10 reasons to buy organically grown produce
Courtesy of Clean Food Organic Magazine Volume 4
- 1. Superior nutrition
It seems logical, healthy soil and healthy plants produce health foods. Through nourishing the soil, organic farming helps to give our bodies the nourishment they need to function optimally. The evidence is mounting… and more is to come. Recent studies suggest organically grown fruit, vegetables and grain offer more Vitamin C, trace minerals and antioxidants. The essential nutrients of many of our foods are depleted through the combination of artificial fertilisation of soil, early picking, processing and extended storage in non-organic farming.
- 2. No nasties in your food
The cocktail of pesticides, chemicals, and additives in conventional food has been linked to cancer, birth defects, nerve damage, genetic mutations, Parkinson's disease and fertility issues. And, the minimal use of additives in organic food, compared with up to 500 in conventional food, appears to result in lower occurrences of Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD), heart disease, migraines and allergies.
- 3. Healthy kids
Infants and children are more vulnerable to the toxins from pesticide residues and environmental chemicals for several reasons, beginning with their larger intake of food per kilo for body weight. Also, as their bodies and critical organs are still in development stages they are more susceptible to pesticide toxicity. The risk is further increased due to the main food groups that make up a toddler's diet. Fruit and vegetables, such as apples, peaches, pears, strawberries and green beans tend to have the highest levels of pesticide residues, is it any wonder then that new mothers are increasingly turning to organic products?
- 4. Better taste
Taste is a personal thing but most surveys suggest that organic wins out in flavour. Higher natural sugar content, more nutrients in soil, less water to dilute flavour, grown in season, fewer early pickings, reduced time in storage and happier and healthier plants and animals due to care given in rearing and production are just a few reasons why. Try it for yourself and see!
- 5. Animal welfare
Animals on organic farms are not confined, caged or mutilated. They roam in the open space and eat their natural diet, supplemented by organic non-GMO grain. Antibiotics are not routinely used to prevent illness. Instead there is a preference for homeopathy and other natural healing remedies. For example, certified organic chickens live about twice as long as their intensively farmed counterparts, spend up to 85% of their day in open pastures and the rest of their time in a shed with approximately 4 500 other birds compared to an intensive chicken shed that can house up to 25 000 birds. There is a view that with less stress in their lives and less toxins in their bodies, the quality of meat is considerably superior.
- 6. Protection of natural resources
It seems we are waking up to the fact that conventional farming is unsustainable. It is depleting many of our natural life-giving resources. Soil is rapidly being eroded; pesticides and chemicals used contaminate water, kill fish and other living organisms and wildlife; and an indefinite dependence on oil by commercial agricultural practices is unsustainable. In comparison, organic farming protects our soil, water quality and quantity, and promotes biodiversity.
- 7. Saves energy and positively impacts climate change
The natural and more labour-intensive farming practices or organic and biodynamic agriculture use less fossil fuels and release less CO2 emissions. And when a consumer buys locally 6 produced food, the reduced travel distance from farm to plate further minimizes reliance upon fossil fuels.
- 8. Farmer wellbeing
And, it protects our farmers' commercial wellbeing: in the wake of chemical-driven mass agricultural production, organic farming is one of the few realistic survival means for small, independently-owned family farms.
- 9. Pay now rather than pay later
Although 'cheaper' at the price point, conventional food does not reflect the hidden costs borne each year by the government to clean up water pollution and from pesticide testing and regulation, soil erosion and desalination. Nor does it reflect our health costs and medical bills later in life. And, let us not forget the priceless damage to our environment. Buying organic means paying a little bit more now to avoid paying a lot more later!
- 10. Leave the inheritance for your kids and grandkids
As organic farming uses general sustainability practices, it ensures the protection of the environment and the maintenance of quality land for future generations.