You’ve all heard it – “you are what you eat” and if this is true that mean most of us are “additives”. Sure, this is a disturbing notion; food additives are associated with various health problems, from minor allergic reactions to life threatening cancers. So, for those of us who are distraught by the thought of consuming additives, pink slime and other impurities, it’s time to go organic. Building your diet on organic foods will not only help you live healthier but it will also benefit the environment.
What Are Organic Foods?
“Organic’ is the term used to describe the production of agricultural produce. Organic foods include plants produced using environmentally friendly methods on organic farms. Simple techniques such as animal manure, crop rotation, composting and biological pest control are key ingredients in organic farming.
Organic foods also include meat from animals reared and fed in natural living conditions. They are produced in accordance to organic farming guidelines that are devoted to working in unison with the environment rather than against it.
Organic Farming strives to:
Avoid the production of genetically modified organisms (GMO)
Improve farm animal’s welfare and reduce the use of pesticides and chemicals in farming.
Encourage consumers to purchase food produced locally and in season.
Protects biodiversity by encouraging natural habits for animals, plants and wildlife.
It’s Raining Pesticides and GM Foods
Trace the origins of the corn in your cupboard or the meat your refrigerator. What are the chances that they were produced locally on an organic farm? Over the last few years the industrial food market has somewhat “swallowed” the organic market and its consumers. GM foods first entered Britain, as animal feed but today there are large quantities of these foods being imported for human consumption. If you trace the foods in your home back to the farm, there is a high chance you will end up on a foreign farm washed by chemicals and harboring genetically engineered organisms (GMOs).
Genetically engineered foods (GE foods) are derived from plants and animals who’s DNA has been altered through genetic engineering. Although genetically engineered foods received a lot of backlash when they were first introduced in the 1970s, they form a major part of our diets today.
For example, potatoes, one of the major sources of carbohydrate is now being engineered with a bacterium found in soil known as, Bacillus Thuringiensis (BT). This is to help the plant produce bacterial toxins on its own in order to repel insects. However, is it worth it? In my opinion, there are other healthier ways to get rid of insects on a farm.
Maize, sugar beet, soybeans, wheat, rice and canola are just a short list of imported crops that are now been genetically manipulated for the benefit of corporate producers – it does more harm than good for the consumers. Adding to this, farmers are now washing their produce with glyphosate and other chemicals researchers are finding it in the air and surrounding streams. Therefore, there is a great possibility that your diet is built mainly on genetically engineered foods.
Health Benefits of Going Organic
It’s up to you – the consumer – to choose a healthier path. Eventually the producers will have to listen to your demands and jump on board. Therefore, try putting your money where your mouth is. Choosing organic food in the current industrialized market is a direct vote for a more sustainable and healthier future. Here are a few reasons why your next meal should be organic:
Healthier and More Attractive Body
What you put on your grocery list plays a major role in helping you lose weight. Imported wheat, soybean, potatoes and other crops grown in sterile soil are not only distributed to your local market vendors, they are also used to feed farm animals. This results in foods that are fattening with empty calories and a number of health risks. In addition, chemicals present in conventionally produced foods increase hunger cravings, forcing you to overindulge when eating. Some food additives are also allergenic and can increase insulin levels in humans, creating serious problems for people with diabetes.
We all love the idea of eating healthy for the aesthetic benefits – having the perfect body. However, your decision to go organic should not be based solely on the desire to be “perfect” but more so your goal to live a healthy life. A healthy body is an attractive body, eliminating all impurities from your diet will help you stay younger and live a more energetic life. Therefore, start focusing on improving your health as the major benefit of eating organic foods and everything else will fall into place.
No Chemical Threats
Consuming foods that are grown organically is the best way to avoid chemical poisoning from conventionally grown food. Numerous chemicals are used for agricultural purposes today, with the average annual application per farmer equating to 15lbs. Although most of these chemicals are approved by the Environmental Protection Agency, 90% hav estill yet to be adequately tested for potential long-term health problems.
Medical findings have revealed that pesticides used on farms enhance the aging of the nervous and immune system leading to severe health problems that may occur later in life. Poor foetus development, learning disorders and neurological problems such as depression, poor memory and behavioural issues have been linked to agricultural chemicals in the past. Opt for organic crops and meat that are produced locally, rather than imported GM foods to avoid lifestyle diseases.
Organic Foods Are Better Sources of Nutrients
Organic foods have a greater supply of minerals and vitamins compared to industrial produced foods, courtesy of the rich supply of nutrients found in chemical free naturally nurtured soil. The Soil Association conducted an investigation to compare the amount of vitamins and minerals found in organic food vs industrial foods. Their findings revealed that organic foods are richer in vitamin C and other minerals such as magnesium, calcium, chromium and iron that are essential for good health. Below is a brief breakdown of the findings:
Iron – 20% more
Vitamin C – 28% more
Magnesium – 30% more
Phosphorous – 13% more
Organically grown foods such as lettuce, potatoes, cabbage and spinach had a higher amount of minerals (Cleeton).
Enjoy it! It Taste Better
Give it a try today! Foods that are grown organically usually taste better than conventional foods since they are fresher and richer in nutrients. Crops are more likely to flourish in a friendly environment while rooted in nourishing biologically active soil. This is especially true for organically grown heirloom vegetables that are produced to satisfy your taste buds.
If we had to produce our own food, we would not have time enjoy eating them. Luckily, we do not have to spend our days farming in our backyards. However, this does not let us off the hook. We still have to be cautious about where the food at our tables is coming from so that we can avoid unhealthy eating habits. Your youth, health and longevity is on the line.