Organic Food and Its Effects On Health
The public is becoming increasingly aware of the importance of healthy nutrition for general health and overall well-being. Processed foods which are high in saturated fats, sugar and sodium, and low in essential nutrients are not only responsible for overweight problems but have been also shown to be major contributors to a number of health problems including diabetes, high blood pressure and heart disease. To make things worse, there are also various artificial preservatives, flavour enhancers and a number of other chemicals with dubious effects on health. But on the other hand, unprocessed foods are not as healthy as they seem to be either because most of them are conventionally grown which means with the use of pesticides, chemical fertilizers, antibiotics, growth hormones and who knows what else. Fortunately, there is a safer and healthier alternative – organic food.
Critics claim that there are not enough evidence for organic food being either healthier or safer than the conventional one, however, the organic farming methods speak for themselves. The main idea of organic food production is avoidance of all non-organic farming methods which means that the use of pesticides, artificial fertilizers, antibiotics, growth hormones and similar things is strictly forbidden. Instead, organic food producers use all natural farming methods such as crop rotation, composting, companion planting, stimulating biodiversity, etc. As a result, organic products pose no risk of pesticide residues nor presence of other potentially harmful chemicals. Organic food products also are not allowed to contain any genetically modified ingredients nor artificial additives. Although conventionally grown food is claimed to be safe, absence of all non-natural ingredients makes organic food without a doubt a healthier and safer choice because the long term effects of those “safe“ doses of pesticides, preservatives and other chemicals remain unknown. They may be harmless but they may be also seriously harmful. Why take the chance if you do not have to?
The main advantage of organic food is without a doubt absence of all non-natural ingredients but the benefits of organic food for health do not end here. Due to the fact that organic food products must not contain any artificial preservatives their shelf life is much shorter. This is particularly important when it comes to fresh fruits and vegetables which start to lose nutritional value the same moment they are harvested. And it is the shorter shelf life that makes organic fruits and vegetables more nutritious because they have to be consumed relatively soon in contrary to conventionally grown ones which look like they were just harvested for weeks or even months. As a result, organic food provides considerably greater amounts of essential nutrients which play the key role in human health.
In addition to direct health benefits, organic food offers a number of indirect but just as important positive effects on both human health and the environment. Since organic food production strictly forbids the use of hazardous chemicals, there is no risk of soil or water contamination which does not just affect the population living nearby conventional farms but wider areas as well considering that groundwater accounts for 80% of the drinking water in some parts of Southern England.