Is ORGANIC actually any better for you?
Is Organic actually better?
There's a lot of myth and mystery surrounding organic food and what it actually even means for something to be organic. There's a few boxes that have to be ticked for something to be certified as organic and it's not always a quick path for a manufacturer or farmer to become certified.
One requirement is that the food grown has fewer or no pesticides. Chemicals used in the growing process that help protect crops against things such as fungi and pests are called pesticides. These almost always contain heavy metals that pollute groundwater and damage ecosystems, soil fertility and even farmers' health. Not to mention the health of those who consume amounts of these pesticides over time.
Once the groundwater is polluted, this causes poor quality drinking water and potential health problems. When organic, natural fertilizers are used instead, this reduces the risk of groundwater pollution and avoids chemical related health issues. Pesticides are also to blame for the decline in our pollinator population. (BEES!!) Without them we wouldn’t have access to a lot of the foods we love!
¾ of our crops depend on pollinators to be able to be produced!
In summary, organically grown produce is technically better for you and better quality.
To be certified organic when it comes to meat and livestock has its own set of fulfillments.
We understand that veganism is the best option when it comes to health and not having a negative environmental effect but it’s just not for everyone. It’s a big commitment and lifestyle change to make and we've found nowadays amongst most of our customers, the most popular diet is to be a ‘flexitarian’ meaning your goal is to eat meat but better quality meat and less of it. Rather than basing every meal around meat, focus instead on having good quality meat once or twice a week.
A quick easy way to ensure your meat is high quality and has come from a high welfare farm is to look for the confirmation of the product being organic, usually by a sign or sticker.
Animals raised on organic farms live under healthier, happier conditions meaning in turn, the produce created is better quality and better for you.
Most farmers raise livestock on antibiotics as the crowded, unsanitary conditions mean infection is ever present. Things such as synthetically produced hormones to help the animal gain weight and produce milk are also used.
When an animal is raised on anti-biotics and synthetic hormones, when you consume said animal, you're then in turn consuming these materials.
This can contribute to anti-biotic resistance in humans and health conditions related to the synthetic hormones that are in the meat ingested. There has been links to hormone distrubtion amongst other issues.
Organic farms aren't vegan or cruelty free but they do ensure that the livestock can live healthier and have access to the outdoors to eat organically. If meat is anywhere in your diet, we strongly suggest shopping organically where possible.
Farming anything produces emissions that negatively impact the environment.
However, organic agriculture is different.
“Organic agriculture, however, helps ecosystems adjust better to the effects of climate change and can help reduce greenhouse gasses by isolating carbon in the soil. A 2020 study by the Technical University of Munich found that the greenhouse gas emissions of organically farmed produce were lower than conventionally farmed produce.”- Soil Association
There’s still research to be done on whether organic produce has MORE health benefits than food grown without the organic requirements but the evidence is ever growing in support of organically produced food.
A review in 2014 found organic crops then had a higher concentration of antioxidants than non-organic crops.
A 2017 review suggested organic food reduces the risk of common health conditions (now believed to be affected and possibly caused by exposure to pesticides) such as asthma. Pesticide exposure has also been linked to cancers and neuro-developmental issues.
When it comes to organic meat and dairy, they’re found to have a higher concentration of omega 3 which promotes heart and brain health and is an important part in anyone's diet.
So in summary, there's still plenty of research to be done but with what's been uncovered so far, it’s without a doubt better to buy organic where you can to avoid these chemicals and synthetic hormones which have been proven to cause issues in our bodies.