You may have heard that 'going organic' is a healthy choice for the farmers, the environment, and your own health. But do you really understand why it's such a positive choice?

1. GLYPHOSATE

The main chemical ingredient in the herbicide Roundup is commonly sprayed on conventional (non-organic) produce. In 2015 the World Health Organization defined Glyphosate as 'probably carcinogenic in humans' and it has been linked to many illnesses and health issues. Glyphosate is not allowed to be used in certified organic farming.

2. HEALTHY SOIL, HEALTHY BODY

In organic farming, nurturing the soil is of the utmost importance because healthy soil grows healthy plants, which help people to be healthy (presuming they eat them of course!). A healthy soil microbiome is created through methods such as composting and crop rotation, and the importance of a healthy eco system is well understood in organic farming.

3. IT'S MORE SUSTAINABLE AND IT COSTS LESS!

OK, so the price tag on your organic groceries will likely be a bit higher, but it is important to understand why. Organic farming does not use 'quick fix' chemical solutions for pests, nor does it allow the routine use of antibiotics or protein rich feeds for animals. It is important to understand the true cost of conventional farming in terms of both potential health costs and environmental costs.

4. IRRADIATION

Irradiation is a process that herbs, spices and a range of fresh produce is allowed to be put through in order to disrupt the development of any insects that may be concealed within, and to delay ripening, among other things. Concerns are being raised in the scientific community around free radical damage and links to diseases. Irradiation is not allowed in organics.

5. THE CRITICS LACK UNDERSTANDING

Organics of course has its critics. Many comments are unfounded, irrelevant or subjective in nature. Choose Certified Organic products to be assured that rigorous standards are adhered to.

6. HELP PROTECT AGAINST CANCER

Salvestrols are a class of phytonutrients that are emerging as having huge potential in the prevention and treatment of cancer. They form part of the mechanism to protect the plant from pests. There are fewer requirements for these mechanisms to be present if a plant is sprayed with synthetic pesticides and research has found evidence of much higher levels of salvestrols in organic produce when comparing it with conventional.

7. IT CHECKS A LOT OF BOXES

Consumers can rest assured that many of the factors that are important to them when they purchase food, are covered by choosing certified organic. For example, certified organic standards do not allow irradiation, or genetic engineering/ GMO's.

8. IT CAN OFFER SUPERIOR HEALTH BENEFITS

A large study carried out meta-analyses based on 343 peer-reviewed publications that indicate statistically significant and meaningful differences in composition between organic and non-organic crops/crop-based foods. The concentrations of a range of antioxidants such as polyphenolics were found to be substantially higher in organic crops/crop-based foods.

Elly McGuinness, B PhEd, B Com, ACSM

Power Plate Master Trainer

With 15 years of fitness industry experience in roles varying from fitness management, group fitness and personal training to tutoring, presenting and mentoring, Elly’s enthusiasm for health and wellbeing is evident in all that she does.

Her company, Natural Balance Health and Fitness Ltd inspires people to make positive changes to their health, fitness and lifestyle, and to sustain these changes for the rest of their lives. This is achieved through personal training and corporate wellbeing programmes in Christchurch, New Zealand, as well as Skype coaching for international clients.

In 2014 Elly published her first book, “The Natural Balance Guide to Burning Fat for Good.” The book takes a holistic approach to six areas of wellbeing—nutrition, exercise, stress, sleep, thoughts and relationships, and how they affect the body’s ability to burn fat.

Elly is the mum of a toddler and has recently become part-owner of ‘Just Organic Ltd’—a business dedicated to bringing healthy convenience direct to your door. The company delivers organic produce to homes and places of work throughout New Zealand.

Website: www.naturalbalance.co.nz