Would you like a side of chemical residue with your food? Probably not. Unlike conventionally-produced food, organic foods are grown without the use of synthetic chemical fertilizers, pesticides, growth hormones and genetic modification. Even though organic food is more expensive than conventional food, organic food packs in a whole slew of benefits. Here are just a few reasons to buy organic.
Organic Foods Are Safer
There are over 850 pesticide active ingredients registered with the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) that are routinely sprayed alone or in a chemical combination onto the conventional produce available at your supermarket. Many of these chemicals have been linked to human and animal cancers and other negative health implications. Conventional produce contains residues of these chemicals that the consumer (you) ends up ingesting. No one is sure the full impact of these chemicals. If you want to protect yourself from being a guinea pig, eat organic food, which doesn’t contain any chemical residues since no toxins were used in the growing process.
Organic Foods Are Healthier
Though there is still debate whether organic food really is more nutritious than conventional food, research is suggesting that it is the healthier option. A study published in the “Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry” showed that organic vegetables and fruit contained higher levels of antioxidants than its conventional counterparts. Organic corn had 58.5 percent higher levels of antioxidants than conventional corn and organic strawberries contained 19 percent more antioxidants than the non-organic variety.
Organic food was also shown to contain more flavanoids—up to three to four times more—than conventional food. According to the University of California, Davis, flavanoids are micronutrients that play an important role in preventing cancer and heart disease. Flavanoids also protect plants and taste awful to insects, acting as a natural pesticide.
Organic meat doesn’t contain antibiotics, which have led to the increase in antibiotic-resistant bacteria.
Organic Foods Are Better for the Environment
Yes, it’s true. If you want to go green, you’ll have to ditch conventional foods and go organic. Or better yet, go local. Locally-grown organic foods support your local community and cut down on inefficient and energy-consuming travel times. Food travels an average of 1,300 miles from the field to your plate. Imagine how much fuel would be saved if food traveled 13 miles instead.
Contrary to popular opinion, conventionally produced food is not necessary to feed the world. In fact, according to a 22-year study at Cornell, crops raised organically produced the same yields as conventionally grown ones, but used 30 percent less energy and less water in the process. Organic food works with the environment, rather than against it, and it maintains soil quality without releasing toxins into the environment. Now ask yourself if organic food is worth the extra money.