Health Benefits From Switching to Organic Diet
We have all noticed the growing popularity of organic foods. Many food companies have altered their recipes to include alternative sweeteners, whole grains, and some are even taking the organic route. When shopping for fruits and vegetables, you may also note that several markets offer organic options along with the conventionally grown or raised items we are used to seeing. You are now presented with a dilemma: should you consider switching to an organic diet?
Organic- What It Means
Products that are labeled “organic” are grown or raised differently than conventional items. The United States Department of Agriculture’s standards require natural foods to be at least ninety-five percent organic. Packed foods have to contain at least seventy percent organic ingredients. The USDA controls how the products are processed, cultivated, and handled.
How Organic Products Are Grown or Raised
Agricultural products (ex. Fruits, vegetables, and grains) are grown without the uses of herbicides, fertilizers, and pesticides. Instead, natural methods like crop rotations are used.
Dairy products (ex. eggs and milk) and meat produced from livestock do not contain genetically modified organisms (GMOs) as they are fed with feed that is non-GMO and free of hormones. The livestock does not receive medications or antibiotics. Natural procedures keep the livestock from becoming diseased.
Health Benefits From Organic Products
The USDA and the Federal Department of Agriculture state that the quality of organic food is just as healthy as non-organic products.
It is believed that organic products offer more antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals and also taste better than a non-organic alternative. Though there is little scientific evidence to support this, studies of the health benefits and properties of organic foods are on going. While the nutritional value of organic foods may, in some cases, exceed that of conventional products, the fact that no pesticides, herbicides, chemical fertilizers, or medications are utilized when growing and raising organic products significantly contributes to health advantages.
Government agencies like the FDA and USDA regulate the amount of chemicals used so that conventional products are not detrimental to health. These chemicals can cause cancers and other health problems, a definite reason why many people switch to organic products. https://depts.washington.edu/ceeh/downloads/FF_Pesticides.pdf and fetuses may be especially susceptible.
Increased Welfare Of Animals
It is no secret that conventionally raised animals are often kept confined and do not have much exposure outside. Many exist in their own feces and urine and are enclosed in a small living area. Even though the animals are given antibiotics and medication, many fall ill and die. Livestock used to make organic food items are typically free-range, allowed to roam in open and fresh spaces. Though these animals are not given chemicals for their health like growth hormones, yet they still live happy and long lives.
Environmental and Agricultural Safety
The chemicals used to grow crops as well as raise livestock can cause pollution in water, air, and soil. Water, for example, is tainted by an overflow of fertilizer and animal waste, increasing the levels of nitrogen and phosphorous. This is poisonous to anything living and can alter or even destroy ecosystems. Growing and raising plants and animals without the use of these harsh chemicals creates nominal pollution.
How To Acquire Organic Foods
The key is to always check the nutrition label. Organic foods are marked and disclose that the are certifiably organic. Natural products, such as vegetables, are one hundred percent organic and usually have an USDA label.
Many stores are well stocked with both organic products and conventional products. Health stores and specific organic stores have a bountiful supply of products and offer a larger selection. You can visit food markets and purchase fresh, and sometimes locally grown, even seasonal organic foods. For more convenience, you can give an organic meal delivery service a try. Several of these delivery services provide quality meal kits composed of fresh and nutritious organic products.
There are many, many benefits from switching to an organic diet. You will not only feel better physically, but mentally as well. Your overall quality of life will improve just by making this simple change in your diet. You will notice that food begins to taste better as well. Go on, give it a try!