Did you know that if you consumed an average apple you would be eating over 30 pesticides, even after you washed it?
In the rush to produce more and more crops to satisfy growing demand producers have had to resort to using a lethal cocktail of pesticides to control disease and insect attack.
Good news for their bank balances perhaps but not good news for your health, this is why you need to be informed of the advantages of organic food.
The term organic refers not to the food itself, but to how it is produced. Organic foods are grown without the use of synthetic pesticides and fertilizers. In California, organic produce is certified in accordance with the California Certified Foods Act of 1990.
Why choose organically grown foods? Many studies have proven that organically grown foods are more nutritious, and they just taste better. Organic farming methods also help to protect the environment in which we live.
The quality of food has definitely gone down since the second world war. For instance, the levels of vitamin C in today's fruit bear no resemblance to the levels found in wartime fruit.
You will have to eat more fruit nowadays to make up the deficiency, but unfortunately that means ingesting more chemicals, and more detrimental affects on your health just eating something that should be good for you!
Once you try some organic produce and taste an apple the way it should be, and perhaps how you recall it tasting in your youth, you will never go back to mass produced fruit again.
Sure there are issues with availability and cost but with a bit of research you should be able to find local stores who stock organic produce.
Also, don't forget about your local farmer. You very well might find one that has opened up a farm shop to supply local residents, or has a booth at your local Farmers Market, or is involved in the very popular CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) movement.
If you are lucky enough to find such a farmer, you owe it to yourself, your family and your planet to offer them all the support you can.
Following are some of the many advantages of Organic Foods:
- Organic food is much more rich in vitamins, minerals and fibre and retains the levels of nutrients for much longer.
- Your body will be more resistant to disease as it will have higher levels of the essential nutrients it needs to fight off infection.
- You will have more energy through consuming lower levels of toxins and chemicals that slow your body down.
- If you are eating dairy or farm produce then you are also eating the chemicals, drugs and growth hormones given to the animals.
- Organic farms respect our water resources and do not leach nitrogen and other pollutants from their soil.
- Organic food just tastes so much better!
Organically grown food products have a huge market catered to by farmlands covering approximately 10% of the total world-farmland cover. The initial effort made by Sir Albert Howard, the Father of Organic Farming, has paid off, metamorphosing into a practice that sustains soil health and ecosystems, by relying on biodiversity, ecological processes and the progress of innovative health sciences.
- The economics of organic farming is characterized by increasing profits via reduced water use, nutrient-contamination by pesticides, reduced soil erosion and carbon emissions and increased biodiversity.
- Organic farming produces the same crop variants as those produced via conventional farming methods, but incurs 50% lower expenditure on fertilizer and energy, and retains 40% more topsoil.
- This type of farming effectively addresses soil management. Even damaged soil, subject to erosion and salinity, are able to feed on micro-nutrients via crop rotation, inter-cropping techniques and the extensive use of green manure.
- Farming the organic way enables farmers to get rid of irksome weeds without the use of any mechanical and chemical applications. Practices such as hand-weeding and soil enhancement with mulch, corn gluten meal, garlic and clove oil, table salt and borax not only get rid of weeds and insects, but also guarantee crop quality.
- The use of green pesticides such as neem, compost tea and spinosad is environmentally friendly and non-toxic. These pesticides help in identifying and removing diseased and dying plants in time and subsequently, increasing crop defense systems.
Organic agriculture is definitely more sustainable in the long-term, improving soil fertility and terrain drought resistance greatly. These farming practices completely waive off external costs, incurred due to investment in chemical pesticides and nutrient runoff, and a number of health issues that result from agro-chemical residue.
Don't feel that you must buy organic everything. Even switching to a few organic regulars makes a difference.
- Make the change to organic versions of everyday mainstays. Try organic milk, cheese, pasta, chicken, bananas.
- Take it slowly. Pick up one or two organic items every time you shop. Try different brands, and once a week, buy something new to try: organic tofu, stuffed vine leaves, soup. You'll soon find your favorites.
- There's an organic version of almost every food you can think of, from coffee to baked beans, pizzas to eggs. Drinks, pork chops, peanut butter, jam – all supermarkets stock organic goods, although you'll do better buying in local shops or farmers' markets if you can.
- Shop around. Organic foods are sometimes more expensive than non-organic, but the more people buy them, the more prices will come down. We pay through taxes for the hidden costs of cleaning up water polluted with agro-chemicals that underpin the production of cheap mass-produced foods.
- Have some fun and visit your local Farmers Market.
- Contact your local CSA and enter into a trial membership. You'll be glad you did.
Once you've started making the change, you'll soon appreciate the many advantages of eating organic foods, and you won't want to switch back.