The word 'organic' tends to get thrown around, often by people who have little idea of what the term really means, this can and does lead to many misconceptions and interpretations.
If you ask one person they may say “organic just means expensive it’s a load of ‘BS’’ while another may live by the term and explain how "buying organic is not only healthful for myself but also the entire planet".
Now, Instead of us telling you which of these 2 people are correct, we thought it be better if you came to the conclusion on your own, so lets go over what the term organic really means.
What is organic?
According to websters dictionary ‘Organic’ means “food produced with the use of feed or fertiliser of plant or animal origin without employment of chemically formulated inputs (Webster, 2022)”
Most of the food found on our shelves today has been made with artificial preservatives, additives and pesticides, you know those weird numbers and hard to pronounce words found in many products ingredients lists. These chemically derived compounds have exploded in the modern world due to their uncanny ability to increase company profits.
How? These compounds work to: Increase product shelf life, enhance product flavour, replace ‘natural’ ingredients for a fraction of the price, make product ‘look’ more appealing, so on and so forth. For many companies who’s primary concern is their bottom line, the choice to use these artificial inputs is a ‘no-brainer’.
Although it may be true that in short term these chemically derived ingredients can and do allow companies to make more money, when we begin to look at long term effects the negatives quickly outweigh mere financial gain.
Since the dawn of time, life on this planet has existed and evolved under entirely natural conditions, plants, animals, and humans alike have lived and flourished exclusively from the fruits of nature. The entire natural ‘organic’ system has evolved alongside all forms of life to ensure all are nourished and taken care of. It is only in the last hundred years or so that this organic system (existing for billions of years) has been artificially interrupted.
When we begin to look at the grand scheme, it becomes plainly obvious that this artificial interruption must bring its fair share of lets say ‘draw-backs’.
The Link Between Health Issues and Non-Organic Products
Today scientists are beginning to concretely prove the link between modern health issues and the ingestion of artificial chemicals.
A recent study conducted by Harvard for the European Parliament found, the use of pesticides in non-organic farming, make their way into our bodies, causing harm to both ourselves and children’s brains, further, Woman’s exposure to pesticides during pregnancy is associated with negative impacts on their children’s IQ and neurobehavioral development (Feldscher, 2017).
Another study has found organic crops have 4 times less pesticide residues than non-organic crops and switching to an organic based diet would result in a 20-60% increase in antioxidant intake, without any increase in calories. These antioxidants have been linked to decreases in chronic disease risks such as cardiovascular disease, neurodegenerative diseases, and certain cancers (The Organic Centre, 2014).
Buying Organic Is GOOD For the EARTH
These synthetic chemical additives and pesticides don’t just make their way into our bodies they also find residence in the body of Earth.
The Organic Trade Association has stated that if every farmer in the US alone converted to an organic process, we would stop 500 million pounds of harmful pesticides from entering the environment annually (CHAIT, 2019). These pesticides contaminate the soil, water supply and air. As you may have noticed all three of which are essential for our survival.
According to Dr. Elaine Ingham, just one teaspoon of compost-rich organic soil may host as many as 1 billion helpful bacteria from across 15,000 species, whereas, one teaspoon of soil treated with chemicals may carry as few as 100 helpful bacteria (CHAIT, 2019).
Organic Farming Is Saving Our Home
As little as an acre of organic earth will remove over 3 tonnes of carbon dioxide from the air, storing it within the living soil (Greener Ideal, 2012).
To put this statement in perspective: “if all current croplands within the US were converted to organic, enough carbon dioxide would be removed from the air to be as if 90% of all cars in the US suddenly disappeared”
LET’S HELP OUR PLANET!
Healthy soil is the essence of our global food system, it is an absolute necessity for continued life, currently it’s at enormous risk; The United Nations reports that under current practices, we have fewer than 60 years of farmable topsoil remaining (Rodale Institute, 2022).
- I’ll let this statement sink in…
So, which of the two people at the start of this article would you listen too?
CHAIT, J. (2019, November 20). How Organic Farming Benefits the Environment. Retrieved from the balance smb: https://www.thebalancesmb.com/environmental-benefits-of-organic-farming-2538317
Feldscher, K. (2017, February 12). Health benefits of organic food, farming outlined in new report. Retrieved from Harvard: https://www.hsph.harvard.edu/news/features/health-benefits-organic-food-farming-report/
Greener Ideal. (2012, March 8). How Organic Farming Is Better For The Earth. Retrieved from Greener Ideal: https://greenerideal.com/news/environment/0308-how-organic-farming-is-better-for-the-earth/
Rodale Institute. (2022). SOIL HEALTH. Retrieved from Rodale Institute: https://rodaleinstitute.org/why-organic/organic-farming-practices/soil-health/
The Organic Centre. (2014, July 11). New study finds health benefits of organic food. Retrieved from The Organic Centre: https://www.organic-center.org/research/new-study-finds-health-benefits-organic-food
Webster. (2022, July 31). Organic. Retrieved from Merriam-Webster.com: https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/organic