We’re all seeing the organic section at the supermarket getting bigger and bigger, and even finding “Organic!” labels on our boxed food and cotton products. If you’re wondering why in the world it even matters, you’re not alone.
Even though many people don’t quite understand the difference between the organic items and the brands we’ve always purchased, the organic label is selling food and products like nothing else. The organic label has increased by 11% in the last year alone, and accounts for 5% of the total food market.
That may not sound like a lot, but it is dramatic growth for an industry that was previously considered unnecessary. So why should you jump on the bandwagon?
Better for Your Health
While many organizations and conventional farms are trying to prove differently, there are plenty of studies that show organic food is actually better for us. Some studies in recent years claimed that organic food was higher in nutritional value, but that has been debunked in over 200 scientific experiments. There is still plenty of debate on this, though.
What scientists have found is that organic fruit and vegetables are healthier for us because they contain fewer contaminants. For one, organic fruits and vegetables aren’t washed with harsh cleaners, and for two, they come from cleaner soil. But cleaner how?
Organic farms have to adhere to strict standards on the pesticides, fertilizers, antifungals, and drought protectants they use, and must constantly test the soil for heavy metals and water contaminants. The pesticides, fertilizers, chemicals, and heavy metals found on conventional food can be (and are scientifically proven to be) toxic to humans in high doses.
Since we eat every day, there is concern that, over time, this could result in a number of conditions like asthma and cancer. Since the use of these pesticides and other chemicals became commonplace in the U.S., overall health has deteriorate drastically. Coincidence?
Gentle on the Planet
Most people associate organic food with being a “hippie tree hugger,” but that’s not necessarily a bad thing. With conventional food methods, the pesticides, repetitive planting (without rotating), and the genetically modified seeds that affect native crops, the soil and our foods are essentially being stripped bare.
Studies have found that soil that is repeatedly used for the same crop is not nutrient-rich, and are more likely to wash away. When the soil washes away, it takes with it all the chemicals that the farmers used to keep the bugs, fungus, and drought at bay. This causes a problem when those chemicals find their way into ground water and local water supplies.
It’s also worth noting that most of the conventional farming world uses genetically modified organisms (GMOs) for their seeds. When these seeds cross-pollinate with organic farms’ seeds, it essentially makes it impossible for the native seeds to survive. This means that there is no diversity, and the soils will become even more depleted. It’s a nasty cycle.
If you haven’t already, start buying organic where you can. It can be as simple as buying the organic version of the apples you eat every morning, cooking with organic squash, or choosing your detox products based on their organic certification. Organic products are slightly more expensive, but the benefits definitely outweigh the cost.