TOP 8 REASONS TO MAKE THE SWITCH TO ORGANIC FOODS

Posted by Kerrilee Burkhardt on
TOP 8 REASONS TO MAKE THE SWITCH TO ORGANIC FOODS

Australia’s organic industry has grown in leaps and bounds and is now worth over $1.72 billion. This growth is partly due to the fact that more and more people are turning to organic foods and ditching non-organic, highly processed food items.

Organic Food Defined

There are many health and environment benefits to be had by making the switch to eating organic foods. Organic food comes from farmers who comply with the regulatory standards of organic farming. These standards include limiting the use of harmful pesticides and fertilizers. Organic foods don’t contain synthetic food additives and have not been processed using irradiation. By virtue, organic foods taste better and are naturally more nutritious. 

How Is Organic Food Grown?

Organic produce is grown using natural fertilizers such as manure and compost. Conventionally, synthetic fertilizers would have been used instead. Organic farmers also make use of crop rotation to give the land a break and help it to recover. As for weeds, hand weeding, mulching, and tilling are the order of the day for organic farmers. There is no use of chemical herbicides here, nor is there any need to use synthetic pesticides to control pests. Natural pest controlling methods that include birds, insects and traps are preferred. 

When it comes to meat, dairy, and eggs, livestock is fed all organic, GMO-free and hormone-free feed. Diseases are prevented and kept under control thanks to natural methods like keeping animals in cleaner housing, using rotation grazing and also feeding the animals a healthy diet. Conventional farmers pump their animals full of antibiotics and medications that can be passed onto you, the consumer. Fortunately, as an organic food consumer, you never have to worry about what drugs or antibiotics are in your meat and dairy. 

As you can see, today’s food contains so many harmful elements that it is almost impossible to keep tabs on what you are eating. This is why switching to organic is one of the best things you can ever do for yourself.

Here is a list of the top 8 reasons why you should look into making the switch to organic foods today:

Reason #1 Say No to Chemicals

No one would willingly drink or eat poison, but that is exactly what millions of people are doing as they eat non-organic processed foods. Australian consumers are now aware of the damaging effects non-organic food has on their health. In fact, a survey conducted by the Australian Organic Board to try and understand why consumers were choosing to buy organic produce revealed some very interest insights.

• 49% of consumers chose to make the switch to organic foods for health reasons.
• 16% of consumers’ choice to go organic was after they had suffered a health crisis.

That’s not all. Australian consumers aren’t just blindly choosing to buy products labeled organic. They are educating themselves about what’s actually in the food they buy. According to the Australian Organic Board:

• 70% of buyers will only make a purchase if they see the organic certification mark. 
• 80% will buy if they see the words, ‘chemical free’
• 77% will buy if they see, ‘additive free’
• 68% will make a purchase if they see, ‘environmentally friendly’
• 60% will buy if the food is ‘hormone and antibiotic free’
• 57% will buy the product if it is, ‘non-GM and free range’

Reason #2 Organic Foods Have More Nutrients

Good soil management practices are important when growing organic food. Whatever is put in the soil will be absorbed by whatever plants are growing in the fields and will eventually be consumed by people. 

Farmers engaged in sustainable organic farming are educated on these matters; hence they take excellent care of their soils. This is important because good, healthy soils will allow organic food to be grown without worry. When soils aren’t overburdened with pesticides and herbicides, plants grow and thrive and have more nutrients.

Research shows that organic foods have more vitamins, minerals, and micronutrients when compared to non-organic foods. The data indicates that organic foods contain:

• 21.1% more Iron – which is needed for the production of blood in the human body.
• 27% more Vitamin C – which is needed to make collagen, a substance used by the body to make cartilage, ligaments, blood vessels, and skin. Vitamin C also helps to maintain strong teeth and bones.
• 29.3% more Magnesium – which is needed to maintain normal muscle and nerve function, keep bones strong, regulate blood glucose and also help the heart beat steadily.
• 13.6% more Phosphorus – which is needed by the body for the formation of bones as well as teeth. Phosphorus is also crucial in making protein and helping with cell repair. 

Reason #3 Avoid Genetically Modified Foods

Genetically modified foods are still being tested to see whether they will have likely side effects if humans eat them. According to the Institute for Responsible Technology (IRT), the animals fed GMFs as part of the clinical trials are now showing signs of severe organ damage, suffering from infertility issues, and gastrointestinal disorders. 

It is nothing short of horrifying that the food responsible for the suffering of these animals is already being sold on supermarket shelves in some countries. Studies which were done on human beings also had bad reviews and showed that genetically modified food didn’t pass out of our systems like natural food should. What this residue of genetically modified food left in us will do to us is still being studied. 

Why should you be a guinea pig when you can avoid the unknown? Fortunately, the Australian government, along with the European Union and several other countries, put a ban on GMOs because of the lack of conclusive evidence to show that GMOs are safe for human consumption.

In the US, since the introduction of GM foods onto supermarket shelves, chronic illnesses have increased from 7% to 13% in a nine-year period. The numbers of people who have developed food allergies have also increased, disorders like autism have also been on the rise and many have found themselves experiencing digestive disorders.

Reason #4 Stay Clear of Hormones and Other Drugs Found in Animal Products

Meat and dairy are the two biggest food items that contaminate easily. 90% of all pesticides consumed by the general populace come from the fat and tissue of meat products as well as dairy. 

Other chemicals you might not be aware of that you are consuming when you eat non-organic foods are antibiotics and growth hormones fed to these animals. These drugs are placed into animal feed, and some of them, like the sex hormones fed to cows, don’t degrade at high temperatures and are thus passed to consumers who eat the cow’s meat. 

This point is very important, particularly to pregnant women, children, and nursing mothers. Choose foods such as raw organic almonds, organic coconut sugar, Australian grown organic plain flour, organic rolled oats, and organic brown rice instead. 

Reason #5 Organic Farming is Better for Our Ecosystems

Organic farming promotes farming sustainably and responsibly. It means not burdening the land with excessive chemicals. We all know that pesticides and herbicides wash off into rivers causing eutrophication and subsequent death of fish in rivers and lakes. All these chemicals are contaminating our fresh waters sources and damaging fertile farmlands in ways that are almost impossible to come back from.

Supporting the organic lifestyle means allowing farmers to work closely with nature so that they do as little as possible to affect the local ecosystems. Registered organic farmers follow the organic standards that forbid the use of toxic agricultural chemicals (pesticides, herbicides, fertilizers, etc.). These farmers work hard to ensure that their soils are healthy and that they do their part in helping to preserve biodiversity.

Research done by entomologists such as David Pimentel from Cornell University show that 99% of pesticides actually end up discarded in the environment, and only a fraction, 0.1% of the actual pesticide kills the targeted pests.

Reason #6 Biotech Companies Cannot Be Trusted

Biotech companies that genetically modified food in their labs have not been altogether forthright with results. These companies are notorious for their poor treatment of small-scale farmers who they sell patented seeds to. These seeds are sterile, meaning they are good for just one season and then the farmer has to purchase seed again in the next season. 

This is nothing short of trying to control the world’s food supply and is such a downright dirty thing to do. How can people who want to patent food be trusted to tell us exactly what they have done to modify seeds in the laboratories? Support organic farmers and have nothing to do with these biotech companies and their GM produce. 

Reason #7 Organic Food Tends to Be Fresher

If you live close to organic farms, you can easily get the freshest produce straight from the farms. If not, then you can purchase them from your supermarkets. Just make sure you look for the organic certification marking.

Organic food is almost always fresh because no preservatives have been added to the food to make it last longer. Many common foods, such as those listed below, will rot or sour quite quickly. Hence it’s the food that most often contains the highest amounts of pesticides and preservatives. If you decide to switch to organic, it becomes the food that you should aim to buy straight from an organic farm whenever you can.

• Apples
• Celery
• Cucumbers
• Cherry tomatoes
• Collard greens
• Kale
• Hot peppers
• Peaches
• Potatoes
• Grapes
• nectarines
• Spinach
• Summer squash
• Sweet bell peppers

Reason #8 Buying Within Your Budget Is Possible

Many people opt out of eating organic because they think it’s expensive. It is true that organic food can be slightly more costly than conventional food, but for good reason. Here are the reasons why organic food is more expensive:

• Organic farming requires more labor because farmers don’t use chemicals such as fertilizers, growth hormones, and pesticides on their crops and animals.
• Getting certified as an organic farm is costly.
• Organic feed for the animals is also expensive – it costs almost double the price of non-organic feed.
• Organic farms are smaller, hence the volume of produce is also less, meaning the little that is produced has to cover all the costs mentioned above. The government doesn’t provide subsidies for organic farmers – so it’s all out-of-pocket for these small-scale farmers.

However, this doesn’t mean it is completely impossible to enjoy the organic lifestyle. Here are three ways in which you can make eating organic food a reality for you and your family:

Farmer’s Markets: Search for local farmers markets in your area. Many towns and cities have a weekly farmer’s market where you can purchase the freshest, organic produce at the lowest prices possible. Not only will you find great bargains at these markets, but you will meet the people growing the food. You can ask them yourselves how they grow their food and get to know more about how they farm.

Food co-operations: Joining a food co-op is a great alternative for people who cannot make it to the weekly farmer’s markets. Joining a food co-op often means having to pay a membership fee. This fee is usually renewed on a yearly basis. In return, natural food co-ops allow their members to purchase certain foods at lower prices. It’s really worth looking into if you are a busy person or a parent.

Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) Farms: Find a CSA farm around you and join the community. These communities band together and buy produce in bulk. It’s a great way to meet new people and also reduce the cost of your own organic food bill.

Conclusion

The news reported in the media about the effects of non-organic food on our health isn’t positive. Studies and research conducted by scientists don't give us confidence either about genetically modified foods. This leaves us with no doubt that organic food really is the best option for all of us. Protect and safeguard yourself, your children and your health by choosing to make the switch from non-organic foods to organic foods today.


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