There is a growing demand for organic food around the world. This demand is due to concerns about health, the environment, and animal well-being.
Organic food is essentially a product of crops grown from soil that has not been treated with any prohibited substance for at least three years prior to the crops being planted. A prohibited substance includes any synthetic pesticide, herbicide, or fertilizer. These are very harmful to crops and also a detriment to our health as well. It is also apparent that non-organic foods have very high nitrate levels. Too much nitrate in the blood affects how it transports oxygen within the body. If levels make it to 20 to 50 ppm, this is too high and oxygen levels will drop, making it difficult to breathe.
WHY SOME PEOPLE PREFER ORGANIC FOOD
People prefer organic food for a variety of reasons:
Rich in vitamins and nutrients
Lower pesticide levels
Better for our ecosystem
Does not contain any hormones
Organic crops are also better for the soil
While organic goods are full of nutrients, vitamins, and antioxidants (iron, vitamin C, magnesium, phosphorus), it is still inconclusive whether or not they are more healthy than non-organic foods. There are many studies that have been unable to come to a clear resolution on this topic. For example, a study done by Harvard University found that “Organic produce did have the slight edge in food safety, with 30% lower pesticide residues than conventional foods. In general, pesticide levels in both organic and non-organic foods were within allowable safety limits. It’s still not clear, though, just what that means to consumers’ health.” As you can see, while organic food may win over consumers as far as pesticide levels go, there is still no definitive answer on how this implicates our health.
ARE ORGANIC FOODS HEALTHIER?
A common misconception is that organic equals healthy, however, this is not always the case. There are some organic foods that have high levels of fat, sugar, and calories. If you are a soda drinker, these are still not good for you, despite the label saying it is organic.
Common organic substitutes for soda are liquid cane syrup and brown rice syrup. These are still very high in sugar and should not be consumed in large amounts.
Other products that offer organic substitutes that aren’t very healthy include ice cream, french fries (in moderation they are fine), potato chips (high fat, moderation is key), and macaroni and cheese (low in vitamins).
Organic ice creams are still high in calories and some frozen yogurt as a substitute is a much healthier choice and can still satisfy your sweet tooth, just be mindful of the brand and read any labels carefully.
A Harvard study concluded that organic and non-organic foods both had pesticide levels that were “within allowable safety limits.” Nonetheless, there are some positives to eating organic worth highlighting. Organic foods have approximately 30% fewer pesticides. They are higher in vitamins and antioxidants. Additionally, they contain much lower nitrate levels than their non-organic counterparts. Not to mention, 84% of consumers in the U.S purchase organic food, and 45% of them purchase it on a regular basis (monthly or more). Overall, the organic food market is growing in sales each day. Despite any inconclusiveness, the vast majority of consumers prefer to purchase organic food because of the preconceived value surrounding its name.
What do you think? Is it important to eat organic?