We often ask this question at the supermarket: Should I choose organic foods?
Many consumers are now buying organic food in recent years. In fact, around 70 percent of Americans occasionally buy organic.
People have different reasons for buying them. Many choose it because they want nutritious food. Others prefer it because they think it tastes better. Whatever the reasons, consuming organic foods help people live healthier lives.
Despite the recent popularity, many people still wonder if organic foods are really better for them and if it’s really worth the extra money. Here’s why you should switch to organic food.
What is Organic Food?
Organic foods are farmed without using harmful chemicals. These are fruits, vegetables and meat from clean and pesticide-free farms.
Organic livestock are free of antibiotics and growth hormones. They’re allowed to roam freely in pastureland and/or fed with organic crops. Organic farm animals have a natural diet to keep them healthy.
When you buy organic crops, you’re sure they’re not exposed to toxic substances that speed up plant growth. Moreover, organic crops are not genetically modified. They also do not have the following chemicals:
- Traditional pesticides
- Synthetic fertilizers
- Sewage sludge
How do you know you’re buying organic food? The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) checks and certifies all organic crops and meat. To get the USDA organic seal, farmed fruits, vegetables and meat must have 95 percent organic ingredients. So always check the seal before buying just any organic meat or vegetables.
Are Organic Foods Really Healthier for You?
Processed food with loads of preservatives are everywhere. When you don’t know what’s in your food, it’s easy to just eat anything. So it boils down to how our food is made.
Choosing organic meat, vegetables and fruits have plenty of health benefits. Sure, you may not even notice the difference in taste. Some people might even say they think it doesn’t matter. However, it’ does. Organic is definitely the safer, more ethical choice. Consider these 5 benefits the next time you go grocery shopping:
- Avoid toxic substances – Regular crops have pesticides and fertilizers. Now, they don’t just magically go away when you cook them. Eating them puts toxic substances in your body. In fact, pesticide in food is linked to headaches and birth defects. Even a little is toxic to pregnant women and unborn babies. Long-term exposure is also poisonous to adults. In short, it’s time to stop buying food laced with pesticides.
- Get more nutrients – Back then, people thought fertilizers were good for plants. However, they actually make crops less nutritious. Organic plants simply grow better without chemical fertilizers. They make more nutrients and phytochemicals that fight pests and weeds. Organic plants contain more vitamin C, E and antioxidants. Antioxidants fight cancer and promote cell renewal.
- Avoid contaminated meat with antibiotics – Today, scientists worry about using antibiotics on farm animals. Back then, they thought these actually kept livestock disease-free. However, over time, using them developed antibiotic-resistant bacteria. This is the sad result of raising animals in cramped and dirty sheds. The bacteria contaminates meat and causes severe illness in people who eat them.
- Reduce your risk of certain cancers – Eating regular meat with growth hormones is linked with prostate and breast cancer. It’s a good enough reason to just quit regular meat altogether. According to research, people who eat meat with recombinant bovine growth hormones also have high growth hormones in their blood. This increases the risk of prostate cancer by 50 percent in men. It also raises breast cancer risk by 65 percent in women.
- Reduce soil and water pollution – Commercial farming is a huge problem in the food industry. Pesticides pollute the water and make soil infertile. To stop this, we should buy crops from organic farms. The Environmental Working Group says unsafe levels of pesticide are in our tap water. This is based on tests they’ve done throughout many states. Supporting organic farms definitely lessens chemicals that destroy our environment.
Without a doubt, choosing organic foods is better for our overall health. It’s not just healthy, it ensures we’re eating safe and nutritious food. Organic farming is also a sustainable way to produce food without harming the environment. Though organic may cost more, the benefits still far outweigh the cost.
Do you buy organic foods? If so, how often?