My daughter went through early puberty at the age of 6 years old. She is now 17 years old. I spent many days and nights researching the cause and how could I possibly slow down the process. Needless to say, going Organic was one of the solutions. Well 17 years ago Organic foods were not so popular, but I knew deep within my soul that chemicals, hormones and pesticides in our foods were one of the culprits.
Originally, all foods were “organic.” They were grown and prepared without pesticides, herbicides, chemical fertilizers, hormones or irradiation. Foods were unrefined, whole or minimally processed. Since World War II and the advent of chemical farming and food processing, the soils and foods of much of the world have been depleted of many important minerals and nutrients.
Our food these days, whether of vegetable or animal origin, are not only deficient in nutrients, but also full of pollutants and farming chemicals. The modern process of denaturing foods via heavy refining and chemical treatment deeply affects the life force of our food supply, making it difficult to foster equilibrium and health.
Pesticides, which have been shown to cause cancer and liver, kidney and blood diseases, create extra work for the immune system. They lodge and accumulate in tissue, resulting in a weakened immune system, and consequently allow other carcinogens and pathogens to filter into the body and affect our health. Organic certification is the public’s assurance that products have been grown and handled according to strict procedures without persistent toxic chemical inputs.
Top 10 reasons to buy and eat organic foods:
1. Keep chemicals off your plate. Organic is more nutritious! Pesticides are poisons designed to kill living organisms and thus are harmful to humans. Many approved pesticides were registered long before extensive research linked these chemicals to cancer and other diseases. Organic agriculture is a way to prevent any more of these chemicals from getting into the air, water and food supply.
2. Protect future generations. Children are four times more sensitive to exposure to cancer-causing pesticides in foods than adults. Studies show that the hormones in these foods to make the animals mass produce, contribute to early puberty in children.
3. Antibiotic resistance. Most non-organic animals are given low dose antibiotics to prevent illness. We ingest these antibiotics when we eat non-organic animals causing human antibiotic resistance. So when we get ill we may need to take a few different types of antibiotics before we may get better.
4. Protect water quality. Pesticides pollute the public’s primary source of drinking water for more than half the country’s population.
5. Organic farmers work in harmony with nature. Three billion tons of topsoil erodes from croplands in the U.S. each year, and much of it is due to conventional farming practices, which often ignore the health of the soil. Organic agriculture respects the balance necessary for a healthy ecosystem; wildlife is encouraged by including forage crops in rotation and by retaining fencerows, wetlands and other natural areas.
6. Help small farmers. Buying local and organic supports your local community and can improve your health! Although more and more large-scale farms are making the conversion to organic practices, most organic farms are small, independently owned and operated family farms. USDA reported that in 1997, half of U.S. farm production came from only 2% of farms. Organic agriculture can be a lifeline for small farms because it offers an alternative market where sellers can demand fair prices for crops.
7. Support a true economy. Local farm produce is priced pretty competitively with commercial produce. Organic foods might seem expensive at first. However, your tax dollars pay for hazardous waste clean-up and environmental damage caused by conventional farming. You can’t put a price on your health!
8. Bee friendly. Unfortunately, 2013 saw a continued decline in bee population, without bees, many important crops would disappear. Such as apples, almonds, blueberries, cherries, avocados and oranges that depend on bees to pollinate and reproduce. Studies showed the honey bee population declined from a weakening in their immune system from a combination of insecticides and fungicides.
9. Nourishment. Organic farming starts with the nourishment of the soil, in turn producing nourishing plants. Well-maintained soil produces strong, healthy plants that have more nutrients than conventionally grown produce.
10. Flavor. Organic produce simply tastes better. Conduct your own taste test!
Note: Review the “Dirty Dozen” put out by the Environmental Work Group to know which produce should be priority when buying Organic. http://www.ewg.org/foodnews/summary.php
Sources:Adapted from materials provided by Whole Foods Market and the Organic Trade Association. Adapted by Institute for Integrative Nutrition. Adapted with additional information based on research and personal experience by Barbara Ann Grova.