7 Surprising Reasons to Eat Organic Produce
You believe in organic food and healthy living, but do you know all the reasons why? Between the health ramifications and the damage conventional produce does to the environment, evidence suggests ditching the plastic cart for farmers markets and organic produce delivery is a great idea.
Below are 7 of the most surprising reasons why eating organic improves your health and the world’s.
1. Pesticide levels in conventional produce
The levels are worse than you think. The Environmental Working Group collected samples from a conventional grocery store and found there to be 12 vegetables (the Dirty Dozen) with 33+ pesticides discovered in each. (Celery leads the pack.) By comparison, organic farm-to-table fare is all-natural and free of synthetic pesticides.
2. Better conditions for workers
Synthetic pesticides are terrible for anyone to ingest – imagine the levels farm workers are exposed to on a daily basis! In fact, a study by the Harvard School of Public Health found a 70% long-term risk increase of Parkinson’s disease among workers employed at conventional produce farms. You can be assured that organic produce helps not only the person eating it, but the person growing it.
3. Your child’s health
Little people with little immune systems, children are particularly susceptible to synthetic pesticides and pollutants. Genetically-manipulated conventional produce exposes your child to toxins, chemicals and other impurities when they are most vulnerable.
4. Your health
According to Maria Rodale, author of Organic Manifesto: How Organic Farming Can Heal Our Planet, Feed the World, and Keep Us Safe, “In my book I discuss multiple well-documented studies from reliable sources showing that chemical pesticides, fungicides, herbicides, and the GMO’s used in chemically based food production, are implicated in, if not causing, the following health problems: diabetes, obesity, cancer, autism, Parkinson’s disease, male sterility, genital deformities, female infertility, miscarriage, infant deformities, ADHD, hormonally caused gender confusion, asthma, allergies, accelerated aging, and smaller penises in boys, amphibians, and other wildlife.”
5. Energy conservation
Per acre, organic farming consumes less energy, both directly (via fuel and oil) and indirectly (via the production and shipment of fertilizers and chemicals). Between ethanol subsidies and increasing crude oil prices, conventional farming methods are quickly proving to be inefficient and unsustainable.
6. Fiscal responsibility
Many people aren’t familiar with the tax-payer dollars that go to purifying our water – and some of the primary pollutants are various chemicals that “run-off” of conventional farms. Organic farms spare our government (and by extension, us) of these costs.
Biodiversity measures the health of ecosystems by referring to the variety of life forms (species, plants, etc.) within a designated area. Organic farmers support biodiversity through water conservation, maintaining fallow land by employing techniques such as crop rotation and the use of animal fertilizers. In fact, according to the British “Haughley Experiment” of 1996, organic lands have 30% more known species than their conventional counterparts. In addition to biodiversity, organic farmers build top-soil, recognizing that it is the origin of all quality produce.
Of course, there are far more than 7 reasons to eat organic. What are your favorite reasons? Tell us in the comments below! Never heard of the Dirty Dozen? Get familiar, these are the 12 fruits and vegetables that are better bought organic.