What is Organic Food?

Organic food refers to food products that are produced, prepared, and processed without the use of any chemicals. It means organic food production prohibits the use of chemical pesticides, chemical fertilizers, or chemical preservatives. Consequently, organic foods are increasingly gaining popularity because a greater portion of the population wants to know its benefits. The general public belief is that organic food is healthier compared to the conventional ones, and it’s the primary reason for its increased demand over the past decade.

The choice of consuming organic foods is thus a growing trend in the world of today following the realization of healthy self improvement needs. However, finding accurate facts about organic foods has always been confusing as people have varied opinions regarding its benefits as a whole. This article defines the most accurate facts about the top 15 health benefits of eating organic food.

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Top 15 Health Benefits of Eating Organic Food

  1. Better overall health

Because organic food is not produced or processed by the use of chemical pesticides or chemical fertilizers, it does not contain any elements of toxic chemicals and may not affect human health in harmful ways. The use of natural techniques such as green manure to fertilize the lands and crop rotation in pest and disease control work absolutely well in producing safer, healthier, and smellier final food products. Besides, healthy foodstuff simply means healthy people and better nourishment for a better living for both people and animals.

  1. Antioxidant content

The positive effects of antioxidants on overall health have been established in a number of scientific studies, especially those derived from organic foods. This is because organic foods are free of foreign chemicals that normally react with vitamins, organic compounds and minerals thus lowering the essential positive impacts of antioxidants in food products.

Latest studies propose that the consumption of organic food can contribute to more intake of nutritionally advantageous antioxidants and limited exposure to heavy metals. The positive impacts of antioxidants obtained from organic foods include prevention of heart disease, cancer, vision problems, premature aging, and cognitive malfunction.

  1. Improved Heart condition

Exclusive grazing on natural grass increases the amounts of CLA (conjugated linoleic acid) found in animal products. The suns energy is well taken in by natural grass through photosynthesis and is converted into the most desirable organic CLA by the herbivores that feed on it. CLA is a heart-healthy fatty acid with the potential of bolstering cardiovascular protection, and it is found in higher quantities in the meat and milk products of animals that have been pastured in free range.

  1. Antibiotic resistance

Humans are susceptible to various health issues and disease, and most of the time they have to take precautionary measures to ensure they remain healthy. This is achieved by getting a variety of vaccinations and antibiotic drugs when a new strain of virus or bacteria is realized. Similarly, non-organic food sources (especially livestock and feeds) use vaccines, growth hormones, animal byproducts, and antibiotics to treat and feed the animals.

When humans consume the non-organic food products, they indirectly consume the antibiotics, growth hormones and vaccines which weaken immune systems on the account of antibiotic, vaccine, hormones, and animal byproducts overdose. This may alter the immune system thereby rendering humans unable to defend themselves against diseases. The benefit of organic foods is that their production processes does not involve the use of antibiotics, growth hormones, animal byproducts, or vaccines.

  1. Better taste

Apart from nutrition, the mineral and sugar structures in organic foods are tasty because the crops are given more time to develop and mature. The use of natural and environmentally friendly agricultural production techniques is revealed to be the reason for the better taste in organic food products. It is commonly reported that the taste of organic vegetables and fruits are of higher quality compared to those that are conventionally grown.

  1. Pesticide cutback

Chemical pesticides consumption is linked to a variety of diseases and disorders namely cancers, digestive dysfunctions, headaches, ADHD, birth defects, weakened immune system, and even premature death. Organic foods are free of pesticides and that is why they are preferable for attaining a better overall health. As much as pesticides have the power of keeping certain pests away from the crops, they also have potent chemicals like organophosphorus.

These chemicals are unnatural and they are the mineral compounds that bring about several health abnormalities in humans. Organophosphorus, for instance, is associated with various developmental disorders such as ADHD and autism. Organic food products therefore offer a better healthy living, especially for children who are potentially affected by the pesticide toxins during their developmental ages.

  1. Stronger immune system

The traditional or industrial farming practices aim at enhancing production and farm output by all means necessary. For example, the notion of producing more cereals, more meat and bigger fruits through genetic modifications and use of growth hormones seems to solve some of the world’s food insecurity concerns. The effects are not yet visible, but in the long-term, the consequences are sensitivity to allergens and a major reduction in immune system strength.

By eating organic foods, the risks of decline in immune system strength are significantly reduced because organic foods are not altered at all. Furthermore, organic foods have quality and higher vitamin and mineral contents that help to strengthen the human immune system.

  1. Organic products are poison-free

Organic farming does not use any kind of dangerous chemicals to keep away pests and diseases. All the practices are natural and thus do not harm the consumer. Aspects such as biomagnification are lessened via the practice of organic farming as chemical pesticides, fertilizers, herbicides, and artificial growth hormones are all prohibited on an organic farm. Therefore, organic food products are free of contamination with health harming chemical substances.

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  1. Consumption of highly nutritious food products

Organic food products such as organic meat, organic milk, organic fish, and organic poultry contain very high nutritional content because they do not contain modified ingredients compared to the conventional agricultural food products. Another factor that makes them highly nutritious is that they are given time to develop and are provided with the best natural conditions for growth. The vitamin and mineral contents of organic food products are always high as the soil life and health offers the most suitable mechanism for crops to access soil nutrients.

  1. Organic foods are not genetically modified

Organic foods are GMO free, that is, they are not genetically engineered in nature. Genetic engineering of food products is a huge concern in the current era. They are foods or plants with altered DNA in manners that do not take place in nature, usually to enhance resistance to pesticides/herbicides. While there is lack of conclusive evidence of its dangers, food safety advocates are concerned that long-term research has not been conducted to confirm their safety.

The food safety advocates believe GMOs are a leading cause of slowed brain growth, internal organ damage, gastrointestinal disorders, and the thickening of the digestive tract. Thus, the health benefit of consuming organic food is that they are free of GMOs, a very common component in non-organic foods.

  1. Environmental safety

Organic foods are locally grown and pose very minimal interference to the environmental resources that support healthy living. Since harmful chemicals are forbidden in organic farming, there is minimum water, air, and soil pollution therefore ensuring a healthier and safer environment. To be precise, organic farming lessens the long-term human health implications caused by air, water, and soil pollution.

  1. You have the certainty you are consuming fresh food

Organic food products are guided by very strict standards of production, processing and preparation. Not at any time will you find chemical preservatives used in organic foods.  As such, organic food is often fresher and full of flavor since it doesn’t make use of preservatives to make it have a longer shelf life. Majority of organic food products are sold or availed locally next to where they are produced.

  1. Lessened chances of food-borne illness

There have been several reported cases of food-borne illness outbreaks. Eggs, spinach, peanut butter, melons, and foods from fast food restaurants have topped the list as their production is primarily centered on agribusiness gains. Even the animals are sick as a big percentage of them are drugged, vaccinated, and fed on animal byproducts to enhance their productivity so as to meet the ever growing agribusiness demands.

This practice is known as concentrated animal feeding operations (CAFOs) and it causes deadly drug-resistant infections which are acquired by the end consumers when the food products are eaten. The best way to prevent the food-borne illness outbreaks is to opt for organic food.

  1. Consumption of higher quality meat and milk

Organic meat and milk is of the highest quality. There are claims that meat is not good for human health. However, it is the CAFOs that normally worsen meat and milk quality by introducing foreign and unhealthy antibiotics as well as other drugs in the final food product.

When you consume milk and meat that is organically produced, prepared and processed, you are guaranteed of products with higher quality vitamins and minerals. For instance, organic milk is proved to have 60% more omega-3 fatty acids, antioxidants, vitamins, and CLA than non-organic milk. Also, organic cows are pasture grazed which results in the better meat quality.

  1. Lower levels of toxic metals

By now, it’s clear that whatever we ingest indirectly comes from the soil together with other physical environmental interactions. So, the fact that organic farming doesn’t use agrichemicals for crop production means minimized consumption of toxic metals. New studies confirm that organic crops have 48% lower levels of the toxic metal cadmium than conventional crops.

References: HelpGuide , HuffingtonPost
Image credit: Unsplash , Jill

Rinkesh

Rinkesh is passionate about clean and green energy. He is running this site since 2009 and writes on various environmental and renewable energy related topics. He lives a green lifestyle and is often looking for ways to improve the environment around him.