Why Eat Organic?

Why should people pay higher prices or grow gardens in order to eat organic?

That is a fair question which many people are asking themselves. The best explanation I could find comes from the Soil Association, a very strong organization in the United Kingdom who have become very involved in supporting and promoting organic farming.

According to the Soil Association, and from personal experience I can strongly agree, the 10 top reasons why one should eat organic are as follows:

1. Organic Foods Are Tops For Taste

Many people eat organic because they believe food grown organically tastes better than those grown non-organically. This could be because organic fruit and vegetables tend to grow more slowly and have a lower water content, which may contribute to the fuller flavour some people experience. A poll in 2005 showed that quality and taste of food are important to more people than low prices.

2. Organic Foods Are healthy

On average, when people eat  organic, they can absorb more vitamin C and other essential minerals such as calcium, magnesium, iron and chromium as well as cancer-fighting antioxidants. Why?

The vegetables are more nutritious because they have been planted in soil fed with organic fertilizers; therefore the soil has more nutrients to pass on to the vegetables.

Organic milk is naturally higher in Omega 3 fatty acids, Vitamin E, Vitamin A (Beta Carotene) and certain other antioxidants than non-organic milk.

3. Organic Foods Have No Nasty Additives

Only 32 of the 290 food additives approved for use across the EU are permitted in organic food.   Amongst the additives banned by the Soil Association are hydrogenated fat, aspartame (artificial sweetener) and monosodium glutamate which have been linked to health problems. Therefore the body of the people who eat organic have to deal with a lot less additives which are detrimental to a person’s health.

4. True Organic Farmers Avoid Using Pesticides

The best way of reducing your exposure to potentially harmful pesticides is to eat organically grown food, where the use of pesticides is avoided.Now if you grow your own garden, your family will definitely eat organic since you, the gardener, can make sure that no synthetic insecticides or pesticides will be sprayed on your vegetables.

Can you imagine this?!?!? Over 311 pesticides can be routinely used in non organic farming and residues are often present in non-organic food. Over 40% of all non-organic fruit, vegetables and bread tested in 2005 contained pesticides according to the Government’s Pesticide Residues Committee.The results for particular fruit and vegetables were much worse, e.g. chemicals were found in all oranges tested, 90% of bread, 72% of grapes, 95% pears.

5. Organic Foods Are GM-free

Genetically modified (GM) crops and ingredients are not allowed under organic standards, and here in Canada and the US, people must be extra vigilant that companies do not take away our freedom of choice, the freedom to eat organic by introducing laws in the legislature, laws such as taking away the people’s right to grow their own vegetables in their back yards if they so choose. Don’t laugh! That’s what Bills HR875 and S425 which was presented to congress was all about: asking President Obama to nationalize organic farming

As it stands, over a million tonnes of GM crops are imported to feed non organic livestock that produce much, if not most, of the non organic pork, bacon, milk cheese and other dairy products in our supermarkets.

(Hopefully some day, because of popular demand, GM products will be forced to clearly label their productas being genetically modified so that enlightened consumers will simply not buy food that is detrimental to their body. One can cever be too areful or vigilant)

6. Reliance On Antibiotics Removed

Antibiotic additives routinely added to animal food to speed animal growth are linked with bacterial resistance in humans to the same or closely related antibiotics. Soil Association standards ban the routine use of antibiotics in organic farming.

7. No Hidden Costs

Compare this with the millions of dollars that tax payers fork out annually to pay for chemicals to be removed from drinking water, mainly as a result of the pesticides used in farming.

When people want to eat organic, they buy from farmers who  avoid using dangerous chemicals that can leave residue on the vegetables as well as leach into our water table.  If all farmers followed this rule, our drinking water would be cleaner and not require as much reconditioning before being allowed to flow to consumers.

8. High standards For Organic Foods

Organic foods comes from trusted sources. All organic farms and food companies are inspected at least once a year. The standards for organic food are laid down in European law. (Thanks to David Suzuki and his lobbying for more strident laws concerning the use of additives, insecticides, and pesticides, Canadian people are becoming more aware thus are becoming more selective when buying their groceries.  They want to eat organic.)

9. Higher Level Of Animal Welfare Standards(at least in the UK)

No system of farming has higher levels of animal welfare standards than organic farms working to Soil Association standards. Compassion in World Farming believes that the Soil Association’s welfare standards are leaders in the field. (Joyce d’Silva, Director, Compassion in World Farming, UK.)

10. Good For Wildlife And The Environment

Another benefit when you choose to eat organic is that you help the environment. Because farmers will use less or no harmful chemicals, organic farming supports more farmland wildlife than non-organic farming. Overall, growing food organically is better for wildlife, causes lower pollution from sprays, produces less carbon dioxide – the main global warming gas – and less dangerous wastes.
(Source:  SoilAssociation.org)

One more point to consider is that the land used by  organic farmers  will continue being good soil from generation to generation because  the land is being nourished over and over again when compost, organic fertilizers,  and the latest, vermicompost, is added to the soil.  Such land will continue producing lush, nourishing vegetables as long as this practice of renewing the soil’s nutrition is continued from generation to generation.

Thank goodness the negative results of the many changes in farming methods which have been going on since about the 1960′s  are slowly being rectified by so many people insisting that they want to eat organic thus are encouraging farmers to grow their vegetables in safer and healthier environments.  Those destructful methods which are outlined in  Why Grow Your Own Vegetables, will hopefully be changed so that  David Suzuki’s findings re residual insecticides/pesticides which can be found on  fruit and vegetables sold here in Canada and the US will some day be no more. (David Suzuki-2007)

As people become more aware of how many of the foods sold in grocery store have been genetically modified and that  many farmers have used various techniques, chemicals, and fertilizers to make their vegetables bigger even if they know that these products and fertilizers are dangerous to your health, they will demand changes.

They will prefer to  eat organic because organically grown vegetables are more nourishing,  healthier,  and will make them feel better. According to a recent study, organic foods  have 50% more vitamins and minerals than those made from conventional methods.

Although to eat organic can be somewhat more expensive, eventually  when more farmers decide to take this route of farming organically,  the price of organic foods will go down and there will be more choices  in supermarkets.

Eat Organic- Find out more from OVG GuideUntil that happens, you might be wise to plant and grow your own organic vegetables in your backyard. If you don’t know how to grow your own organic vegetables, why not download this comprehensive FREE ebook The Complete Guide to Organic Vegetable Gardening (OVG Guide for short) which explains all you need to know from A to Z.

No magic or anything fancy is used when growing organic foods. You only need fertile soil, sunlight, water and some compost to make it work.  It’s easy especially if you download and read the OVG Guide from front to back. In it you will find many links to more indepth information found on my blogs.

If you want to discover more about how to create your own compost, the ebook How To Create Compost In Your Backyard found in the right hand column  explains in detail four ways you can make your own compost.

So if you value your health, perhaps you might also want to make your own compost, grow your own vegetables, and  eat organic in orders to  enjoy the benefits of organic foods.

Marcie

Bio: A gardener since the 70′s, Marcie Snyder knows that there is no comparison to growing your own vegetables and plants organically. Therefore, to help the budding gardener, she has dedicated four blogs to explaining different aspects of organic gardening. In addition, besides the FREE ebook “The Complete Guide to Organic Vegetable Gardening” (OVG GUIDE), Marcie also offers a very comprehensive step-by-step ebook detailing 4 methods of composting. (See side bar)

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