What is organic food exactly, and why is it such an “issue” these days? Well, the reality is that the concept of “organics” didn’t even exist a hundred years ago. Consider a few facts:
· At that time, a majority of people were still growing their own foods using the traditional methods that had sustained mankind for millennia.
· Current agricultural practices, which sacrifice food quality for the sake of quantity and speed, did not exist then.
· For the above reasons, most food produced at the time already *was* organic by default!
While the subject of nutrition and organic food is too large to cover in one article, I will endeavour to highlight some of the more salient points, especially for beginners.
What qualifies to be called an organic food?
Organic foods qualifications, in general, are lists of requirements that range from good and sustainable agricultural practices to the avoidance of many damaging agricultural inputs and chemicals. (It's the side effects from these chemicals that have driven many people to choose organic foods.) The exact standard that applies in your area will depend on your country, state (if applicable), and the associated regulatory authorities. In most countries where this standard exists, including the United States and Australia, "organic" food is a food product where:
Health effects associated with consumption of non-organic foods
The chief health concerns surrounding conventionally produced meat and produce arise from the chemicals and chemical residues (or in the case of meat, antibiotics and growth-accelerating hormones). These are toxic chemicals, and they have variously been associated with the following:
Benefits of eating organic foods
There are many direct and indirect benefits of eating organic food. In short, they include:
Benefits of eating organic food go beyond the individual person’s health. Organic farming practices have a positive impact on the environment as well as on the plants and animals on earth.
Before today’s agricultural practices became commonplace, most food produced in our farms and ranches already *was* organic. Conventional agriculture now uses substances that destroy the delicate environmental and ecological balance required for us to produce food in a sustainable and healthy way. We also risk consuming large amounts of pesticide and other contaminants that affect our metabolism, our hormones, and really everything about our health, and the proof is in the pudding. When scientists study food chains (e.g. - plankton --> anchovies --> tuna --> sharks, etc), it is a common understanding that problems anywhere in the food chain affect all the animals further up. The same applies to human beings. Because we are at the top of the food chain, we MUST take care of our environment that sustains us, otherwise, it’s not anchovies or chickens or plants that suffer the most — it’s US.
James L Poole
I am a holistic health therapist: Emmett Technique practitioner, aromatherapist, nutritional therapist, and Reiki healer. This is my blog about natural healing.