Why Organic Food is the need of the hour in 2021 for the well-being of every human in general? What are the benefits of organic food?
If you’re a fussy eater and are concerned about how pesticide and fertilizer free your veggies are, you must have heard about organic food. So what is it? Let’s drive into the nitty-gritty of it and know some health benefits of organic food.
What is Organic Food?
Organic food is the kind of processed food produced by organic farming methods. It is grown without artificial chemicals, such as human-made pesticides and fertilizers, and does not contain genetically modified organisms (GMOs). Organic foods include freshly produced veggies, meats, dairy products inclusive of frozen meals. The market for organic food has grown substantially recently with distinct production, processing, distribution, and retail systems.
Organic Farming and its effect on Environment
The overall impacts of organic farming are beneficial to the environment. Certified organic farming prohibits using artificial pesticides or fertilizers to prevent and reduce chemical runoff, pollution of soil, watersheds, etc. Organic farming on a smaller-scale is associated with significant environmental benefits, owing to the use of on-farm inputs, such as fertilizers derived from compost created on-site. Large-scale organic farming requires inputs generated off-site and may not employ integrated farming methods. The decrease in synthetic chemical use benefits the environment compared with industrial agriculture; these methods may not promote long-term sustainability, pocket-friendliness, etc. Since off-farm inputs usually require greater fossil fuel use than on-farm inputs.
Organic Farming and its effect on Society
Organic food is generally on the costlier side when provided to the consumers, and the demand is generally affected by geographic variations. Organic food produced by organic farming usually is more expensive for consumers than conventionally produced food because of its more labor-intensive methods, the costs of certification, and the decreased reliance on chemicals to prop up crop yields which often results in unequal access to organic food.
Research, surveys, polls, etc., indicates that greater wealth and education levels are associated with organic food purchases and consumption. In some lower-income countries, trends show the production of certified organic food to export to wealthier countries, which in turn generates a situation in which the farmers themselves cannot afford to buy the organic foods they are producing. This strategy brings economic gains to the farmers in the short run and causes food insecurity as farmers are forced not to produce food crops that could feed both them and their local communities.
Certified organic farming has also become a big business in many places, with larger farming operations playing a key role in national and global certified organic food markets. Big food-processing companies often buy from a single farming operation that produces organic crops on thousands of acres, rather than from many smaller farms that each grow on smaller acres. A practice that effectively limits the participation of smaller farmers in these organic food markets, which in turn also causes disparity among farmers since the organic certification process can be prohibitively expensive to some smaller-scale farmers which in turn sometimes can make them forgo the entire organic certification process.
Organic farming has gained popularity as organic food has grown in popularity substantially as consumers have increasingly sought and purchased foods that they perceive as healthier and grown in ways that benefit the environment. Some research shows how organic food has better nutrient content than industrially grown products, and people even claim it to be tastier.
Top Benefits of Organic Food
Here are some of the amazing benefits of organic food.
Higher Antioxidant Content – As per the latest studies, organic food consumption can contribute to more intake of nutritionally advantageous antioxidants and limited exposure to heavy metals. The positive effects of antioxidants on overall health have been established in several scientific studies, especially those derived from organic foods. The positive impacts of antioxidants obtained from organic foods include preventing heart disease, cancer, vision problems, premature aging, and cognitive malfunction. This is because organic foods are free of foreign chemicals and GMOs that normally react with vitamins, organic compounds, and minerals, thus lowering the essential positive impacts of antioxidants in food products.
Improved overall health – The use of natural techniques such as green manure to fertilize the lands and crop rotation in pest and disease control work well in producing safer, healthier, and smellier final food products because organic food is not produced or processed by the use of chemical pesticides or chemical fertilizers, it does not contain any elements of toxic chemicals and may not affect human health in harmful ways.Healthy organic food simply means healthy people and better nourishment for a better living for both people and animals.
Resistance to Antibiotics – Due to humans being susceptible to various health issues and diseases, they have to take precautionary measures to ensure they remain healthy, which is achieved by getting various vaccinations and antibiotic drugs when a new strain of virus or bacteria is realized.
Non-organic food sources, especially livestock and feeds, use vaccines, growth hormones, animal byproducts, and antibiotics to treat and feed the animals. When humans consume non-organic food products, they indirectly consume antibiotics, growth hormones, and vaccines that weaken immune systems on antibiotics, vaccines, hormones, and animal byproducts overdose. This may alter the immune system, thereby rendering humans unable to defend themselves against diseases. The benefits of organic food is that their production processes do not involve antibiotics, growth hormones, animal byproducts, or vaccines.
Better taste – Keeping nutrition aside, the mineral and sugar structures in organic foods are tasty because the crops are given more time to develop and mature. Natural and environmentally friendly agricultural production techniques (organic farming techniques) are the reason for the better taste in organic food products. It is commonly reported that the taste of organic vegetables and fruits is of higher quality than conventionally or industrially grown.
Highly Nutritious – Organic food products contain very high nutritional content because they do not contain modified r artificial ingredients than conventional agricultural food products. Another factor that makes them highly nutritious is that they are given time to develop and are provided with the best natural conditions such as fertilizers made from compost and growth. The vitamin and mineral contents of organic food products are always high as the soil life doesn’t deteriorate due to synthetic chemicals, and health offers the most suitable mechanism for crops to access soil nutrients.
Organic farming is beneficial to society, but organic food consumption is also beneficial to the people at large as it is highly nutritious and doesn’t cause any harm to the human body. Still, on the other hand, it is costly. Keeping the organic food products free of pests turns out to be a headache to the farmers. So whether organic food is a boon or bane is for the consumer or potential consumer to decide.