06/04/2015 15:46

Choose Smart, Choose Organic

Did you know many studies have shown that organically grown vegetables and fruit have been found to have higher concentrations of vitamins and minerals than those that are cultivated inorganically? According to a 2008 report by the Organic Center, a team of scientists concluded that organically grown plant-based foods have an average of 25 percent more nutrients than conventionally grown plants.

Chemical fertilizers such as pesticides, herbicides and fungicides greatly reduce the quality of nutrition, and have also been shown to cause numerous long-term health risks such as cancer, birth defects, Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease. Immediate health risks can attribute to acute intoxication such as vomiting, diarrhea, blurred vision, tremors, convulsions, and nerve damage. Further research shows that young children with higher levels of pesticide residue in their urine were more likely to have attention deficit hyperactivity disorder.

Genetically modified foods have also generated much alarm in many sectors of the health industry. Scientists, doctors, and health educators have long cautioned the public about the injurious effects of GM crops on the health of animals and humans. As it stands now, we have about a 70-75% chance of picking a product with GMO ingredients without even realizing it! To date, the biggest GM crops are soybeans and corn, from which thousands of processed foods are made.

While washing and rinsing may reduce levels of some pesticides, it doesn’t completely eliminate them. Peeling reduces exposure, but valuable nutrients often go down the drain with the peel. The best option is to eat a varied diet consisting of organic produce to reduce exposure to harmful chemicals.

But wait – there are still a few more reason to eat organically: Because of the high standards that organic farmers must adhere to in order to ensure certification, you will learn that they produce significantly less pollution while enforcing waste water management, crop rotation, animal welfare, and sustainability.

Fortunately, organic foods are becoming an important staple among the health-conscious public. Many grocery stores are expanding their organic produce while health food stores have sprung up across the country. Families are learning the value of eating locally by joining community gardens and supporting local farmers. In doing so, you too can support local producers who use sustainable and organic production methods that yield fresher, tastier, nutrient-dense foods, while supporting your local economy and preserving the planet.