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Health Benefits of Switching to Organic Food

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13 Sep 2018 - General
 

You’ve been hearing a lot about organic food, but what it really refers to is the way agricultural products are grown and processed. Although the regulations vary from country to country, in some countries, for the food to be considered organic, there must be no use of synthetic pesticides, bioengineered genes, petroleum-based fertilizers, and sewage sludge-based fertilizers during the growing of the crops. Furthermore, organic food has more beneficial nutrients, it’s often fresher and offers plenty of other health benefits, unlike its conventionally-grown counterparts.

Has fewer pesticides and heavy metals

All the fruits, vegetables and grains labeled organic are grown without the use of artificial fertilizers and synthetic pesticides. Even though such chemicals are not hazardous if used in small quantities for conventional farming, health experts still claim the chemicals can cause harm if you’re constantly exposed to them.  Roundup, for example, is a well-known used herbicide and has been marked as one of the most probable causes of cancer, while insecticide chlorpyrifos has been brought into connection with developmental delays in infants. Also, according to a meta-analysis in 2014, organically grown crops were less likely to contain detectable levels of pesticides. What’s more, they were also 48% less likely to test positive for a toxic heavy metal that accumulates in the liver and kidney – cadmium − because of the differences in fertilization techniques. Ingesting pesticide residue can also lead to various allergies, asthma, and symptoms related to mild poisoning.

Contains no antibiotics or synthetic hormones

In order to be protected against illnesses, conventional livestock can be fed antibiotics. That’s one of the easiest ways for farmers to keep their animals healthy in crowded conditions. Moreover, conventionally raised animals are often injected with synthetic growth hormones, which helps them produce more milk or gain weight faster. The problem arises when traces of these antibiotics find their way to the consumer, because drug residue may contribute to widespread antibiotic resistance. Considering that healthy organic food is grown without the use of antibiotics, it becomes a much safer choice for the consumers everywhere. Organic meat and dairy is synthetic hormone-free, which lowers the risk of developing cancer. Moreover, those products contain much higher levels of certain nutrients, including omega-3 fatty acids.

A few other benefits

Since organic food contains no preservatives to keep it alive for a longer time, you can be certain that when you buy organic products, they haven’t been on the market for weeks. Organic food helps the environment, because the practices of organic farming reduce pollution, soil erosion, conserve water, use less energy and increase soil fertility. Nearby birds also benefit a lot from organic farming, because without the use of pesticides on the food, the birds won’t come in contact with poisonous chemicals and will live longer and closer to the farms. Once the use of pesticide is reduced, poisons from the environment that kill helpful insects, such as honeybees, will be eliminated. Moreover, the fewer fertilizers you use for growing crops, the more polluted runoff that can poison rivers and oceans you’ll prevent. Organic food is also GMO-free, which means that their DNA hasn’t been altered, and they will grow as nature intended them to.

Final thoughts

Even though organic products are not as affordable as conventionally grown ones, they’re a much healthier choice. You should also keep in mind that even though you may not be able to switch completely to organic food, you should consider buying at least a few organic groceries. If you’re pregnant, think about having organically produced foods instead of conventionally grown ones, at least while you’re expecting, so you don’t jeopardize your baby’s health by eating food containing too many pesticides.