When we think of nutrition and the environment, whether or not to eat organic is often the first question to pop up. All this summer produce have you feeling confused about the organic panic? Not sure why you should buy organic? Take eating cleaner one step at a time, and to get you started here are 10 reasons to choose organic:
1. Reduces your toxin intake: Choosing organic over conventionally produced foods results in significantly less intake of harmful chemicals such as pesticides and herbicides. It is estimated that 90% of fungicides, 60% of herbicides, and 30% of all pesticides used today are carcinogenic, or cancer causing. These chemicals have also been linked to heart disease, osteoporosis, migraines, and hyperactivity.
2. Protects children: Babies and children are far more susceptible to toxicity than adults. Little ones have more skin surface area per body size, are still developing their detoxifying systems, and have very sensitive skin. Many side effects of toxins can take several years to develop, so starting your baby on organic foods can help ensure a healthy future.
3. Organic is healthier: In addition to avoiding chemicals, eating organic foods are simply better for you. Several studies have found organic produce to be higher in antioxidants, vitamin C, iron, calcium, magnesium, and chromium.
4. No Genetically Modified Organisms: (GMO’s): By choosing organic, you can be sure there are no genetically modified ingredients. GMO’s have been linked to antibiotic resistance and exacerbating food allergies. In the case of GMO’s, what we don’t know can hurt us as there is a scarcity of clinical trials proving GMO foods are safe for human consumption.
5. Higher Food safety Standards: When purchasing USDA Certified Organic Foods or foods certified by another organic certifying organization, you can be sure that the food and all ingredients have been inspected and met stringent health and safety standards.
6. Protects animals: You can know that the animals used for certified organic meats, poultry, dairy, and eggs have been treated humanely. Animals fed organic foods have better health and increased reproductive ability. In addition, organic farming protects wildlife in surrounding areas by eliminating airborne toxins that are then ingested by nearby animals and plants
7. Protects our natural resources: Organic foods must abide by sustainable agricultural practices; meaning the food must be produced in a way that saves the land for future generations. Organic foods help nourish the soil instead of eroding it, prevents chemical run off into our water supply, and keeps farmers and their families safe from toxin ingestion.
8. Saves Energy: Considering the US has experienced a major baby the last few years, we need to conserve all the resources we can to sustain the future populous. Organic foods use less energy and fossil fuels to produce, typically don’t travel as far as conventional foods (also saving fuel), and often optimize alternative or renewable energy sources.
9. It tastes better: If you don’t believe it, try your own taste test with an organic piece of fruit and conventional one to see for yourself.
10. Organics aren’t more expensive in the long run: Naysayers tout price as a prime reason not to eat organic, but conventionally produced foods cost much more in the long run. The hidden costs of conventional foods include chemical regulation and testing, environmental damage and clean up, health and social consequences, and hazardous waste disposal- all paid for with your tax dollars. In 1998, our taxes paid $74 billion dollars for conventional food subsidies.