Is It Worth Eating Organically?
Organic food and eating organically: is it really better for you?
“Organic food” refers to produce that is grown without pesticides, fertilisers and irradiation. Organic farming practices are designed to meet the following goals:
- Enhance soil and water quality
- Reduce pollution
- Provide safe, healthy livestock habitats
- Enable natural livestock behavior
- Promote a self-sustaining cycle of resources on a farm
Animals which are grown for produce are fed on organic feed, have space to roam and are not given antibiotics.
Vegetables and fruits which are grown organically may be healthier because the reduction of pesticides increases the plant’s antioxidant content.
With meat and dairy, the main concern is antibiotics that the animals are given. Bacteria is becoming resistant to these antibiotics which os making it harder for humans to fight off infections.
One common concern when buying organic foods is the cost. The higher prices are due to the higher farming costs.
When buying organic foods, these tips are helpful:
- Buy fruits and veg that are in season. To get the freshest produce, ask your grocer what is in season or buy food from your local farmers market.
- Wash and scrub fresh fruits and vegetables thoroughly under running water. Washing may remove dirt, bacteria and traces of chemicals but not all pesticide residues can be got rid of by washing. Removing outer leaves of leafy vegetables can reduce contaminants. Peel fruits and veg to remove toxins but be aware that this may also reduce nutrients.
Organic farming is better for the health of the environment and society. By reducing pesticides on produces, the quality of the soil improves which helps plant growth and it reduces pesticides in drinking water. Organic farming also uses 50 per cent less energy.
If eating organically is too costly – try buying only certain organically fruit and vegetables. The following are particularly important to buy organically:
- Green peas
- Green beans
- Green onions (scallions)
- Summer and winter squash
- Sweet bell peppers
- Imported grapes
If you’re interested in a more natural environment for animals: