Organic food has certainly become increasingly popular in recent years, as evidenced by more and more people opting for organic food than ever before. An organic food revolution is upon us, and it is definitely a good thing – not just for our health and well-being, but for our environment as well. But what do you really know about organic food, and, more importantly, what do you know about its benefits to your health?
What you should know
Organic meat and produce are food products that are either raised or grown using organic methods. This means not using synthetic pesticides, GMOs, and fertilisers which are petroleum-based or come from sludge or sewage. Organically-raised animals, in addition, are allowed to roam outdoors and are given feed which is also organic. They are also free from growth hormones and are not given antibiotics or by-products from animals.
The main benefits of organic meat and produce
- Organic produce does not contain synthetic pesticides
Pesticides, such as insecticides and herbicides, are filled with chemicals which we all know are bad for our health. In conventional or traditional agriculture, pesticides are widely used, and conventional produce often has traces of these pesticides even when food is thoroughly washed. Pesticides have been known to increase the likelihood of cancers such as brain tumours, leukemia, breast cancer, and lymphoma.
Children (as well as foetuses) are the ones who are most affected by exposure to pesticides, as their bodies and immune systems are still in the process of development. Additionally, women who are pregnant can also be more affected by exposure to pesticides.
- Organic food does not have GMOs
GMOs, or genetically-modified organisms (also referred to as genetically-engineered foods) are animals or plants which already have altered DNAs. These altered DNAs are not natural at all and do not occur in conventional cross-breeding. In many countries around the world, organic produce is GMO-free, and the meat that comes from organically-raised animals is GMO-free as well, as the animals themselves are given only organic feed that is also free from GMOs.
- Organic meat does not have any growth hormones, antibiotics, or by-products
Organic meat (such as chicken, pork, beef, and the like) is also free from antibiotics, which is often given to livestock in the conventional production of meat. The use of too much antibiotics can produce strains of bacteria which are already resistant to antibiotics, so if a person becomes ill from a certain bacteria strain, they may not be able to respond to treatment. Organically-raised livestock are also not given any by-products made from other animals, which reduces the likelihood of diseases such as mad cow disease. And since organically-raised livestock are allowed to move around and are basically raised outdoors, they are often healthier and happier as well.
- Organic food is usually cleaner and fresher and has an enhanced taste
If you are a person who gives importance to the taste of the food they eat (and really, who doesn’t?) then organic food is definitely a good choice. This is because organic food – both organic meat and produce – is usually fresher than its conventional counterpart. The reason for this is because organic food does not have any preservatives that have the aim of making it last for a longer time. Also, organic produce, for instance, usually comes from local farms (such as Source Farm Shop, a unique shop for all sorts of organic foods amongst Hungerford shops) or is found near the area where it is sold to consumers. And because it is not loaded with preservatives, organic food tastes better as well.