You must have heard a lot about organic foods, right, these days people keep talking about their various health benefits, but is that the only reason you should be eating them often?
What does ‘Organic Food’ mean?
Organic food products are those which are grown using organic agricultural methods, products and processes. Specific agricultural requirements should be met and maintained in order to label any food product as organic and also to differentiate it from the conventionally grown food products.
For a crop to be termed as organic is must be grown in safe soil with no modifications and should be separated from conventional products. Farmers involved in organic farming are not allowed to use synthetic pesticides, bioengineered genes (GMO’s) sewage-sludge-based fertilizers and other petroleum based fertilizers.
Same way, organic livestock must be given access to the outdoors and fed with organic food only. They should not be given any antibiotics, growth hormones or animal by-products to improve their health.
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Benefits of Organic Food
No doubt organic foods are packed with a variety of health benefits. Some studies have even shown that organic food products are a powerhouse of essential nutrients, like antioxidants when compared to their conventionally grown counterparts. Also, if you are allergic to some food preservatives and chemicals, then eating organic will also lessen the symptoms. But, are their benefits limited to these only?
Let’s take a quick look at some of the important health benefits of organic food items:
Organic produce contains fewer pesticides
We all know that our fruits and vegetables are laden with pesticides by the time they reach us. For those who do not understand what pesticides are, they are basically chemicals like fungicides, herbicides and insecticides used for farming. These chemicals are used widely and generously in conventional agriculture, thus their residue remains in the food we eat. On the other hand, organically produced foods have lesser pesticides, which means lesser chemicals are used on them, hence they are safer to consume.
Organic food is fresher
Organic food is often fresher than your regular food products, which makes it taste better. Organic food is usually fresher because it is free from preservatives, which are used to increase its shelf life. Mostly, organic food is produced in smaller farms and is sold at nearby places because it is free from preservatives.
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Organic farming is good for environment
Not only organic food is good for health, organic farming is also good for the environment because it practices reduction in air, water, and soil pollution, helps in water conservation, reduces soil erosion, increases the fertility of the soil and makes less use of energy resources. Also, because organic farming is done without using any kind of pesticides it is extremely good for nearby, birds, small animals and people who either live in farms or work on farms.
Organically raised animals are safer
Organically raised animals are not given any kind of antibiotics or growth hormones, neither they are fed animal byproducts. Antibiotics used for the conventional meat production creates antibiotic-resistant strains of bacteria, which means when a person, who is consuming this antibiotic fed meat, gets sick these strains makes him less responsive to antibiotic treatment. Also, not feeding animals with the byproducts of other animals reduces the risk of mad cow disease. Additionally, organically raised animals are given more space to move around and have access to outdoors as well, which helps in keeping them healthy.
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Organic meat and milk have high content of nutrients
Organically produced meat and milk contain higher amount of natural nutrients as compared to the conventionally produced products. A European study published in 2016 has also indicated that the levels of certain nutrients, such as Omega 3 fatty acids, were up to 50 percent more in organic produce as compared to the regular one. This might be because of the fact that the organically raised cattle graze on a natural grass diet, whereas the cattle being raised for regular produce feeds in grain.
Organic food is GMO-free
Genetically Modified Organisms (GMO’s) or genetically engineered foods, plants and even animals are those whose DNA has been altered in many ways, which is impossible to occur in nature or even in traditional crossbreeding. This is done mostly in order to make these products resistant to pesticides or for producing insecticides. In most of the countries, all the organic food is strictly GMO free also the organic meat comes from animals raised on organic farms and fed GMO free diet.
With so much of health benefits in organic food, it makes complete sense to include more of it in your daily diet, after all, there is nothing more precious then staying healthy