Organic food, why all the hype?
With the sales of organic food continuing to rise rapidly year by year, it is obvious to see the changing pattern of thinking of society in regard to the growth and production of their food. In Australia alone, the organic food industry is worth 2.4 billion with a growth of 88% since 2012 and of 23% since 2016. Not only are people beginning to understand the dangers of pesticides and chemicals used in conventional food production, society’s concern for the environment and animal welfare is also rapidly increasing, making the switch to organic more and more appealing.
Organic food can be described as food that has been produced, prepared and processed without the use of chemicals, as well as also prohibiting the use of chemical pesticides, chemical preservatives and chemical fertilizers and organic food production also excludes the use of Genetically Modified Crops (GMO’s). Organic food is better for overall health, has less impact to the environment and is kinder to animals.
Organic food is said to host a range of higher health benefits in comparison to generically grown and produced food. The preservative and chemical free way is said to be a preventative of heart disease, cancer, cognitive malfunctions, vision problems as well as premature aging. A study conducted in France of 70 000 adults found that those who consumed mostly organic vegetables, fruit, meat and dairy products had 25% less chance of contracting Cancer. Organic food has a much higher antioxidant content to that of regularly produced food and is completely free from foreign chemicals that attack a lot of the vitamins and minerals that are naturally found within food, meaning that the vitamin boost is a lot higher. The vitamin and mineral boost are also apparent due to the way in which the plant produces Phytochemicals (antioxidants, vitamins and minerals) in an effort to strengthen its resistance to bugs and weeds.
Organic farming practices ensure that animals are only feeding on natural grass as their primary food source. Natural grass absorbs the benefits of natural sunlight through photosynthesis, which are then turned into CLA (Conjugated Linoleic Acid), a heart-healthy and desirable fatty acid. Choosing to eat organic and pasture fed animals and their products is great for Cardiovascular health and to make sure that you are not consuming any antibiotics, growth hormones, vaccines and animal by-products that are commonly treated or fed to conventionally produced animals. These animal “aids” are indirectly consumed when the animal is eaten and can lead to immunity problems.
Many pesticides used in the growth and production of conventional food have been linked to many health abnormalities in people. These include birth defects, cancers, ADHD, autism, headaches, digestive problems and weakened immunities. In comparison, organic food increases immune system strength as it has been left completely untouched and in its natural and whole form. Organic produce is also always fresh as it is unable to be transported very far due to its lack of unnatural preservatives.
The way in which organic food is grown is also very important to its health properties, as well as to the environment. Organic farming methods are generally the underpinning of what makes the vegetable, fruit, grain or animal organic in the first place, which is without the use of persistent and toxic fertilizers and pesticides, hormones, genetic engineering, sewage sludge or irradiation. It is important to understand that what goes into the soil or food has a heavy impact on what you are growing within it or feeding it to. Organic farmers are more inclined to take on a more traditional approach to farming, such as incorporating cover crops, hand weeding, mulches, dense planting and crop rotation to enrich the soil which the organic produce will be grown within.
Successful organic farms start with all of these practices to help build and establish healthy soils, as this helps to nurture plants and protect them against disease, meaning heavy toxic chemicals are not needed to sustain the farm. Organic farming practices touch the Earth very lightly and maintain a healthy environment without toxins running into waters and without soils being pumped full of chemicals and has been proven to have lessened effects of human health implications on water, air and soil. This approach to farming brings about a strong, healthy and natural product while also improving the environment for birds, native animals, plants, microbes and insects.
With animal welfare knowledge on the constant incline, it comes as no surprise that people are beginning to care about the life of the animal that they are thinking about consuming or the life of the dairy cow that supplies them with their milk. A lot of conventional farming methods do not value or respect the life of the animal they are farming with many horror stories gradually being discovered in regard to living conditions and factory farming, as well as the use of antibiotics and steroids. Organic farming practices value the life of the animal that they are farming with their stock’s welfare sitting at the farmers highest priority.
Under organic law, farmers are not allowed to use steroids, growth hormones or antibiotics and all animals must be provided with unaltered, 100% organic food. They also must provide their animals with access to outside grazing and roaming and must ensure a cage-free, safe and clean-living environment.
Most importantly of all, organic food tastes better. Due to the foods ability to grow naturally, without the use of synthetic growing techniques or chemicals, the food is just the way nature intended it and it is able to grow happily to its full term. Organic fruit and vegetables also produce higher levels of antioxidants that enhance its organoleptic qualities, which is the aroma and taste of fruit and vegetables. The way in which the food is grown is also said to have an affect on its taste, with the better tasting food said to originate from environmentally sound agricultural techniques.
Making the switch to organic produce is helping you to have a choice when it comes to what chemicals you are putting into your body. Food is so important in maintaining overall health and wellbeing in both your body and your mind, making it the most important daily decision you can make for yourself. Steering clear of toxins and chemicals can help to improve your health and can positively impact your life in the long-term with chronic diseases and illness’ being drastically reduced. Moving to a more organic midframe can also help to reduce the negative effect that generic farming has on the environment and to support the positive treatment of animals. Make the switch today!