Why Eat Organic Food?

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Some people question, “Why eat organic food?” as organic food movement picks up the steam. The short answer is, because it is healthier for you. Pesticides are prohibited from use on the organic crops, and nutritional content of organic food is higher. In this article, I will examine effect of both factors on your health.


Every day more people are going organic. Some are cultivating organic gardens at home, while others buy their organic foods at the supermarket.

Wondering if organic food is really healthier, if it’s really better for you? The simple answer to that question is yes. By law, anything labeled organic may not be grown using any type of chemical treatment. During the era when chemicals were readily used to grow food, farmers didn’t realize the potential long term risks to anyone eating those foods. Those working with pesticides suffered the most – and consumers did, too.

Why eat organic foods: Pros and cons

Cons: price

Pros: higher nutritional value, better taste, better impact on overall health.

Reasons to eat organic foods

How critical is it for you to begin integrating organic foods into your daily diet? The experts tell us that eating organic foods makes the most impact for babies, and for those with serious health issues. But really when you read about the effects of pesticides on the human body – there is no one who will not benefit from eating organic food. It is just plain healthier.

"After over 30 years in medicine, I can safely say that I believe the number one culprit that has damaged the largest number of people has to be pesticides… The damage of pesticides to the reproductive system, the immune system, the nervous system and, especially brain development, is more subtle than developing cancers1."

Dr. Sherry Rogers, "Detoxify or die"

Pesticides are designed to kill living organisms, and this explains their effect of human vision, hormone system and central nervous system. Long exposure to the low doses is particularly damaging, and this is what happens to all of us not eating organic foods.

Subtle symptoms of pesticide toxicity include:

  • inability to handle stress,
  • uncontrollable violence,
  • increased mental disease,
  • decreased intelligence,
  • drug addiction,
  • schizophrenia,
  • gender confusion.

More serious effects are:

  • attention deficit (Jacobson, Chandra, Perea 2002) and
  • hyperactivity disease or
  • infertility.2

Organic agriculture offers many environmental qualities too – it promotes bio-diversity, is more energy efficient and overall it just tastes better than non-organic food. So you can “go green” while you go organic and still have great tasting meals that are good for you.

Is organic food more nutritious?

No, says a recent study, "Nutritional quality of organic foods: a systematic review," funded by the United Kingdom's Food Standards Agency (FSA).

Yes, responds The Organic Centre (TOC) in its responce to the FSA study. It cites more than 15 carefully designed recent studies from around the world.

organic food superiority study This is a perfect example of situation where we, regular folks, are left to wonder who to believe.

This difference in opinions in the scientific community boils down to the design of the studies and methods of choosing "matched pairs" of food to compare. According to The Organic Centre, FSA study did not measure total antioxidant content in foods, leaving out one of the major benefits of foods grown organically. It has also taken into consideration studies from over three decades ago, when farming principles were different and science was yet to discover all the antioxidants we know of today. Still, TOC points out, FSA study found significant advantage of the organic foods in 3 cases out of 11, and no difference in others, and downplayed this fact in the final report.

The Organic Centre matched foods from the nearby farms, compared total antioxidant content in addition to other nutrients, and included only recent studies. In total, it examined 11 key nutrients.

"The nutrients included:
  • Four measures of antioxidants (total phenolics, total antioxidant capacity, quercetin, kaempferol),
  • Three precursors of key vitamins (Vitamins A, C, and E),
  • Two minerals (potassium and phosphorous),
  • Nitrates (higher levels are a nutritional disadvantage), and
  • Total protein."

State of science review: Nutritional superiority of organic foods.4

And the conclusion...

"Across all the valid matched pairs and the 11 nutrients included in the TOC study, nutrient levels in organic food averaged 25% higher than in conventional food."

So your organic carrot will likely have 25% more nutrients than conventionally grown one.

If you grow your own food, rotate it in your garden to allow soil to recover, and fertilize your soil well, you may be able to do even better. And for the cheaper price, too.

Speaking about organic food prices...

There is no question organic food prices are higher than other products. And with the cost of groceries on the rise, it can leave some people feeling caught between healthy eating and paying the rent. With organic apples costing $1.99 per pound, compared to the normal $.99 per pound, many people reach for the more affordable option. Others choose spending just one dollar more so they’re not adding 14 pesticides to their daily menu. Organic food would provide on average 25% more nutritional value, and a great culinary experience, since it tastes better.

Why eat organic food? Because it is better for you

We live in the polluted world, where even ice on the Antarctic is not free of pesticides unless you drill 200 feet under the surface. For pregnant women, eating organic food becomes a necessity as pesticides are linked to higher occurrence of premature birth and birth defects3.

Pesticides directly impact various aspects of our heath – especially those related to memory, mood and behavior. Lack of nutrients in food, eaten regularly, creates terrain for future diseases and may cause obesity.

Eating organic foods is one of the shields that you can build around yourself. Grow it, search for bargains, make smart substitutions – your time is well worth the HEALTHY results.

1.Sherry A Rogers, M.D. Detoxify or Die, p32-34 ISBN: 1-887202-04-8
2.Fina P. Kaloyanova, Mostafa A. El-Batawi Human toxicology of pesticides p.17
3.Paul Winchester, M.D., professor of clinical pediatrics at the Indiana University School of Medicine. Premature births may be linked to seasonal levels of pesticides and nitrates in surface water
4.Charles Benbrook, Xin Zhao, Jaime Yanez, Neal Davies, Preston Andrews. State of science review: Nutritional superiority of organic foods


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