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THE POPULARITY AND POTENTIAL HEALTH BENEFITS OF ORGANIC FOOD

Sadia Asad 18 Aug 2021
THE POPULARITY AND POTENTIAL HEALTH BENEFITS OF ORGANIC FOOD

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There has been an explosion in the popularity of organic foods in recent years. It has been a booming business in the food industry. Many people tend to prefer it over inorganic processed foods. Consumers are running after an organic diet for fulfilling their nutritional requirements. The idea behind it is to protect themselves and their relatives from exposure to toxic pesticides. Now there are two reasons why people use organic foods.

  1. It is more healthy, tasty, and safe than regular food.
  2. It is better for the environment and the welfare of animals.

What is Organic Food:

The term "organic" refers to the mechanism or process of certain food products. People have been associating the word organic with being "better" and "healthier." Organic food is basically the food that is prepared or grown without the use of any chemicals. It means that the food products are not produced from chemical fertilizers, synthetic pesticides, or preservatives. They are somewhat grown from natural fertilizers and biological pest control.

The growing trend in today's world is realizing healthy self-improvement needs that start from an organic diet. When we are saying organic, we are referring to the organic crops as well as the food product found at a grocery store. They have a high content of preservatives, artificial sweeteners, food coloring, flavoring, and the farm animals raised organically without hormone and antibiotic injections.

Is Natural And Organic Interchangeable?

The simple answer to this question is that no, natural and organic are two different terms.

You might have seen labels on the products in the food stores saying it is purely "natural" and "hormone-free" or "pesticide-free," but these terms shouldn't be considered as synonymous with the word "organic." The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) states that the products are organic only if they are at the minimum 95% organic, according to the conventional usage of the term. Hence, you need to look for the USDA organic label as a gold standard to ensure if the item is organic or not. The most frequently bought organic foods in the US are fruits and vegetables, which are also costly compared to inorganic foods. It is because of the standards required and the number of products coming out as a result of it.

Health Benefits Of Using Organic Products

A growing body of evidence suggests how beneficial organic food is for our body compared to its inorganic counterparts. Though researchers say, there is limited information to draw conclusions about overall health benefits. Following are some potential benefits of using organic products:

  • Better Consumption Of Nutrients:

There have been studies showing mixed results regarding the nutrient content of both organic and inorganic items. Organic food contains more nutrients because organic farming gives it more time to develop and the best natural agricultural environment for growth. Secondly, they have convenient access to soil nutrients which add to high vitamin and mineral content. Growing evidence has been documented claiming that organic food contains more vitamins, minerals, enzymes, antioxidants, and micronutrients.

  • More AntiOxidants

There is solid evidence-based research that states that organic food has more antioxidants. In fact, the level of antioxidants can be up to 69% higher in organic foods. One study proved that onions have 20%, and berries and corn contain 58% higher antioxidant levels than inorganic products. More antioxidants mean preventing diseases like cancer, heart disease, cognitive malfunction, vision problems, and premature aging.

  • Reduction of Exposure to Chemicals and Resistant Bacteria

Conventional livestock is normally fed with antibiotics to treat them against illness to raise them in cheap unfavorable hygienic conditions. Although the FDA has banned certain antibiotics in recent years for livestock, there are still loopholes in the legislation. At the same time, some animals are injected with synthetic growth hormone to produce more milk and grow fast. It is one of the reasons why there is an occurrence of bacteria resistance to certain antibiotics. This indirect consumption of hormones and antibiotics weakens our immune system and is one of the leading causes of cancer. On the other hand, organic food production is free of hormones and antibiotics, hence, protecting our immune system.

  • Pesticide Cutback and Low Toxic Metals

Pesticide sprays are used on agricultural crops to fight pests. Chemical pesticide consumption is equally hazardous to our health mainly because it has potent chemicals like organophosphorus and high toxic metals like cadmium. After all, the soil gets toxic. These unnatural chemicals or toxins bring about various abnormalities and diseases, especially in the developmental phase of children. Organic food has minimum or no chemical pesticide sprays saving us from unwanted diseases, congenital disabilities, and disorders.

  • Omega-3 Fatty Acids

Organic livestock farming prohibits the use of any pesticides, synthetic hormones, and antibiotics declining the biomagnification aspect. Grass and alfalfa are the primary feeding requirements of cattle raised organically, which result in higher levels of omega-3 fatty acids (heart-healthy fat). It is found in organic dairy and meat. Moreover, a British Journal of Nutrition published a study in 2016, which states that organic meat contains 47% more Omega-3 fatty acids than inorganic meat.

  • GMO-Free

All organic foods are GMO-free; that is, they are not genetically modified in nature. Genetic engineering helps to grow organisms faster or bigger. They are the plants or food with altered DNA, usually to enhance the resistance to pesticides. Organic food is a blessing because according to the US Department Of Agriculture (USDA), organic products are prohibited from using genetically modified organisms (GMOs).

  • Downsides To Buying Organic Food:

The main downside to buying organic food products is the price. The reason behind this is the amount of time, effort, and expensive farming practices than their conventional counterparts.

Conclusion:

Eating organic is undoubtedly a little costly, but it's worth it because nothing is above a healthy body and mind. It is essential to raise concerns over inorganic food to help them make educated decisions. Organic food has many health benefits, and you can save yourself from diseases.

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About the Author:
Sadia Asad is a certified Post Professional Doctor of Physiotherapy with hands on clinical experience. She has indulged herself into the field of medical freelancing focusing on content writing and research. It helps her gain more knowledge on new research in the medical field. She completed her graduation and post grad field studies from Pakistan

References:

  • https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/what-is-organic-food#TOC_TITLE_HDR_7
  • https://givingcompass.org/article/why-we-need-organic-for-all/
  • https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S0950329313000141
  • https://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/nutrition-and-healthy-eating/in-depth/organic-food/art-20043880
  • https://www.conserve-energy-future.com/15-health-benefits-eating-organic-food.php
  • https://www.onlyorganic.org/15-reasons-to-eat-organic/
  • https://time.com/4871915/health-benefits-organic-food/
  • https://www.medicinenet.com/organic_foods_pictures_slideshow/article.htm
  • https://www.mindbodygreen.com/0-14763/a-doctors-top-4-reasons-to-eat-organic.html
  • https://www.sciencedirect.com/topics/agricultural-and-biological-sciences/organic-foods
  • https://nation.com.pk/17-Mar-2021/organic-diet
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