Organic plants are grown without pesticides, synthetic fertilisers, sewage sludge, genetically modified organisms (GMOs) or ionising radiation. That all sounds good, but what does it mean for our diets? Is organic food better for you? And what are the true, scientific benefits of organic farming? We’re here to answer all your questions about organic food and to help you decide if eating organically is the better choice for you and your family.
What does organic really mean?
According to the USDA, ‘organic is a labelling term that indicates that the food or other agricultural product has been produced through approved methods’. These approved methods ensure that shoppers can find products that are clean, natural, and without toxins, genetic modification and artificial additives. Brands should use certified USDA Organic and Non-GMO Project Verified seals to credibly claim to sell organic products.
Are organic foods more nutritious?
The short answer is an emphatic, yes. Studies have shown that organic produce delivers 20-40% more antioxidants than conventional fruits and vegetables. And, when it comes to nutritional value, it’s thought that organic food is more nutritious, as without pesticides, organic plants naturally boost their production of vitamins and antioxidants to fight off pests.
Are organic foods safer? And if so, why?
Organic food is believed to be safer for several reasons. A recent Stanford University Study concluded that organic produce may reduce exposure to pesticides that are toxic to humans. It also found that consumption of organic pork and chicken may reduce our exposure to antibiotic-resistant bacteria, thereby protecting us from antibiotic immunity.
The US government has also acknowledged that many of us are exposed to low levels of pesticide residues, which some reports have suggested may be linked to the development of Parkinson’s disease; asthma; depression and anxiety; attention deficit and hyperactivity disorder (ADHD); and cancer, including leukaemia and non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma. By swapping to a more organic diet, we stop exposing ourselves to these toxins.
Is organic food good for the environment?
One of the main benefits of organic farming is that it protects the environment. Organic farming reduces the pollution of water and land, which is much healthier for the wildlife that lives near farming land.
Organic farming conserves more water than conventional farming. Organic farming practices also helps reduce soil erosion and uses less energy, which is environmentally friendly.
Does organic food taste better?
For many people, the primary benefit of organic food is the taste. Once you’ve have grown accustomed to the taste of fresh, pesticide-free produce, it can be hard to go back. People often claim they can taste the pesticide residue in non-organic foods, and that the higher antioxidant levels make a real difference to the taste of organic food.
This would certainly make sense, as higher antioxidant levels and lower crop yields mean that there are more nutrients available per plant to concentrate that luscious, healthy flavour.
Are you ready to start your organic lifestyle? From protein powders to herbal remedies, we take pride in our organic produce. You can also read up on Garden of Life and the ethos behind the brand to learn more.