It's no secret that organic products cost more than their conventional counterparts. But despite higher costs, organic products are increasing in popularity. The demand shows no signs of slowing down soon, thanks to strong consumer interest in what goes into their food and how it's produced. If you're not sure whether or not it's worth the extra money to buy organic, we've compiled the top 10 reasons to eat organic.
1) It's Better For the Environment
To produce a single pound of conventional produce requires much more energy, water, and pesticides than organic alternatives. Fertilizers and manure from conventional farms can contaminate waterways and groundwater sources, putting wildlife at risk. By choosing certified organic food, you're making a sustainable choice for your health and our planet.
2) It's Safer For You
One of the most common ways people sustain pesticide exposure is by eating conventionally grown fruits and vegetables. Pesticides have been linked to many health problems, including cancer, hormone disruption, nervous system damage, and developmental problems in children. Studies have also shown that pesticide exposure has effects on neurological development in children. To be on the safe side for your own health, opt for organic produce.
3) It's Safer For Farm Workers
Farmworkers are one of our society's most vulnerable groups. They're at high risk for injuries, burns, and exposure to toxic chemicals like pesticides. Certified organic farms must follow strict guidelines that limit these risks—protecting workers who produce your food. This is one of our top reasons for choosing organic foods.
4) It Contains Fewer Chemicals
Not only does organic food contain fewer chemicals, but it's also been shown that when you eat organic produce, you absorb fewer pesticides into your body. In a study from Newcastle University published in Environmental Health Perspectives, researchers found that when people ate conventional berries and grapes, they absorbed 17 percent of pesticides present in their samples. But when people ate organic versions of those same berries and grapes, they absorbed around three percent of pesticides.
5) It Has Fewer Pesticides
Scientific evidence shows that pesticides are harmful to your health. According to a study by researchers at Michigan State University, women who eat organic foods during pregnancy give birth to children with significantly lower concentrations of organophosphate pesticides in their umbilical cord blood—particularly important for brain development. If you're pregnant or trying to get pregnant, stick with organic; even if you're not, it's good practice every day of your life.
6) Food From Organic Farms is Higher in Nutrients
Some research has shown that organic produce contains significantly higher levels of antioxidants, specifically polyphenols. Polyphenols are one of many phytochemicals, organic compounds found in plants, that can help protect cells from damage. Although there is no doubt that fresh produce is great for you no matter what kind it is, if you're choosing between two equally healthy fruits or vegetables—one conventional and one organic—the organic option will likely have more nutritional benefits.
7) Organic Farms Protect Water Quality
According to scientists, fertilizers and pesticides on conventional farms are polluting our water supply. Thankfully, organic farms use gentle methods on both land and water, so they are better for your health and our ecosystem.
8) Organic Farms Conserve Biodiversity
Many non-organic farms use chemical pesticides that are harmful to pests and bees, and other insects. On organic farms, farmers can use natural pest controls instead of harsh chemicals. The result is more conservation on farmland because these natural pest controls allow for more extraordinary biodiversity in plant and animal life.
9) Organic Foods Taste Better
One of the reasons to eat organic is that organic foods simply taste better. In fact, a recent study from Newcastle University in England found that children rated organic strawberries and milk as tasting much more likable than conventional products. Not only do you get better-tasting foods when eating organically, but you also get more nutrients. Research has shown that organically grown fruits and vegetables contain higher levels of antioxidants than their conventionally grown counterparts, meaning you get more vitamins and minerals per bite.
10) Organic Means No Artificial Ingredients and Unlisted Preservatives
Most conventional food manufacturers add artificial ingredients and additives to their products, even if the law isn't required. Preservatives keep food from spoiling too quickly, but not all of them are safe for human consumption. These additives can cause various health problems, including digestive distress, hyperactivity in children, and other physical ailments. You can avoid these unnecessary risks by choosing organic foods that don't contain artificial additives or preservatives.
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