7 Shocking Reasons To Go Organic

You know that eating pesticide is not healthy – after all, it is poison that’s meant to kill small creatures. How much can we as humans really consume before we start to feel negative effects as well? One of the best reasons to eat organic is that it’s good for your body.

But more than that, organic foods are better for the planet. Traditional large-scale farming can be devastating to the environment, while organic farming has at its core a commitment to working in harmony with nature. As global warming increases, this will become more important than ever.

So yeah, yeah, eating organic is good for you and good for the planet, but none of that’s especially fun. If you need a purely selfish reason to do it, how about the fact that it tastes so much better?

Try taste testing organic produce alongside traditionally grown versions and we guarantee you’ll taste the difference. If you still need convincing, we’ve got seven more excellent reasons to switch to organic today.

1. The Chemicals Are Toxic

There are more than 600 active chemicals registered for agricultural use in the United States, several of which have been banned in Europe because they’re so dangerous. Many of these chemical poisons were approved by the Environmental Protection Agency before sufficient testing was done. In fact, up to 90% of approved chemicals have not been tested for long-term health effects.

An average of 16 pounds of chemicals per person, per year will be applied to traditionally grown produce. Yet the FDA only tests 1% of foods for chemical residue. Imagine how much of that pesticide ends up in your body. With stakes this high, the FDA should behave ethically and employ its highest level testing methods. It hardly ever does.

2. You Get The Most Pesticides Where You Least Expect Them

We tend to think a lot about the dangerous stuff that gets sprayed on produce, but we actually get more pesticides in our diet from meat, fish, eggs, and dairy.

Farmed animals are typically fed a diet high in pesticide laden grain, animal parts, fish meal, and by-products. Throughout their lives, the toxins accumulate and concentrate in the animals’ fatty tissue. The same process occurs in human bodies as well.

3. Meat And Dairy Products Are Full Of Antibiotics And Hormones

We understand that traditional farmers need to make money, but the common practice of spiking animal feed with antibiotics and growth hormones is patently dangerous to consumers. Yes, a virus that wipes out an entire herd can be extremely costly to the farmer.

But giving the animals antibiotics “just in case” means that millions of people are also taking antibiotics when they eat the meat. This is quickly pushing us toward the place where antibiotics won’t be effective against viruses that have evolved to laugh in the face of medicine.

This process happens naturally, but the fact that most of us are now taking antibiotics all the time in our food has sped it up to the point that science can’t compensate fast enough.

When it comes to growth hormones, the producers get bulkier animals and more meat without using more feed. Consumers who eat the meat risk early onset of puberty, tumors, increased cancer risk, and genetic problems. Growth hormones in milk (rBGH or rBST) are genetically modified and are directly linked to cancer, especially in women.

4. Traditional Farming Pollutes Soil And Water

If you’re wondering why so much pesticide is used (remember, it averages 16 pounds per person per year) the answer is that a mere 0.1% of it actually reaches the target pests. The rest of that massive overspray contaminates the nearby soil and water.

In the case of water especially, these poisons can travel hundreds of miles from their origin and sicken wildlife and people residing anywhere along the path.

Not only does this decrease population and cause genetic mutations many generations forward, it disrespects the role that nature plays in our agricultural wellness. Just look at the recent frightening loss of bees to understand why this is such a big deal. No bees to pollinate = no crops.

5. Our Food Supply Is Losing Diversity

Roughly 75% of the genetic diversity of our agricultural crops has been lost in the last century. That is problematic because greater diversity increases our food security. As one crop grows and is harvested, the soil is depleted of the nutrients the plants prefer.

A responsible practice of crop rotation, as in organic farming, helps to protect soil quality and preserve our ability to grow various crops, thus slowing that loss.

Lack of diversity is also a problem when blight occurs that wipes out all of a given crop. With better variety, more plants are likely to survive. The famous potato famine in Ireland is a powerful example of what can happen when we rely on just a few varieties of plant. Millions of people died in that instance.

6. We Don’t Know The Effects Of GMO Food

Genetically modified foods dominate our food supply, and because they don’t need to be labeled in the U.S., we may not even understand the extent of it. The idea behind GMO foods is a good one, because it selects for a product that is sturdier, more easily produced, and more resistant to pests.

But we never took the time to examine the long-term effects of GMO food before pumping it onto the market. In short, we simply do not know if tinkering with Mother Nature this way is safe. Eating organic is the only way to be sure you are avoiding GMO foods.

7. Organic Has More Nutrients

Responsible and sustainable growing practices are at the heart of organic farming. That means that the soil is tended carefully and never stripped of its vital nutrients. Therefore, crops grown organically are significantly more nutrient-rich.

Tons of studies have confirmed this. On average, organically grown foods provide: 21.1% more iron, 27% more vitamin C, 29.3% more magnesium, and 13.6% more phosphorus than their conventionally grown counterparts. If you don’t eat organic, you could be putting effort into making sure your family eats the recommended amount of fruits and vegetables, yet still fall short of proper nutrition.

 

As humans we are entrusted with the care of our planet and its natural resources. Yet too often greed and laziness on the part of giant corporate food producers trumps responsible farming practices. If that bothers you, put your money where your mouth is and buy organic as much as possible.

Buying organic food supports responsible farmers and sends the message that healthy food is important to you as a consumer. The market will eventually shift under pressure, and we will likely see the cost of organic produce come down. In the meantime, you can rest assured that you are doing your part for a healthy family and healthy planet.