We tend to bang on about organic food in the natural health industry… and I will cheerfully discuss it at length, if you only give me half a chance.
Namely, it’s better for you.
Yes, there is a raging debate around how much better it is, whether it really is better, and why that is anyway…
Listen. There is plenty of research to support the fact that organic produce is more nutritious than its conventionally grown equivalent. Examples include:
- Organic foods contain significant levels of antioxidant nutrients. This is particularly important for people with compromised immune systems, such as cancer patients, and those with chronic illnesses. But it can benefit everyone. Studies have consistently shown that organic fruits have a much higher concentration of important antioxidants such as vitamin C.
- Organically produced milk has much higher levels of beneficial fatty acids than non-organic milk.
- Lactating women consuming a diet containing organic dairy products have demonstrated an increased concentration of beneficial nutrients in breastmilk, which is linked to better health outcomes for their babies, including protective effects against allergic hypersenstivity diseases.
A number of links have also been drawn between the chemicals used in conventional farming (particularly OP – organophosphate – pesticides) and conditions such as Parkinson’s disease, Alzheimer’s disease, autism and several psychiatric disorders. Chemical pesticides are prohibited in organic farming, so the foods produced have a much lower chemical residue.A study has just been released in America (published this week), showing that children exposed to high levels of pesticides from early in life – including prenatal exposure – have a higher incidence of attention disorders than children with a lower exposure. This follows on from previous studies showing that maternal exposure to pesticides during pregnancy has adversely affected infant brain development.
For a lot of people, it’s not realistic to eat 100% organic all of the time. Which is fine. What is more important, is being aware of the issue and making good choices. That means, where it is possible – such as, in local fresh-food markets and supermarkets – make an educated choice.
The role of organic food in maintaining health also extends to sustainable agricultural techniques as we look towards the maintenance of an ever-growing population. If you develop a relationship with where you source your food, then you can have a greater understanding of what goes in to getting those favourite flavours onto your plate. It also means you can make better choices as to what you eat and what you don’t; which, ultimately, sets the tone for better health.