Organic food is very popular. While many are turning to them for the benefits they provide to the environment, some wonder if this way of producing food can also be better for health. Let’s take a closer look.
The name “organic” is a diminutive which means “resulting from organic farming”. So what do we mean by organic farming? It is a mode of cultivation that uses agricultural techniques that respect the environment and animals. Organic farming promotes natural raw materials and bans additives, fertilizers and other artificial pesticides. As the organic sector has become more democratic in recent years, there are now many organic products in different distribution channels: from the local producer to the supermarket, via specialty shops and markets.
Any product that respects the organic convention of the European Union is awarded the AB label, which can be identified by a logo. The application of very strict rules, contained in a specification, is necessary to obtain this label. No sweeteners, colors or flavor enhancers are allowed in organic food, either in animal feed or in product processing.
Organic producers are subject to an inspection inspection every year. This is to verify their compliance with EU requirements. Consumers are therefore guaranteed that products from organic farming do not harm the environment, animals or yourself.
Why should we switch to organic foods?
#1. Eating organic means eating healthy (generally)
More and more departments in supermarkets are promoting organic products. Obviously, one wonders, while shopping, why these organic products are they also present on the shelves. Eating organic is particularly beneficial, for many reasons, and the main reason is that eating organic is eating healthy. Why ?
Simply because all products from organic farming contain far fewer pesticides and heavy metals. Thus, having an organic diet will allow you to eat healthy. Many studies confirm these remarks.
To get an idea, in products from conventional farming, you are 18 times more likely to find pesticide residues than in products from organic farming. As you can imagine, pesticides are not good for your health and the body, so if you change your diet to eat organic, you will do good for your body.
#2. Eating organic is good for the environment
The second reason why people eat organic is that this type of farming is good for the environment. Concretely, organic farming helps protect soil and reduce erosion. Indeed, in conventional agriculture, many pesticides and chemical fertilizers are used, which is harmful for the soil and for the environment itself. In organic farming, organic plant or animal materials are used, and necessarily, the soil is not subjected to attack by chemicals. In addition, organic farming also helps to conserve water because it uses less water than for conventional farming. In addition, in conventional farming, some plants release water polluted by chemicals into the soil, which contributes to poor soil health.
But that’s not all. Nowadays, some living species are endangered compared to before the industrial era. At this rate, in a few years, some living species will simply disappear. But thanks to organic farming, many old plants and other natural fertilizers are used, which helps maintain biodiversity.
#3. Eat products with more taste
You may not know it, but organic food tastes better and tastes better. It’s scientifically proven. You may not notice it for all foods, but for fruits and vegetables, the difference in taste is really striking. You are probably wondering why?
The reason is simple, organic fruits and vegetables are harvested when they are perfectly ripe, therefore, they have time to gorge themselves in aromas, which will accentuate their taste. In addition, as food from organic farming grows in full sun, it can draw water from the soil whereas for conventional farming this is not necessarily the case since most of the soil is dead. because of chemical fertilizers. As a result, organic products have less water, more taste, more nutrients, more vitamins, more minerals, vitamins and more antioxidants. In other words, it’s much better for our health!
#4. Eating organic is not just for the wealthy
Many people do not eat organic because they are convinced that it is expensive. So, of course, organic farming requires more work, more time and more labor, but that does not mean that organic products are overpriced. Of course, prices remain higher than products from conventional farming, but organic products have become increasingly affordable over the years.
Indeed, currently, organic farming benefits from a certain number of subsidies, which makes it possible to lower the prices of products in store. If some specialized shops took advantage of the organic boom to sell their very expensive products, you will find products of such good quality at much more affordable prices in supermarkets that could not resist the high demand from customers. . So no, eating organic is not just for the wealthy. Nowadays, almost everyone can eat organic. Most supermarkets even offer private label organic products so that low-income families can still eat healthy food.
#5. A true state of mind
Much more than a simple diet, organic is a real state of mind. You may never have noticed, but most people who eat organic also live “organic”. Indeed, it is not enough to have a healthy diet, it is also necessary to have a healthy lifestyle. By eating organic, you are committed to the environment, you see the world in a different light. Eating organic is fighting pollution, chemicals, it is also helping farmers to make a better living from their profession. Eating organic means eating a balanced, varied diet, without pesticides or GMOs. Organic food cannot be eaten, it is lived fully. By living organic, we show how committed we are to the environment, to respecting living species, to nature, to agriculture. In a word, we protect the planet.
#6. Discover new foods
When you go shopping in supermarkets, the fruit and vegetable departments are always the same. So it’s difficult to innovate in the kitchen when you always offer the same products. But thanks to organic food, the color of your plates will completely change. Go to an organic store (not a supermarket) and look at all the products on offer.
After only a few seconds, you will notice that most of the products are completely unknown to you and yet they do exist. Thus, by eating organic, we realize that we are learning to eat again. We take the time to discover all of these delicious new products that we have never tasted before. Thanks to organic, you will finally be able to have a rich and varied diet. What could be better ?
As you will understand, eating organic is within everyone’s reach. And even if the prices are slightly higher than products from conventional farming, by eating organic you will benefit your body and your health and your body, which is not trivial. It would therefore be a great shame to deprive yourself of it, especially given the many health scandals of recent years. Between bird flu, frozen horse meat dishes, mad cow and all the bacteria present in many foods, we have the right to ask ourselves some questions and to be more attentive. Therefore, changing your diet to eat organic can only be beneficial.
So if you too want to learn to eat better while showing your commitment to the planet, the best way to do this is to switch to organic food. At first, you may miss your diet rich in fats and other chemicals. But over the days, when you realize all the benefits that this new diet will bring you, you will not be able to do without it.
Are organic foods more nutritious?
Several studies have looked at the nutritional quality of organic foods compared to conventionally grown foods. However, overall, they don’t seem to be much more nutritious than these. It should also be remembered that many factors can influence the nutritional value of food: the soil, the climate, the variety, the amount of light received … These factors could even have more impact than cultivating organic or not.
Unsurprisingly, organic foods generally have fewer traces of pesticides than conventionally grown foods. However, this does not necessarily mean that they are better for your health. Indeed, small doses of pesticides consumed in food do not seem to pose health risks. Even if they are harmful even in small doses, the fact remains that these risks are minimal compared to the benefits of eating fruits and vegetables. We are more likely to harm our health by depriving ourselves of these foods.
Among farmers, it’s a different story. The pesticides to which they are exposed in larger doses and at higher frequencies than consumers appear to be associated with health problems such as Parkinson’s disease, birth defects and miscarriages.
So even if organic food is not better for health than conventional food, the fact remains that organic farming brings benefits to the environment and to agricultural producers. So it’s a wise choice to turn to them when possible.
Inconclusive studies …
The studies are very difficult to interpret. The quality of the soil, the temperature and the quality of light during the growing season or the variety of seed are all factors that can influence the nutrient content of food. However, since these factors are often uncontrolled, it is impossible to make fair comparisons.
In addition, many studies are biased by factors related to the lifestyle of consumers of organic products. They are often more physically active, generally do not smoke and drink little or no alcohol. It is therefore just as difficult to claim that organic foods are more beneficial to health than conventional foods.
In short, there is still too little evidence to conclude on the differences between the two types of food.
What about vitamin C?
However, studies seem to agree on one thing: conventional foods contain less vitamin C than organic foods. Very interesting, certainly, but do not rejoice too quickly. Although higher, these levels of vitamin C are not important enough to have a real impact on our health. In addition, all Canadians already consume the recommended amount for this vitamin daily.
Pesticides … a whole different story!
If nothing is yet really proven in terms of nutritional value, organic products can boast of not containing any pesticides, herbicides or artificial fertilizers. In 2004-2005, the Ministère de l’Agriculture, des Pêcheries et de l’Alimentation (MAPAQ) analyzed approximately 500 samples of non-organic fresh fruit and vegetables from Quebec. The results showed that 33% of the samples contained pesticide residues and that 1.5% of them showed concentrations higher than the legal standards. They pointed the finger, among others, raspberries and romaine lettuce. However, these concentrations were not high enough to have a negative impact on health.
A very interesting hypothesis has recently been put forward concerning the antioxidant content of organic foods. In addition to being excellent for our health, one of the most important functions of antioxidants is to protect plants from insect pests. Since organic foods are not sprayed with pesticides, some scientists argue that these foods have somehow been “forced” to develop more antioxidants to protect themselves from pests.
Buying organic products: an environmental choice
The adoption of organic food is above all an environmental choice. This type of agriculture is more respectful of the land and its resources. Compared to traditional farming, organic farming pollutes water and soil less and produces less greenhouse gases. This reason alone would be enough to encourage organic production!
The importance of local purchasing
The next time you buy organic, pay special attention to the packaging and opt for a Quebec product. You will find that many organic products come from elsewhere! Remember that by traveling a few thousand kilometers to get to your plate, they greatly contribute to increasing the emission of greenhouse gases … Be careful!