Strong Evidence That Organic Food Has Health Benefits
It’s easy to understand why so many people are switching to organic food. Not only does it provide tastier food, it’s more environmentally responsible as well. Organic food is food made by systems following strict organic agricultural guidelines. Standards differ around the world, but organic agriculture still involves practices that restore ecological balance, cycle natural resources, and preserve biodiversity.
Organic production is labor intensive, because farmers must use manure from healthy animals, fertilizers and pesticides to treat fields, feed, and other items. Organic ingredients are grown without using synthetic chemicals, hormones, or antibiotics. Organic food is a round the clock business. It takes time for crops to grow, and organic ingredients can take up to two years to mature. Farmers are constantly testing for contamination and ensuring organic ingredients don’t enter the marketplace before quality standards are met.
Organic food also doesn’t use synthetic hormones, antibiotics, or other artificial ingredients. Organic farmers make their own compost to control pests, avoid using fertilizers, pesticides, and other chemicals, and don’t inject Bovine Growth Hormone (BGH) into cattle. Ingesting hormones can cause a wide range of diseases in people, including breast and prostate cancer.
Some types of organic foods may contain small traces of prohibited substances, such as pesticides used to keep weeds in check. Organically grown vegetables may contain traces of pesticide residues. However, it’s advised that you avoid vegetables grown with pesticides unless certified organic.
Manures and fertilizers are the source of natural compost in most organic garden plots. Manures can be organically-grown (without pesticides), or they can be conventional, non-organic. Manures are comprised of straw, alfalfa, or topsoil. These elements are mixed with bedding and recycled sewage sludge. The nutrient-dense bedding and soil can be replenished seasonally with topsoil or garden clippings.
Certified organic foods come from suppliers who follow strict regulations when growing plants. When growing foods that are certified organic, there’s no use of chemicals. Certified organic foods must contain at least 95% naturally-occurring minerals, such as iron, calcium, and magnesium. Organic foods must also be free of synthetic fertilizer, herbicides, pesticides, or added hormones. In addition, organic foods can only contain naturally-occurring nutrients.
With organic farming, crop rotation is encouraged so that the soil is not depleted of the nutrients that the plants need to grow. Crops should also be planted according to their suitability for different types of soils. Crop rotation ensures that crops get the required amount of sunlight, water, and nutrients from the soil so that they can grow healthy.
Organic farmers do not use chemical pesticides or herbicides to control pests or prevent soil erosion, since these substances have been linked to a number of health problems, such as cancer, birth defects, neurological disorders, and respiratory problems. They also refrain from using dangerous chemicals in their agricultural fields. Moreover, they take the necessary steps to ensure that they do not harm consumers when they harvest crops. For instance, field workers wear non-toxic masks to protect them from harmful effects of chemical pesticides, and farmers use cover crops to shelter crops from wind and insects.
Organic food consumption has a number of positive benefits. One of its positive benefits is that organic produce is considered to be much lower in calories than those produced by conventional farming methods. Another benefit of organic produce is that it is free from harmful substances, such as pesticides. Yet another benefit of organic produce is that it is able to provide a higher level of nutrition. One study found that the pesticides used in conventional farming of conventional tomatoes had a significantly higher level of pesticides compared to the levels found in organic tomatoes.
There are a number of myths about what “organic” really means. One myth is that organic means “no pesticides”. Another myth is that organic foods are free from synthetic substances such as antibiotics and growth hormones. Still another myth is that organic foods are grown without the use of modern technology, such as genetic modified ingredients. Organic food producers are required to only use pesticides on a “case-by-case” basis, depending on what is part of the “genetic modification” process. Still yet another common myth is that organic foods are grown without any synthetic products, hormones, antibiotics, etc.
There is strong evidence to suggest that organic produce has a number of health benefits. This evidence comes from both scientific and non-scientific studies. The strongest evidence comes from humans, who consume foods with high concentrations of nutrients such as minerals, vitamins, antioxidants, and beta carotene. Labeling is not effective at preventing consumers from unknowingly eating unhealthy foods, as the amounts of some chemicals are difficult to discern through a simple inspection of the product.