10 Reasons to Say Yes to Organic

10 Reasons to Say Yes to Organic
Written By: Prakratik Published In: Organic Created Date: 2013-08-14 Hits: 991

An ever increasing world population and the increasing demand for food to feed this growing population has led to agricultural practices that increasingly make use of artificial substances. Most farming today is done through the use of chemical fertilizers and pesticides as it has long been assumed that natural or organic farming can no longer sustain the demand. While the jury is still out on the above debate, we believe that not only is organic farming a more sustainable choice and is better for us and the environment, but it can, with some intelligent choices, feed the planet.

Here are 10 reasons to say yes to organic:

 

Is higher in minerals, vitamins, enzymes and other nutrients

Reviews of multiple studies show that organic varieties provide greater levels of vitamin C, iron, magnesium, and phosphorus than non-organic varieties of the same foods. And while being higher in such micro-nutrients, they are also significantly lower in nitrates and pesticide residues. This higher level of good nutrients is good for our body as they increase our immunity while also aiding in muscle repair. Also organic foods typically provide greater levels of a number of important antioxidant phytochemicals, including anthocyanins, flavonoids, and carotenoids.

 

Keeps chemicals, artificial hormones and neuro-toxins out of the environment and our bodies

Non organic farming uses a lot of chemicals that can harm us. For example certain insecticides can have a negative effect on the functioning of the brain. Also animals are usually injected hormones to help them grow bigger faster, but which ultimately end up in our system, which includes our dairy products. Not just that, these chemical pollute our farms, resulting in an imbalance of the fragile eco-systems, ultimately degrading them completely.

 

Helps to avoid genetically modified foods and organisms

Organic foods do not use genetically modified seeds which ensures that we do not consume genetically modified crops and animals. While there are ongoing arguments from both sides, the health risks from consumption of modified food is real and the long term hazards are still not understood. Possible effects can include allergies, antibiotic resistance, reproductive damage, Alzheimer’s disease, diabetes and cancer.

 

Tastes better, it does!

Although seemingly unimportant in the face of the other reasons, taste is after all one of the main reasons why we don't eat the same meals every time. Organically grown food tastes fresher and better, period. One of the possible reasons is that organic produce grows more slowly as it is not subjected to nitric fertilizers which speed up the rate. Therefore flavours develop more naturally.

 

Improves soil health

The quality of a farm's produce has a direct co-relation to the quality of the soil. However with high intensity and unnatural farming practices, soil gets depleted of nutrients and is replenished with artificial mineral fertilizers. However, this tends to disturb the ability of the soil to restore to its original state. But with organic farming, judicious crop rotation and organic fertilizers help to naturally balance the health of the soil.

 

Keeps chemicals out of water sources

Only food that is grown without chemical pesticides and insecticides is certified as organic. So naturally with no chemical usage, none of it will enter the soil and thus the water table or run off with the water and into the rivers and lakes. For instance, findings in the U.S. have linked toxic green algae slime in lakes and other water bodies to polluted farm runoffs, and which has killed much of the dolphins, birds, fishes and marine vegetation, and possibly irreversibly destroyed the systems.

 

Supports small and independent farmers
The vast scale of today's mega farms means has led to mechanized and small labour farming. This automation means that every inch of the farmland is drenched with chemicals as it is the only financially feasible way to do so. But a small scale farmers have a choice of not using chemicals as they are personally connected to each part of their fields. Increasing consumption of organic farming encourages and incentives them to switch to 100% organic.

 

Is safer for farm workers

Even though the number of labourers required are reduced with large scale farming, they are still needed to run the machines and especially for spraying insecticides and pesticides. The farm hands end up being exposed to these chemicals, whether in a liquid or a vapour form, and which have over a period of time had a devastating effect on their health. Organic farms are thus safer for farm workers, and can give employment to more hands.

 

Improves agricultural diversity

Due to the use of extensive fertilizers and pesticides, the same type of crop can be grown on the same piece of land, year after year, in order to maximize profits. Without purposeful rotation of crops and replenishing of the land, the soil loses its vitality, and over a period of time, the ability to support varieties of crops. This reduces the diversity over generations and makes the existing varieties susceptible to disease, and with no backup plan, except even more chemicals. But organic farming requires an understanding of the condition of the soil, crop rotation, and the use of traditional seeds

 

Promotes biodiversity and supports wildlife

The use of organic farming ensures that earth, water and the air is free of toxic substances, which ensures that the surrounding biodiversity is not harmed. Also natural methods have to be adopted in order to take care of pests, for instance rats, and which needs an eco-system that encourages wildlife. Studies have also shown that organic farming results in an approximate 12% increase in biodiversity, which includes flora, insects including earthworms and butterflies, and some types of birds.

Tags: Organic Food environment

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