What are the harmful health effects of pesticides and how do they compare to natural organic food benefits?
While you’ve probably heard that eating organic food offers important health benefits, when you start comparing prices you may begin to wonder all over again, “Why organic? Is organic food THAT much better?”
These are important questions and here are some real answers.
The next time you go shopping, you’ll be able to make a well-informed decision that best benefits both your pocketbook and your health.
Why organic? Conventional vs Organic Agriculture
When considering the benefits of eating organic food, just remember these major differences between conventional and organic farming.
|Conventional Agriculture||Organic Agriculture|
|Uses artificial chemical fertilizers to feed plants and increase crop yield.||Uses natural fertilizers, like compost and manure, to naturally improve the soil and feed healthy plants.|
|Uses insecticide sprays to kill pests and help decrease plant diseases.||Uses beneficial insects, birds and traps to reduce pests and disease.|
|Uses herbicides to kill weeds.||Uses crop rotation, hand weeding and mulching to manage weeds.|
|Uses antibiotics and medications to kill off disease and growth hormones to increase animal size.||Uses clean housing for animals, a healthy diet with organic feed and free-range grazing to naturally decrease and prevent disease.|
On top of other problems, only 16 of the 26 nutrients known to be essential for human beings are necessary for plant growth. So artificial fertilizers don’t include these 10 other important vitamins and minerals.
That means your food ends up depleted in those 10 nutrients.
For example, since plants need phosphorus to grow, we have high levels of phosphorus in our food. But plants don’t need chromium or selenium, so artificial chemical fertilizers leave out these two important minerals.
This is why conventional food is often deficient in chromium and selenium, which helps protect us from premature aging, cancer and diabetes.
Why Organic? The Natural Organic Food Benefits
The National Cancer Institute found that 30% of today’s insecticides, 60% of herbicides and 90% of fungicides are known to cause cancer. They also cause damage to your nervous, reproductive and endocrine system.
Here are the 7 main benefits of eating organic food:
1. Eating organic helps you detox. Since it’s not raised or grown using pesticides, herbicides, hormones, medications or artificial fertilizers, eating organic food helps protect your body from toxic chemicals.
2. Organic food is more nutritious. Studies show organic produce contains as much as 50% more antioxidant phytonutrients and organic meat and poultry has less saturated fat and more essential fatty acids.
3. Eating organic improves health. With far fewer toxins, less bad fat, more good fatty acids and better nutrition, eating organic plant and animal foods help reduce your risk of heart disease, stroke and cancer.
4. Organic considers animal well-being. Free-ranging animals that are fed a healthy organic diet lead a much more natural, contented life.
5. Natural organic food tastes better. Since chemicals are tasteless, whether or not organic food tastes better is debatable. But surveys show people find both plant and animal organic food has more flavor.
6. Organic agriculture protects wildlife. And organic farms also provide ecologically safe homes to birds, bees, butterflies and other wildlife.
7. Growing organic decreases pollution. Organic agricultural practices help protect our air, soil and water from harmful pesticide contamination.
To take advantage of these great organic food benefits, start buying and eating more natural organic food. Find local organic farmers, start a food co-op or grow your own organic food. Your health is worth it!