With the endless range of brands and options available these days, deciding what’s best for your family can quickly become overwhelming. Terms like natural, non-GMO, organic and sustainable get thrown around a lot, but what do they all mean? And why pay the extra money to buy organic products? Here, we look at five reasons why switching to organic can be one of the best decisions you make for the health and wellbeing of you and your family:
Unknown Long-Term Effects
People are becoming increasingly conscious of the high levels of chemical exposure in our day-to-day lives. We frequently use products with an ingredients list that most of us couldn’t even begin to decipher, so it’s no wonder that people are starting to question what the long-term impact may be. With this in mind, many families are beginning to exercise caution in how much exposure they are comfortable with. This awareness has led to increased demand for natural cleaning products, organic baby products, and organic fruit and vegetables.
Organic Farming is Good for the Environment
Organic farming has substantial environmental benefits as it reduces greenhouse gas emissions, avoids toxic nitrogen fertilizer run-off and cuts out synthetic pesticides. The use of genetically-modified organisms, synthetic pesticides and synthetic fertilizers in conventional farming does significant damage to the earth’s natural ecosystems. It negatively impacts the soil fertility, local wildlife, and pollutes the globe’s waterways. By contrast, organic farming relies on more natural methods such as compost manure fertilizer, biological pest control, companion planting, and crop rotation.
Lower Levels of Antibiotic Resistance
It is common practice to use hormones and antibiotics in conventional animal farming to produce bigger chicken breasts and larger steaks. In fact, many of the same antibiotics that are used in agriculture – such as tetracycline and streptomycin – are also used to treat human patients. The problem here is that these additives remain in the food so that when we eat them, they contribute to a growing level of antibiotic resistance. Micro-organisms that are antibiotic-resistant are often referred to as super-bugs and are a serious global threat to public health as traditional medicines become ineffective to treat them. This is why many families are opting for organic meat products, which don’t make use of antibiotics in their farming processes.
Healthier and More Humane Animal Farming
Industrial livestock production, often known as conventionally raised livestock, involves keeping animals for their meat, eggs, and milk. This generally means keeping high quantities of animals in small areas and using chemicals including hormones, vaccines, vitamin and mineral supplements, and antimicrobial agents to maintain their health and ensure high production rates.
Organic farming, on the other hand, requires that animals have access to the outdoors, fresh air and sunlight, as well as avoiding the use of antibiotics, synthetic hormones, and GMOs.
Some studies have shown that organic fruit and vegetables are more nutritious than non-organic crops – others have been ambiguous. However, experts say that people who buy organic fruit and vegetables tend to be purchasing food that is closer to the source rather than produce that has been in cold storage for a period of time. This in itself has a positive impact on the nutrients within, as well as minimizing the food chain’s environmental cost by reducing transportation.
There may be a small price premium to purchase natural and organic for your family, but doing so has enormous benefits for both your health and the environment.