Organic food, also known as natural food, is food grown using methods meeting the requirements of organic agriculture. Organic farming involves practices that rotate natural resources, support biodiversity, conserve natural resources, and replenish the soil in such a way as to restore it to a condition that sustains life. Organic farmers do not use synthetic pesticides, herbicides, or other chemicals to help grow their food. Instead, these practices help prevent soil erosion, provide a healthy environment for humans and animals, and maintain a healthy balance for the ecosystems in which they grow.
In the United States, organic food sales are expected to reach $75 billion by the year 2021. Many consumers have turned to buying organics for health reasons. Others have become concerned about the environmental impact of pesticides and other chemicals in traditional agriculture. And many organic farmers themselves have said that they want to use non-chemical means to protect their plants from pests and disease without applying pesticides to their fruits, vegetables, and other crops. Organic farmers must therefore control their use of chemicals and pesticides.
One reason that farmers use chemical-free pesticides and other nutrients is to protect their produce from pests and disease. One problem is that some chemicals and pesticides are actually harmful to us. In addition, organic food often costs more than junk food because organic foods tend to be higher in nutrients.
One study found that eating an organic diet can decrease the risk of several types of cancer. It can decrease the risk of colorectal cancer by reducing the risks of bladder and colorectal cancer, gastrointestinal cancer, breast cancer, and melanoma. The evidence is particularly strong for prostate cancer, which is one of the most common types of cancer found in men. Other studies have shown that people who eat an organic diet have stronger immune systems and better overall health. They may even have a lower risk of heart disease and other cardiovascular diseases.
In the US, many farmers use conventionally-grown produce pesticide. These pesticides have been linked to health problems like asthma, eczema, depression, birth defects, and cancer. The chemicals used on conventionally-grown vegetables may also contribute to a variety of diseases, including cancer, obesity, Alzheimer’s, diabetes, respiratory problems, and multiple sclerosis. It seems that the longer the pesticides have been sprayed on crops, the more dangerous the consequences will be. Most experts agree that the best way to ensure healthy food is to avoid eating produce pesticide-coated.
Another benefit of organic food over junk food is that vegetables in the store are always fresh. A few days old vegetables have a strong smell, which makes them unpleasant. However, they are also much tougher than produce bought at the grocery store, which makes them taste even worse. When you cook vegetables at home, they retain more vitamins and minerals. They stay fresh longer and provide better nutrition than those found in the supermarket.
One recent study measured the levels of antioxidants in vegetables stored at home versus those bought at the grocery store. The result was that the stored vegetables had nearly twice the amount of antioxidants as the ones bought at the grocery store. Those antioxidants included beta carotene, vitamin C, lycopene, L-glutathione, and vitamin A. Another recent study by Iowa State University Extension found that canned fruits and vegetables contained only half the amount of antioxidants as fresh ones. The study concluded that the pesticides used to protect the vegetables from insects and humans contributed to the low content of antioxidants.
As organic produce becomes more popular throughout the United States, consumers will continue to look for ways to make their produce healthier and safer. While farmers are making efforts to grow safer produce, consumers must be sure to read the label of each product and be aware of the dangers of pesticide residue and other prohibited substances. If you want to eat safe and healthy food, it is important to make sure it has been organically grown.