Why Eat Organic Foods?

August 19, 2014 | By | 3 Replies More

organic foodsIt’s a strange time in the world of food. On one hand, consumers have more choices, in terms of sheer number of products available, than ever before. According to the Food Marketing Institute, the average supermarket stocked nearly 44,000 items in 2013.

On the other hand, our freedoms regarding food are getting more and more limited. Small farmers and artisan producers have to jump through lots of expensive government-imposed hoops in order to sell good, clean food, and these hurdles often cause them to go out of business.

It is in the best interests of the “big food” industry to keep consumers in the dark about how food is produced, where it comes from, and the true costs of producing our food. They use meaningless buzzwords like “all-natural” to distract us from the real issues. However, in the world of food buzzwords, one word – “organic” – is one to which you should pay attention.

Certified organic foods must meet strict criteria and their producers pay hefty fees to go through the certification process. The farmers at my local farmers market tell me that although the food they raise is organically-grown, they will never be able to pay the fees in order to be certified organic by our government. Organically-grown is just fine for me as well, and I’ll choose it every time over conventionally-grown options.

Eating organic foods isn’t just about your personal health.

Reasons to Choose Organic Foods?

  1. Conventionally-grown foods contain pesticide and herbicide residue that has not been proven safe in the long term. In fact, evidence suggests that these chemicals contribute to all sorts of illness. Why risk it?
  2. Certified organic foods are by definition free of GMOs (genetically-modified organisms). GMO labeling is a hot topic right now. You won’t need a GMO label if you eat less processed foods and look for the certified organic label, which already exists.
  3. Organic food is better for the planet because synthetic chemicals are not used. Conventional farms dump tons of pesticides and herbicides into the soil where they end up polluting our waterways, killing wildlife, and damaging the ecosystem.
  4. organic foods

    When you grow your own, you have endless variety!

    Organic foods are better for farm workers. Consider a day in the life of a conventional tomato picker in Florida, for example. To make what most of us consider pocket change, they work in fields where they become coated with toxic fog spewed from chemical sprayers on a daily basis. They are discouraged from learning about these chemicals, let alone complying with safety regulations. Buying organic foods means not supporting unsafe working conditions.

  5. Conventional farming is killing honeybees. Without honeybees, many fresh fruits, vegetables and nuts will vanish. There are crops that are engineered to create their own pesticides. When bees forage, they ingest the pesticides and bring them back to the hive where even more bees are killed. Honeybee decline is a very real problem and you can help by choosing organic foods.
  6. While organic foods are still more expensive than their conventionally-produced counterparts, the gap is narrowing. Increased consumer interest in organic foods is making retailers and producers find ways to make them more accessible. And, if you grow your own, eating organically becomes really affordable.
  7. If you care about food freedom, the environment, your health, or human rights, then every dollar you spend on organic foods is like casting a vote for all of these things at once. The biggest reason why garbage-y food that’s full of chemicals is out there is because so many people buy it.
  8. Although hotly debated, there is evidence that organic foods are more nutritious than conventionally-grown food. In particular, organic foods are higher in antioxidants.

A large portion of our population cannot afford decent food, and that’s another issue and blog post entirely. If you can afford to make smart food choices and eat organic foods, doing so is the single best thing you can do to support your health and the environment.

 

 

 

 

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Category: Enviable Ideas, General, Home and Garden

Comments (3)

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  1. Brande, this is a very persuasive argument for choosing organic produce. I have seen articles that suggest that produce with peels are fine to consume as non-organic such as avocados and bananas. However when you take into account the declining bee population it makes sense to grow your own affordable organics.

    • Brande says:

      Thanks, Deanna. I think lots of people don’t understand that conventional farming has such far-reaching negative effects that go way beyond the personal health issue. Even if you don’t believe organics are “better for you” there are lots of other reasons to choose them. I just wish our government would stop the subsidies for conventional farming and funnel that money into making good food affordable for more people.

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