Organic farms in the US have increased in recent times. United States Department of Agriculture recorded a 17% increase in organic farm certification in 2017. This means more farmers are making a shift to growing more organic products.
As the name implies, organic products are products that involve green practices that promote ecological balance, conserve the ecosystem, and cycle resources. In organic production, the least amount of synthetic chemicals is used.
Organic products are the rave of the moment. From fruits and vegetables to meat, milk, and even skincare, there are a lot of reasons why the world is looking toward organic products. Join me as I reveal 11 reasons why organic products are better than conventional products.
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1. Organic products are free from Pesticides.
One of the biggest concerns today is the use of pesticides and other synthetic chemicals in agriculture. Pesticides remain in the soil and water, contaminating rivers and endangering aquatic life. Microorganisms in the soil also die from pesticide use thereby limiting the quality of humus-rich soil necessary for crop growth.
There have been many incidents of human illness caused by pesticides. Exposure to pesticides has been shown to cause diseases in humans. Some of these diseases could range from milk skin allergies to more serious health conditions like Parkinson’s and even death.
Organic farming on the other makes use of more environmental pest control methods such as trapping pests, hand picking them, or introducing predators to eat the pests. Natural substances such as vinegar can also be used to drive away pests. This form of pest control is known as integrated pest management and is optimal in producing good organic products.
2. Organic products are more nutrient dense
Numerous studies have shown that organically grown food contains more vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants than conventionally-grown food. This could be because more trace nutrients can be found in organic soil.
These antioxidants and nutrients are required by the body for cell repair and good immune health. Conventionally-farmed products on the other hand have fewer nutrients when compared with organic products.
This is mostly because their growth was accelerated using artificial nutrients and growth hormones. For this reason, more conventional foods are fortified with synthetic nutrients to make up for the nutrients that are lacking in the soil.
3. Organic products contain fewer herbicides
Herbicides are chemicals used to control weeds on a farm. They are sprayed on farms where weeds are present with the intention of killing the weeds. Unfortunately, these chemicals can also kill the crops they are supposed to protect or reduce their yield. Herbicides not only poison the soil but can run into nearby water sources during rainfall and poison water life.
Herbicides can be absorbed by root crops in higher concentrations. This can be toxic to humans leading to various health problems affecting the skin, liver, and endocrine system.
In organically grown farms, weeding is carried out through more traditional methods such as hand pulling or scrapping the weeds off with a knife. This ensures that the crops get the necessary nutrition from the soil without using any artificial chemicals.
4. Organic products have little or no antibiotics in them
Antibiotics are used in agriculture to prevent and treat bacterial infections in farm animals. While they are effective in dealing with infections, they can also promote the growth of antibiotic-resistant bacteria that could be very harmful to humans and animals alike.
In the US, more than 2.8 million people suffer antibiotic resistance-related infections each year. About 2% of these infections end in death.
Antibiotic resistance bacteria is one of the leading causes of antibiotic-related deaths in our world today. Antibiotic resistance occurs when certain bacteria become resistant to antibiotics. When this happens, infections are unable to be treated effectively using certain medications that were once effective. This could lead to more serious infections or even death.
Animals that are kept in tight quarters are more likely to develop infections and be given regular doses of antibiotics. This is not the case for organic animals that are allowed to roam free and graze. Organic farming depends more on plant and animal immunity through nutrient-rich feeding and proper sanitation to prevent diseases.
5. Organic products taste better
Taste is a very important factor that people consider when purchasing food. While many people may not notice the difference in taste, many others who eat organically grown food can certainly tell the difference when they taste conventional food.
Due to their slower growth rate and nutrient-dense soil where they are grown, organic products seem to have more flavor than conventionally grown foods. The same can also be said for animal-based products. Try eating a 6-month-old synthetic-hormone-grown chicken and a 1-year-old chicken and observe the difference.
6. Organic products are fresher
Organic products are fresher and more flavorful than conventional food because they are grown slowly in rich soil without any pesticides, chemicals, or artificial fertilizers. While conventionally-grown foods are often irradiated to prevent spoiling during long-distance transportation, organic foods are mostly eaten fresh mostly due to the standards they have to meet to be certified organic.
Irradiation adds flavor-deadening chemicals to the food so that it would last longer on supermarket shelves. This not only reduces the freshness of the food but could add harmful chemicals to the food when harmful materials are used in preservation.
7. Organic products are more environmentally friendly
Organic farming does not use the chemicals, artificial fertilizers, and growth hormones that conventional agriculture uses. This reduces the amount of environmental soil and water poisoning that occurs when these chemicals are washed into nearby rivers, streams, and other land areas.
Since these chemicals harm animals and soil microorganisms, they are not only bad for our health but also for the environment. Organic products do not pollute the soil and water when they are used as fertilizers because they are not harmful.
8. Organic products have fewer artificial Hormones
Conventional farming uses growth hormones to accelerate the growth of farm animals. These hormones can be found in all types of meat, including chicken, fish, and cows. The use of growth hormones has been linked to numerous health problems in humans including severe allergic reactions, diseases of the endocrine glands, and cancer.
These effects are most severe in children and those suffering from hormone deficiencies. Most conventional meat grown today has been treated with a variety of hormones to accelerate growth. Some of these hormones have been banned in Europe but not the United States.
Organically grown animals and plants do not have some of the artificial hormones present in conventional products. They are more nourishing and help in fighting diseases. This is one of the reasons why organic products remain the best bet.
9. Organic products help in Biodiversity preservation
Biodiversity refers to a wide variety of life forms that exist on earth and is often measured by the number of different species of plants and animals in a given ecosystem. With the use of chemicals such as pesticides and herbicides, some of the microorganisms responsible for enriching the soil die. This leads to the depletion of rich soil.
Many plants, animals, and soils have become extinct due to conventional farming methods that involve deforestation and the overuse of chemicals. The population of natural pollinators such as bees is also reduced when pesticides are used leading to fewer pollinators and perhaps, lower yield.
Organically products are grown in soil that is rich in nutrients and minerals that help in preserving the natural earth while still providing consumers with food.
10. Organic production reduces pollution
Since organic farming is not dependent on chemicals, it reduces the pollution of both soil and water. They produce more crops per acre than conventional farming while producing better quality results.
Due to the use of toxic chemicals in conventional farming, the water sources in many areas are polluted. Crops grown in areas with these types of chemicals can be poisonous if eaten or cause allergic reactions.
11. Organic products help provide a healthier immune system
Eating organically reduces the risk of getting sick from a number of illnesses. Some of these diseases are a result of toxicity caused by the use of herbicides and chemical fertilizers. This can be deadly to infants who have a less developed immune system and are more vulnerable to diseases.
Due to the numerous nutrients present in organic products, the ability to fight infections is improved.
Now that you have seen some of the reasons why organic products are better than conventional products, I hope you are looking forward to making that shift and enjoying the many benefits that come with organic products.
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