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?
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.
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
Elly has been inspiring people to make sustainable changes to their health, fitness and lifestyle for the past 15 years. She offers online solutions for people who are looking to get started on, or improve their health and fitness. She blogs regularly, writes for a number of health and wellbeing publications and is the published author of a holistic weight loss book.
Elly is mum to a spirited three year old girl, and along with her partner Colin they embrace a digital nomad, world schooling lifestyle.