More and more people are realizing that the things they eat can greatly affect their overall health. Organic foods are gaining in popularity. Organic products do not use synthetic chemical products, such as pesticides, antibiotics, fertilizers or herbicides. In addition to producing high quality products, organic farming helps protect the environment by utilizing water conservation, crop rotation, and soil erosion control.
Research on Eating Organic Foods
New research from Sweden’s Coop and the Swedish Environmental Research Institute indicates that exposure to pesticides reduces when we eat organic products instead of conventionally grown food, and clarifies the significance of food as a source of exposure to chemicals. Choosing organic foods not only reduces the levels of a number of pesticides that we are exposed to through what we eat, but also reduces the risk of a long-term impact and combination effects. We also help to reduce the spread of chemicals in the environment, and protect those who work in the cultivation of fruit and vegetables.
Benefits of Organic Foods
Organic foods provide a plethora of health benefits. These benefits include increase nutrition, environmental protection and better tasting foods. Commercially grown non-organic foods often contain synthetic chemicals that can cause a host of medical conditions, including cancer, birth defects and hormonal imbalances. Conversely, pesticide free organically grown foods help protect against depression, cancer and cerebrovascular and cardiovascular disease.
Organic milk contains more omega-3 fats than conventional milk. Omega-3 fatty acids decrease the risk of cancer, heart disease, stroke and depression. Additionally, meat from free-range animals contains higher quantities of omega-3 fatty acids, making organic meats a perfect choice for non-vegetarians.
Unlike organic farming, conventional farmers often use synthetic pesticides to help control garden pests, weeds and fungi. These pesticides can cause a plethora of health issues because they are designed to kill living organisms.
Many birth defects are caused by a mother’s exposure to synthetic pesticides. Studies have shown that more than 20 different pesticides are found in the umbilical cord blood. Researchers have determined that this may be due to the mother ingesting chemicals from foods and the environments.
Many children ingest unsafe levels of toxins each day. Children aged 1 to 5 ingest an average of 15 pesticides each day. This causes great concern because of children’s low weight and high metabolism.
Pesticides can damage to the nervous system, endocrine system and respiratory system. This damage can cause a host of problems including various cancers, such as Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma, testicular cancer and breast cancer.
Many of today’s conventionally raised farm animals are fed antibiotics. Too many antibiotics often result in a weakened immune system. Furthermore, over time common bacteria develop a resistance to certain antibiotics, thus creating “super bugs.” Organically grown food does not utilize antibiotics, making it a safer choice, especially for those with a weakened immune system.
Organically produced tomatoes have been shown to be more nutritious and to contain more antioxidants than conventionally grown tomatoes. Proponents for organic foods believe that all organic produce contains higher levels of vitamins, minerals and antioxidants than non-organic produce. Furthermore, organically produced fruits and vegetables have lower levels of toxic heavy metals than commercially grown foods.
Protecting the Environment
Organic foods are grown with the environment in mind. Farmers utilize soil conservation methods, water conservation methods and natural fertilizers and pesticides, including manure and beneficial insects. Sustainable practices, including cover crops and crop rotation, help to improve the soil structure.
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