increase one’s risk for various types of cancer. The nitrate levels in organic crops can be up to 30% lower than conventional crops, which lowers your risk of cancer as well.
5. Better for the Animals
Although organic doesn’t necessarily mean that chickens or cows are raised “free-range,” it does mean that they are not force-fed items their bodies cannot digest. With traditional raising of livestock, hormones are used to make the animals grow faster, and they are pumped with antibiotics to protect them from the plethora of diseases that comes along with living in the cramped quarters that they do.
Organic options guarantee that no hormones or antibiotics were used in the raising of the eggs/meat/dairy, which means the animals likely lived a better life. Organic meat and dairy also means that you are consuming no antibiotics or hormones with your morning omelet.
6. Better for the Environment
Organic farming is better for the environment in many ways. First of all, it makes use of natural waste and by-products of raising livestock. In addition, it also encourages smart farming practices and sustainability; organic farmers will not just dump chemicals, fertilizers, or pesticides onto their soil and crops to fix a problem. Instead, organic farmers must take into account the natural ecosystem and balance of nature, and find the best way to farm productively with nature instead of in constant battle with it. Conventional fertilizers and pesticides also pollute the soil, air, and waterways; organic farming prevents this pollution.
As you can see, organic produce is grown very differently than conventional produce: no pesticides or chemicals are used, and fertilizer is natural and certified organic (think mulch and manure). Organic meat and dairy are also raised differently: without antibiotics or hormones, and they are raised on a natural, organic diet. The elimination of chemicals, hormones, and other additives may mean a small increase in price in the grocery store, but it is well worth it for the health of you, your family, and the environment.