In recent years, the demand for organic foods has gained much popularity as people are becoming aware of healthy ways of living by spending on healthy foods rather than on medical bills. Organic foods claim to have more beneficial nutrients, such as antioxidants, than their conventionally grown counterparts. Let us explore the facts if organic food can indeed improve our health.
What does organic food mean?
The term ‘organic’ refers to the way agricultural products are grown and processed. Organic food is food produced by methods that conform to the standards of organic farming without the use of synthetic fertilisers. Standards vary from country to country, but organic farming features practices that recycle resources, promote ecological balance, and conserve biodiversity. How your food is grown or raised can have a major effect on your mental and emotional health as well as the environment.
What are the benefits of organic food?
- Contains fewer pesticides – Chemicals such as fungicides, herbicides, and insecticides are widely used in conventional farming methods and residues may remain in the food we eat. Whereas crops grown organically shun the use of potentially harmful synthetic fertilisers.
- Environment friendly practices – Organic farming methods reduce pollution, conserve water, minimize soil erosion, increase soil fertility, and use less energy. Such methods are employed by a growing number of companies selling anything from coffee to dates. Farming without pesticides is good for nearby birds and animals as well as people who live close to farms.
- More fresh – Organic produce is usually fresher when eaten because it doesn’t contain preservatives that makes it last longer. The crops are often grown on smaller farms near where it is sold so that the produce sells out quickly.
- Richer in certain nutrients – According to a recent research, organic meat and milk contain 50% more Omega-3 fatty acids than conventionally raised meat and milk. Organic meat has slightly lower concentrations of two saturated fats that are linked to greater risk of cardiovascular disease while organic milk contains 40% more linoleic acid.
- No antibiotics, growth hormones, or animal by-products – When livestock is fed animal by-products, the risk of mad cow disease (BSE) arises. Moreover, the use of antibiotics can create antibiotic-resistant strains of bacteria. Organically raised animals are given more space to move around which helps to keep them healthy.
- GMO-free – In order to be resistant to certain pesticides, the DNA of plants are altered in ways that cannot occur in nature or in traditional crossbreeding. Organic food is free from these Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs).
Producing organic food is costlier as it is labour-intensive and requires maximum precautionary measures. On the contrary, it is likely that sales of organic food will continue to rise for the foreseeable future. Each of the benefits discussed in this article help make a case for eating organic. It has also been discovered that people with allergies to foods, chemicals, or preservatives often find their symptoms decrease or end when they eat only organic foods.