When we start to question what we put into our mouths or our children’s mouths the question of ‘Should I eat organic food’ is often the next thing that comes up. Here’s 7 reasons eating organically is a good idea and some of them are probably not what you thought.
1. Avoiding Chemicals and Heavy Metals
In our modern life we are exposed to a myriad of chemicals across our daily life. We are bathed in chemicals from the day of conception till the day we die. They leak into our daily life in everything from the products we use in our homes to the foods we choose to eat and the environment we live in.
Chemical residues make it into fresh and processed foods and on into our bodies. According to the US National Academy of Sciences 90% of the 1000’s of chemicals applied to food have not been tested for long-term health affects before being approved.
The two most heavily used chemicals in agriculture today Roundup and Atrazine are also the most controversial. One recently being deemed a ‘probable carcinogen’ and the other a ‘hormone disruptor’ and this is just the tip of the iceberg.
Suffice it to say converting your food to an organic diet heavily reduces your lifetime exposure to these chemicals. But it’s not just fresh produce you should be thinking about. The EPA has stated that a large amount of our pesticide intake comes from meat, poultry, fish, eggs, and dairy products because these foods are all high on the food chain. This is pesticides that are remaining and accumulating in our environment.
In addition, the Organic Standard for heavy metals like Lead, Mercury and Cadmium is set at 10% of the non organic standard so again your food choice here reduces your exposure to elements universally deemed unsafe.
2. Avoiding Growth Promotants and Antibiotics
This one is largely targeted at the meat eaters of our community. Meat production is a highly intensive process with ‘growth promotants’ and ‘antibiotic’ use part of the daily feed across cattle and poultry. These are used to avoid sickness and speed up production in feedlot and high density farming systems.
Governments and academia have recognized the huge problem that’s been created by the over prescription of antibiotics in our medical system however this has not translated into our meat production systems. Eating organic meat means you the risk of exposure to products raised on growth promotants and antibiotics.
3. Avoiding Additives
The role of the ‘Food Technologist’ in a commercial food company is essentially to save money for their employer. This usually involves working out how to make a product cheaper, last longer on the shelf, work faster or taste better. The tools at their disposal are colours, flavours, preservatives and anti-oxidants. All those numbers you see on food labels are what we’re talking about here. Many These additives are linked to numerous behavioural, learning, nuerological and digestive issues.
One example I like to relate is check the packet of your favourite packet of Salt and Vinegar Chips. If it contains ‘Flavour Enhancer 621’ then you are eating MSG.
As a generally rule eating organically, again, reduces your exposure to the myriad of additives present in conventional food.
4.Ecological & Farmer Benefits
Organic and biodynamic farming cares for the land and environment to produce healthy soil and healthy produce. They aren’t able to rely on synthetic substitutes to pump up the produce and make it ‘look good’ or to artificially boost the soil.
Organic farms on the whole are smaller scale and generally produce a number of different crops rather than utilizing the ‘mono-culture’ practices of their conventional cousins. This leads to lower pest problems and healthier soils as they are not continually farming the same land for the same product over and over.
Conventional pesticides and fertilizers have been shown to contaminate waterways and ground. It also means the farmer and his family are not exposed to high concentrations of toxic chemicals which are leading to Cancer and Parkinson’s disease in farmers.
The first thing that converted me to organic food was flavour. I was blown away with the flavours of Corn, Tomatoes and Peaches like those from my childhood.
Healthy soils produce great tasting produce. Artificial soils, and all those sprays great produce that all looks the same but are empty of flavour and empty of nutrients
That brings me to the next reason you should eat organically, nutrients. Organic food produced in healthy nutrient rich soils produces a product full of flavour and nutrients. The nutrients that help build healthy immune systems and healthy families.
Recently researchers crunched the numbers on 343 different studies and concluded that overall Organic Foods delivered between 20-40% more Anti-oxidants than conventional produce. These are compounds like flavonoids and carotenoids which help the cells combat the bombardment of chemicals and free radicals in our bodies.
Fresh produce aside however there's another more embedded reason eating Organically is more nutritious for you. The organic movement's culture is all about nutrition. Just being on this healthy journey and choosing organic exposes you to foods created with a ‘nutrient dense’ goal rather than a cost minimizing and flavour maximizing goal.
7. Support Farming Communities
A recent study out of the USA found that organic farming communities increase the income and reduce poverty in their surrounding areas. Organic farms use more labour and less external inputs than conventional farms. This leads to more money staying in their local community and less money leaving it to multinationals.
This farmer profile on Googa Organic Farms seems to confirm this study's findings.
So eating organically not only helps you build a healthy family it also helps build healthy communities both in Australia and overseas. Every fresh produce dollar you spend at OneTable is directly helping local farming communities because we only source 100% Australian Certified Organic and Bio-Dynamic fresh produce. No compromises.