Why Choose Organic?
by Linda Brown
Numerous local and international published studies are providing mounting evidence that organic food is safer to eat, more nutritious and more environmentally sustainable than conventional produce.
Organic food is produced without the use of chemicals, such as pesticides, herbicides, fungicides, and fertilizers. It is produced without ionizing radiation, antibiotics, growth hormones, and is non-genetically modified. Organic farming produces naturally fertile, nutrient rich soil; which increases the nutritional density of the food and produces a clean, chemical free food. As organic farming does not contaminate the land, water supply or wildlife, there is evidence that it protects and sustains the environment. Furthermore, organic farming is more energy efficient.
Is it better for me? How?
1. Nutrient density. Organic food has been found to be significantly higher in many nutrients, such as calcium, magnesium, zinc, copper, manganese, iron, flavonoids, antioxidants, selenium and vitamin C. Multiple reviews of over 75 studies that compares the nutritional content of organic food Vs non-organic food reveal that Organic food had:
• Higher protein quality
• 27% more vitamin C
• 5-20% higher mineral levels for all but two minerals
• 21-300% more iron
• 29% more Magnesium
• 19-58.5% more antioxidants
2. Protection against toxicity. Organic food is not contaminated with toxins that are used in conventionally produced agriculture, such as benzene, toluene, organophosphates, mercury and lead. Consumer reports over the last 10 years have concluded that organic food has consistently minimal or non-existent pesticide residue. (Refer to the Biological Farmers of Australia for Australian organic food requirements).
This is particularly important for pregnant mothers and infants. Research purports that pesticides cause cumulative multigenerational harm to human health, as pesticides are passed through both the placenta and breast milk. Children are at higher risk of toxicity than adults due to their high metabolisms and relatively low body weight. The National Academy of Sciences (US) studies purports that one out of four developmental and behavioural problems in children may be linked to genetic and environmental factors, including exposure to lead, mercury and organophosphate pesticides.
Human studies indicate:
• Pesticide exposure can be a causative factor in birth defects, allergies, immunotoxicity, neurotoxicity and cancer in both individuals and their offspring
• Pesticide exposure can cause fatigue, headaches and nausea.
• An organic diet provides an immediate, significant protection against exposure to neurotoxic organophosphate pesticides
• Children who eat primarily organic food have been shown to have significantly lower organophosphorus levels (the conventional group had six times the concentration)
And apparently, according to a Swiss university (and possibly many consumers), it simply tastes better.
This article contains cumulative data from over 100 studies.
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