Integrative Health Coach • Classically Trained Chef • Certified GAPS Counselor

10 Reasons to Buy Organic Food

Is buying organic really that important? It’s a question a lot of people ask me. The answer is a resounding “yes.”

What many people don’t realize is that everything used to be organic. Until about 60 years ago, all food was organic. That’s right, pesticides, herbicides and synthetic fertilizer and hormones didn’t exist a generation ago. Humans were eating food in its natural form. If that isn’t enough reason to buy organic here are 10 more.

Reduce your toxic load. Toxins like the chemicals found in pesticides, herbicides, synthetic fertilizer as well as antibiotics are being found in the human body. While you may not be able to control toxins entering your body from certain types of pollution, you can certainly control what you eat. By choosing to consume organic food you lighten the load on your body and give it an opportunity to detox the chemicals you can’t control.

Protect your kids. Research shows that children are four times more susceptible to these chemicals. The “safety” testing of these chemicals was based on adult tolerance levels, not on children’s. Their bodies are still developing, physically and mentally. The brain can be affected by these toxins, according to the National Academy of Science “neurological and behavioral effects may result from low-level exposure to pesticides.” These chemicals are also known to impact the nervous system. The endocrine system, which is our master hormone system, has been shown to be adversely affected by pesticides including decreasing fertility.

Protecting each other. The “pesticide drifts” from farming are carried on the wind, wafting into a multitude of local communities, affecting air quality and causing these toxic chemicals, not only to be ingested but also inhaled. This affects the workers on these conventional farms, too.

Preserving the nutrient value of our food. Mono-culture farming, which is the practice of growing only one massive crop, has depleted our soil of many necessary nutrients. Synthetic fertilizers has also damaged the micronutrients, minerals and organisms in our soil. This depletion has led to many of the mineral deficiencies we are seeing today.

Be a part of the change. The movement back to real food is growing. In 1994 there were approximately 3,000 certified organic farms, compared to 10,000 in 2006. However, as a percentage of the two million farms in America, organic is still a small percentage. Only by supporting organic farming will we see it continue to grow and thrive and to see pricing come down.

Support small business. Many organic farms or farms based on organic principles but not certified are independently owned and operated. These farms operate in biodynamic harmony with nature and provide for the local economy. As farm co-ops, Community Supported Agriculture and farmers’ markets gain popularity, it gives everyone a chance to support local organic farmers. In these days of giant corporations and their giant profits, local independent farmers need our support.

Eat real food. Much of what we are eating today should not be considered food. Between GMOs, hormones, pesticides, antibiotics, fertilizers and herbicides found in whole foods and dyes, flavorings and preservatives in processed foods, much of our food is created in a lab. These technologies have not been properly researched and research that indicates concerns has been discounted. Buying organic means that you are buying food free from these laboratory created compounds.

Understand the global food scene. Many of these chemicals and technologies have been banned in other countries. Corporate America is so powerful and far reaching that it, more often than not, dictates the regulations and policies passed by the government. Want a broader view? Look at what other countries allow into their food supply.

Chronic diseases are linked to these foods. Cancer, diabetes, heart disease, autism and ADHD have continued to increase with our greater consumption of chemically treated, laboratory engineered and processed foods.

Our environment. With only .5 percent of the farmland in this country designated as organic that means 99.5 percent has been exposed to herbicides, pesticides, antibiotics, fertilizer, not to mention other chemicals used in the farming process. These chemicals infiltrate our soil, air and water supply. Runoff from fertilizers is causing dead zones in our oceans. The Gulf of Mexico has a dead zone that was reported in 2002 to be 22,000 square kilometers — an area larger than New Jersey.

 

Originally published in The News Herald column Food for Thought by Theresa Edmunds.

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