Have you ever wondered… Why Bother Buying Organic?
- Food has changed greatly over the last few decades. Not only has the quality of food declined, but also the way in which we treat the plants we grow has made a drastic switch.
- Farmers used to grow crops in a way that would preserve the nutrients of soil, rotating crops in order to replenish nutrients that had been taken up. However, with mass consumption due to increases in population and the amount of food that each person eats, for larger farms this is not done. Therefore chemicals are added to the soil in the form of toxic fertilizers to try and add nutrients back in.
- These fertilizers are most often either commercially prepared, or come directly from livestock; which both have environmental and health consequences.
What Does Organic Mean?
The label of “certified organic” deems that the product has the following:
- Avoidance of synthetic chemical fertilizers (certain amounts of natural ones are still allowed)
- Use of farmland that is free from prohibited chemical substances for a certain time frame (depends on the regulatory body)
- Avoidance of irradiation which changes the chemical structure of food and degrades nutrients
- No use of industrial solvents or chemical food additives
- For livestock, adhering to specific requirements of feed, housing, and breeding
- Keep detailed written production and sales records
- Keep strict separation of organic from non-organic products
- Undergo periodic on-site inspections to ensure these producers are adhering to the regulations
However – be aware of products that simply say organic as this may just mean that they contain Hydrogen and Carbon (or organic molecules). Unless a product is certified by a regulatory body such as USDA Organic or Canada Organic, simply stating organic on the packaging does not mean the above specifications.
Here is a simple list of reasons Why Organic Food is Superior
- Food has changed – there is a decreased nutrient content overall in food, especially in non-organic produce
- Increase toxicity in plants and soil – acid rain, added toxins from people, and chemicals from surrounding industries are taken up by plants; preventing the addition of more chemicals is very important
- Higher seed quality – higher mineral, macronutrient and micronutrient density leads to you feeling fuller and being healthier by feeding our cells with the things that they need in order to function optimally
- GMOs – food has been modified to contain certain levels of one thing or another which our bodies do not recognize as useable and little nutrition is derived from these foods (different from cross-breeding foods) --> organic foods do not contain these
- Toxins in water sources – the use of pesticides on crops and chemicals on livestock has contaminated many water sources and causes huge negative environmental effects --> by buying organic you are not contributing to this
- The health of farmers - farmers and surrounding residents whom are exposed to crop spraying and harmful chemical have complicated health issues including many respiratory disorders, cancers, and organ dysfunction due to their bodies trying to process and get rid of these substances or the toxins act by directly damaging cells
- Bioaccumulation – through repeated exposures over time chemicals and toxins increase in our bodies and cause damage to all our systems
- Nutrient quality – organic foods have higher nutrient density than non-organic products
- Decrease in growth deformities – to surrounding animals from chemical introduction and in susceptible human fetuses (see below)
- ORGANIC TASTES BETTER!!!!
Those Whom are Most Vulnerable
- Fetuses and Children: their developing immune systems, central nervous systems, and bodies are most susceptible to toxins. Early exposure can lead to motor dysfunction, developmental delays, and behavioural disorders.
- Pregnant Woman: susceptible because the body’s organ are already stressed
- Those with autoimmune diseases: are overburden with toxins and any additional offenders can lead to exasperations and progression of the disease
Buying Local is Best
- Contributing less to fuel consumption required for transportation
- Better regulation on the food you consume
- Supporting your local economy helps bring the money back to you
- Local farmers care about their produce more than large commercial farms because they are more susceptible to what their market thinks
- Are less likely to contain harmful contaminants and toxins
- Are less likely to use “short-cuts” in production
- Food is fresher and tastes better
What if Something is Local, without Chemicals, But not Certified Organic?
Something grown locally is often better than products that are shipped from far away places such as Mexico
The regulation on how products are grown in Canada are much higher, and there is less likely to be harmful substances and contaminants on them as a result
A farm that does not use pesticides/herbicides or harmful chemicals AND is local, BUT is not certified organic is PREFERRED over organic products from other countries
MYTH - Buying Organic is More Expensive
You may think that buying organic is more expensive, however due to higher nutrient density, the proportion of nutrients you are receiving for paying for a regular price organic product converts to more nutrients in the item you are purchasing, even if it is smaller; therefore you are actually spending less when you purchase organic produce over conventional produce.
NOTE: when you purchase organic produce you are not consuming GMO products, many of which do not require high pesticide use due to their engineering. These foods should still be avoided due to their negative effects on digestion and absorption of nutrients.
For more tips and information by Dr. Adella Gerry, ND ("Dr. Della") – please keep an eye out on her blog viewable at DrDella.ca or on her facebook. Dr. Della is a Naturopathic Medical Doctor, highly trained in Pain Management and Woman's Health, in Victoria, BC's lovely Oak Bay.