Reasons to Buy Organic Food
Organic foods are foods that are grown without the aid of synthetic chemicals such as chemical fertilizers and pesticides.
They have no genetically modified organisms, food additives, industrial solvents and they are not processed by radiation methods.
Organic vs. conventional farming
Organic foods are grown with natural fertilizers like manure and compost, while chemical fertilizers are used to aid the growth of conventional foods. Conventional farmers use pesticides and insecticides to control pests and diseases.
On the other hand, organic farmers use advanced farming methods to eliminate pests and control diseases, for instance trapping, beneficial insects and mating disruption. In addition, crop rotation, tilling and mulching are some organic practices used to control weeds.
Identifying organic foods
Organic foods feature regularly in food markets and supermarkets. There is no apparent difference in appearance between organic and conventional foods of the same kind. However, organic foods may bear the USDA standard label voluntarily, for showing compliance to federal standards of organic farming. At times, there might just be a label with the word ‘organic’ on top of the food display counter.
Why should you buy organic?
Most of us are faced with the dilemma of having to choose between buying conventional or organic food. Here are some positive considerations for buying organic food.
Organic foods go through stringent verification by the USDA, which routinely inspects organic growing farms to ensure they conform to the strict standards. Food that meets the highest standards of farming is a positive assurance of good health.
You are less exposed to potential health risks, caused by toxins from chemical residue. The constant dependence on chemicals, through fertilizers and processing, contributes a lot to the amount of toxins in the body, in addition to those released as by-products of bio-chemical processes.
Buying organic food contributes towards preserving the environment. Organic farming practices help to conserve and protect the environment. Chemicals used in conventional farming are pollutants of soil and water resources. Additionally, conventional farming methods lead to fast soil degradation due to growing the same type of crop on the same piece of land over and over, aided by growth chemicals.
Apart from conserving the environment, organic farming has been shown to be more energy efficient. Studies have shown that for every unit of energy, organic farming yielded more than conventional farming over a variety of crops, as well as livestock.
Another study concluded that organic farming for wheat and corn was much more efficient than conventional farming. Thus, we can safely conclude that on average, organic farming places less demands on energy resources.
When you buy organic food, you directly support a more sustainable farming method because it promotes ecological balances that conserve soil fertility and prevent disease and pests naturally.
And lastly, organic food is ‘cheap’ in the long run. Although you’ll pay more for organic food now than conventional food, there’s a higher price to pay in terms of clean up from the damage induced by conventional farming methods.
All the pollution from waste disposal, soil depletion, high energy inputs, not to mention long term health risks, come back to haunt us in terms of a degraded environment (think of global warming, etc) and illness.