Organic farming became a trend in the 1970s and is only growing in popularity, but the practice of using fewer pesticides and natural fertilizers dates back much earlier.
There are many factors that buyers who have the luxury of buying organic food around the world have to consider when trying to make the best choices for their health and the environment. Questions like “Is organic food really better?” And “What is the difference between organic food and regular food?” Often arise.
Each government has different organic standards and not all countries even enforce regulations, which makes it difficult to navigate the organic food industry. Between verification of food labels, geographic barriersLike food desserts and high prices for produce and meat, deciding whether or not to go organic can require many factors to be taken into account.
While the jury is still out on whether organic food is necessarily healthier or tastier, the environmental benefits of organic farming methods and practices could be reason enough to downplay conventionally grown foods if it is. of an accessible choice.
Options such as growing organic food at home, exploring farmer’s markets, participating in a weekly Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) pickup, or subscribing to a regular delivery of fruits and vegetables local seasons make organic purchasing more feasible than ever.
Here are five facts about the pros and cons of organic food production to consider the next time you go shopping.
1. Organic foods contain fewer pesticides.
The chemicals used in agriculture to protect crops from insects, fungi, weeds and other pests are known as pesticides. Artificial fertilizers and synthetic pesticides containing heavy metals can pollute groundwater and create complications in many agricultural areas, and damage ecosystems, drinking water, farmers’ health and soil fertility. Groundwater pollution can lead to poor drinking water quality, loss of water supply, degraded surface water systems, high cleaning costs, high costs for alternative water supplies and waste. potential health problems. By using organic fertilizers like compost and animal manure instead, organic farming reduces the risk of groundwater pollution.
2. Animals raised on organic farms live in healthier conditions.
Farmers donate antibiotics to conventionally raised cattle to help prevent disease, but they also make overcrowded or unsanitary conditions possible. When antibiotics are found in food, they can contribute to antibiotic resistance, which poses a major threat to human public health. Synthetic growth hormones also allow cows to gain weight faster or produce more milk.
While organic farms aren’t necessarily cruelty-free, livestock can lead healthier lives, access the outdoors, eat organic, and receive vaccines that promote their well-being.
3. Organic farming has certain environmental benefits.
Agriculture contributes more than 20% of global greenhouse gas emissions caused by human activity which has a negative impact on climate change. Organic farming, however, helps ecosystems better adapt to the effects of climate change and can help reduce greenhouse gases by isolating carbon in the soil. A 2020 study from the Technical University of Munich found that greenhouse gas emissions from products from organic farming were lower than from products from conventional farming.
4. Not all products have to be purchased organic.
When visiting grocery stores, it’s important to remember that not all products have to be purchased organic. Thick-skinned or inedible fruits and vegetables, such as avocados, cantaloupe, pineapple, broccoli, cabbage, and corn, contain low pesticide residues in the United States. In contrast, berries, spinach, grapes, apples, tomatoes, and celery all have high levels of pesticide residues.
When it comes to dairy products, organic milk has a longer shelf life and may be a more cost effective option. And although organic beef leaves a larger carbon footprint than conventional beef, it improves soil quality.
5. Organic foods are not always healthier.
There is growing evidence that organic foods have more health benefits than conventional foods, but there is still more research needed to prove that they are objectively more nutritious.
A 2014 review found that organic crops have higher concentrations of antioxidants than non-organic crops. And another scientific review from 2017 suggested that organic foods may reduce the risk of asthma, sinusitis, and obesity. Plus, organic meat and dairy products contain more omega-3 fatty acids, which support heart health. And because pesticides are often linked to neurodevelopmental problems and cancer, avoiding them as much as possible can’t hurt.