Some data show the possible health benefits of organic foods compared to foods grown using the usual (conventional) process. These studies have demonstrated differences in foods. However, there is limited information to demonstrate how these differences can provide possible general health benefits. Consumers are looking for reasons to eat healthier and want more information about where their food comes from and how it was produced.
There are hundreds of reasons to choose certified organic products. There are hundreds of reasons to choose certified organic products over conventional products, but we've narrowed them down to the top 15 reasons to eat organic products. Eating organic products reduces the amount of chemicals in the diet, such as persistent pesticides. The use of insecticides, fungicides, fertilizers and herbicides is strictly controlled in the production of organic food.
Organic farming produces healthy food without the use of toxic pesticides. While some organic farmers use pesticides, they are mostly derived from natural substances. These natural pesticides must be approved for organic production. The National Organic Standards Board, or NOSB, and the National Organic Program, or NOP.
Maintain a list of materials approved for use in organic production. This list is compiled with input from farmers, business owners, consumer advocates and the public. The general rule for the national list is that natural materials are allowed and synthetic materials are prohibited, however, there are some exceptions. Once the NOSB and the NOP add a material to the national list, external organizations, such as the Organic Materials Review Institute, evaluate new products to ensure that they meet the requirements.
It's a process that involves hundreds of technical experts. Learn more about this process at the Rodale Institute. Natural pesticides that are approved can only be used when other methods of pest control are unsuccessful. Find out why pesticides cannot be “washed” here.
Eating organic products is the best way to avoid GM foods, ingredients and contamination. The use of genetically modified organisms (GMOs). This means that an organic farmer cannot plant transgenic seeds, an organic cow cannot eat transgenic alfalfa or corn, and an organic soup producer cannot use any transgenic ingredients. To comply with USDA organic regulations, farmers and processors must demonstrate that they do not use GMOs and that they protect their products from contact with prohibited substances, such as GMOs, from farm to table.
Learn more about why choosing organic products is the best way to avoid GMOs. Artificial colors, flavors, or preservatives are not allowed in organic foods. Cleaner foods mean cleaner diets, leading to cleaner health. No artificial preservatives, colors, or flavors are allowed in organic foods.
Fewer than 40 synthetic substances can be used in organic packaged foods, and only after they have been reviewed by government and independent experts. Instead, thousands of chemicals can be added to conventional packaged foods, including preservatives, flavors, and colorants related to health problems. Learn more about these differences between organic and conventional foods at EWG. The problem with these synthetic additives found in conventional processed foods is that they are aimed at children and parents.
These chemically addictive additives cause many health problems. The hidden cost of this “cheap food” is the expenses that Americans pay with their health. From diabetes to obesity to ADHD, food-related illnesses are at an all-time high. As the New York Times recently said: “Our food is killing us.
Organic farming creates healthy soil. Healthy soil creates healthy food and a healthy environment. Healthy soil is the foundation of organic agriculture. Organic farmers use natural organic fertilizers and soil amendments, such as organic matter (things that can be composted) and green manures (cover crops that are grown specifically to improve the soil, e.g.
ex. Vegetables) and animal manures (with safety restrictions) to build healthy soil. When food is grown in healthy soil, crops can better resist diseases, survive drought and tolerate insects. Learn more about how to increase soil fertility on an organic farm in the USDA Guide for Organic Crop Growers.
Organic agriculture supports carbon sequestration, which helps mitigate rising levels of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere. The main benefit of organic agricultural and livestock production, compared to conventional agriculture, is that it focuses on soil-based production with the underlying principles of maintaining or improving soil quality. Healthy soil counteracts climate change by extracting carbon from the atmosphere. This is similar to how native ecosystems, including prairies and forests, act as carbon sinks in nature.
Recent data from trials with agricultural and rangeland systems around the world show that we could capture more than 100% of current annual CO2 emissions if we were to switch to regenerative organic agriculture practices. Next, delve into news and studies related to carbon sequestration and climate change. Organic agriculture does not expose neighboring communities or farm workers to dangerous and persistent pesticides. Agricultural workers are at great risk of exposure to agricultural pesticides and the adverse health impacts that may result as a result.
Neighbors are also at risk of exposure to pesticides if they live near a large farm or a conventionally managed park or playground. Pesticide drift is a threat to human health, as well as to wildlife and ecosystems. A recent study published in Environmental Research adds evidence to a broader set of research that shows that eating organic foods very well may reduce pesticides in the human body. The study found that families who ate a 100 percent organic diet rapidly and dramatically reduced their exposure to four classes of pesticides by an average of 60 percent for six days.
Support a healthy environment for all of us by choosing organic foods. Organic agriculture practices generate numerous environmental benefits. The Center for Food Safety has documented some other episodes in which pollen or seeds from genetically modified crops contaminated conventional crops, often leading to the recall of seeds or products from the market and other problems for farmers and consumers. The use of GMOs in organic products is prohibited.
Organic farmers, like anyone else, need to provide nitrogen and phosphorus for crops to grow. However, unlike conventional farmers, organic farmers rarely rely primarily on chemical fertilizers, which would be costly and incompatible with the organic approach to soil fertility. Organic farmers use natural organic fertilizers and soil amendments, such as organic matter, green manures and animal manures, to build healthy soil. Using organic soil amendments instead of synthetic fertilizers provides crops with complex nutrient sources that are released slowly and limit their loss in the soil and in our waters.
Other solutions to curb agricultural runoff include using buffer zones, eliminating the use or need for synthetic inputs, and creating healthy soil. Cover crops help prevent soil from being washed away and help recycle nutrients; crop rotation prevents the extraction of nutrients from the soil; and the composting of plant and animal materials and the use of manure as fertilizer result in higher rates of nitrogen recycling, reducing the introduction of new nitrogen pollution into the environment. All of these practices are already common strategies in organic agriculture. Crop rotations also prevent the removal of nutrients from the soil.
Producing food without chemical pesticides has many benefits. Organic systems have been shown to produce 40% more yield in times of drought, use 45% less energy and release 40% less carbon emissions than conventional cultivation methods (Rodale Institute). Organic agriculture promotes soil health, supports natural ecosystems and prevents pesticide toxins from polluting waterways. There is some evidence to suggest that organic foods have health benefits.
Specifically, people who eat mostly organic foods were more likely to prevent non-Hodgkin lymphoma and postmenopausal breast cancer compared to those who rarely or never ate organic foods. There is also greater awareness about caring for the land in the face of climate change, and many farms that produce organic food follow stricter environmental guidelines. Discover the difference between organic foods and their traditionally grown counterparts when it comes to nutrition, safety and price. Organic farmers couldn't grow their produce fast enough to supply the retailer, so they decided to lend money to farmers to buy land and equipment to grow more organic products.
The organic food industry is a booming business and, with the recent sale of natural food giant Whole Foods to Amazon, it is expected to grow even more in the near future. Halden says that vulnerable groups, such as pregnant women, young children, the elderly and people with allergies, could benefit most from choosing organically produced foods. Reducing the amount of pesticides in organic foods can also be good for healthier, clearer skin. Several previous studies have found that organic foods generally contain higher levels of antioxidants and certain micronutrients, such as vitamin C, zinc and iron (4, 5, 6,.
The Department of Agriculture (USDA) has established an organic certification program that requires that all organic foods meet strict government standards. While several studies indicate that organic foods can have significant positive results, others have not found sufficient evidence to recommend organic rather than conventional foods (1). Eating organic foods can reduce exposure to artificial chemicals, added hormones, and antibiotic-resistant bacteria). There isn't enough strong evidence available to show that eating organic products provides health benefits compared to regular foods.