Why buy organic?
Organic – fad, fashion or fair dinkum? Well fair dinkum mostly when it comes to buying food, but it depends on where you’re looking, what you’re looking at and possibly what country you’re in.
In our house, we buy as much organic as possible. What that means is that we support the organic movement as much as we can when buying our food each week. We buy as much certified organic food as we can find and afford to buy, with the resources we have, in the way of both fresh and packaged foods.
We’ve decided to do this for two main reasons – to better look after our health and to have less impact on the environment, but there are many reasons to buy organic and here are some of them:
- Reduce the runoff of chemical residues into our drinking water, waterways and coastal waters. Approximately 30,000 tonnes of herbicides and pesticides are used annually in Australia (OzProspect 2003) and this chemical runoff is responsible for diminishing marine life, animals and plants.
- Organic farms are more resilient during times of drought, creating more jobs during droughts and providing greater crop yields
- Organic agriculture looks after the soil and uses sustainable farming practices that ensure that farming can continue effectively on those soils in years to come and for future generations.
- Organic farming supports biodiversity and helps to save disappearing native habitats
- Organic farming practices do not use hormones, antibiotics or genetically engineered feeds for livestock. There are 12 antibiotics used in Australia as growth promoters and 500,000 kg of antibiotics were used every year during the 1990’s in animal feed. Antibiotic resistant bacteria are a growing problem and this is one of the main reasons.
- Organic meat production tends to be more humane with animals being reared outdoors in sunshine and fresh air, rather than the mistreatment and blatant disregard for the suffering of millions of animals such as poultry and pigs that are kept in tiny cramped filthy conditions in sheds and never see natural light or fresh air.
- Composting and recycling of waste products for use as compost and fertiliser reduces the impact on landfills.
- Organic certification helps to eliminate the risk of contamination of foods including contamination with genetically engineered produce. Genetically engineered foods have never been proven to be safe for human consumption and are a massive experiment that will eventually be realised to be a huge error in judgment by those who have allowed it to happen.
- Organic farming captures carbon dioxide back into the soil in the form of humus. It is estimated that for every 1000 medium sized farms that convert to organic farming practices, it is equivalent to taking over 117,000 cars off the road. (The Rodale Institute®, 2003).
- Organic farming reduces greenhouse gases by eliminating the use of synthetic nitrogen fertilisers which apparently account for two thirds of all cropping emissions.
- Organic food is better for you. It has been proven (of course – common sense would tell you the same) that organic food is more nutritious, containing higher levels of minerals and other nutrients.
- Organic produce builds healthier kids (as well as adults) with less developmental problems, less behavioral problems and generally better health. It eliminates dietary exposures to insecticides which are known developmental neurotoxins as well as endocrine disruptors which interfere with sex hormones. More nutrition and no chemicals – it’s simply common sense.
- Organic meat and dairy have been shown to increase the levels of healthy fatty acids in breast milk.
- Organic produce contains more cancer fighting nutrients reducing the risks of all cancers
- and organic produce tastes better!
Organic food has to be certified to be labeled organic. I myself trust the certification more so in some countries than others, but that’s my personal judgement which is dependent on the country, it’s government and how things ‘work’ there.
Organic cleaners or personal care products are a very different story and do not require certification to be labelled organic. Many products labelled as such have been tested and found to be contaminated with chemicals that I wouldn’t want to use on my body.
So should we be buying organic? I think so when it comes to food. There is a difference and it’s often very obvious in the taste. If you value your health and value our beautiful planet, then eat as much organic as possible. Your body will love you for it!
P.S. Want to avoid chemicals in your home? Why not learn how to make your own cleaning products? Take a look at The Naturally Clean Home: 150 Super-Easy Herbal Formulas for Green Cleaning.