For years people have debated over whether or not eating organic foods necessarily meant making a healthy choice. Some believe that organic translates to healthy, when this is actually not the case. This is mostly because people only have a vague understanding of what exactly organic foods are. Their actual health benefits and disadvantages have yet to be fully understood. Lets ready more to find out whether organic food is healthy or not.
Which Foods are Organic?
Certain standards have been set by the government and agricultural department. This is to ensure that organic foods are grown naturally. In other words, they do not undergo any artificial processes like bio-engineering and radiations. Such foods grow on farms without the use of any man-made pesticides or fertilizers. Additionally, no preservatives, food coloring or flavoring can be added to them. Moreover, organically raised animals are given organic produce only, and no antibiotics or growth hormones are used on them. Access to pastures for grazing and clean water is vital for the livestock.
Is it the Safer Option?
It would make sense to argue that organic food would be safer to consume than non-organic food. This is because there is little or no pesticide residue, so that safety hazard is removed. However organic production steers clear of synthetic insecticides and herbicides. Therefore, organic crops usually contend with more pests and weeds than conventional crops. This means the organic plants may produce more natural toxins.
These natural toxins could be just as harmful to people – or even more so – than the synthetic pesticides used in conventional agriculture. One familiar example is solanine, a substance produced by potatoes as they turn green. This can make you ill if you ingest too much of it.
Additionally, with modern technology is improving and developing rapidly, a lot of attention and care should be placed in the production of these fertilizers. This is so that they are safe to use on a large scale. They would be repeatedly monitored before being used, so the non-organic crops harvested would be of good quality. Therefore, they would perhaps even safer to eat.
Another safety concern that has been raised about organic food is the issue of manure fertilizers. Some critics fear that using manure to fertilize organic crops might be risky. These include mainly the risk of contamination by dangerous microbes like E. coli (bacteria)
Is Organic Food More Nutritious?
Right now, no one can say for sure whether organic food is any more nutritious than conventional food. A few studies have reported that organic produce has higher levels of vitamin C, certain minerals, and antioxidants. Therefore, they are thought to protect the body against aging, cardiovascular disease, and cancer. However these differences are so small that there may not be any overall impact on nutritional value. Furthermore, it is essential that the produce is eaten fresh. This is because nutrients such as Vitamin C decompose over long periods of time. Due to shorter shelf life, much of the food also gets wasted if not bought or consumed immediately after being harvested.
Good Value For Money?
Another factor to consider before going completely organic is the high price and affordability of the foods. However, many scientists and nutritional experts do say that organic produce is better for the environment and society as a whole. As pesticides and herbicides accumulate over time in the soil and therefore in our bodies, organic food may well be a better alternative to conventional foods. It would reduce the risk of several diseases which are likely to arise from harmful agents.
Experts have not yet been able to prove that organic foods are definitely more superior to conventionally grown foods in terms of health and nutrition. The overall decision could still vary from person to person, whether they would choose to opt for the seemingly healthier organic foods which may contain more nutrients, or save on expenses and buy conventional foods which would last longer due to addition of preservatives.