10 Reasons to go organic

Oct 22, 2009 at 3:49 p.m. ET

Ever wondered about the real difference between organic and industrially grown fruits and vegetables? If you answered yes, read on for the 10 reasons why you should consider upgrading to organic.

1. It tastes good!

You can't go past the taste test – and the fact of the matter is, organic food tastes better than it's non-organic counterparts. It's produced on farms that use well-balanced, nutritious soils, and the result is fuller flavours and crispier textures.

2. Health risks

Many approved pesticides were registered years before extensive new research linked them to cancer and other diseases. Today, according to the National Academy of Science in the US, "neurologic and behavioural effects may result from low-level exposure to pesticides." That's reason enough on it's own to go organic!

3. Assist family farmers

Organic agriculture can be a lifeline for small farms, as it offers an alternative market for sale and distribution. When you support organic family farms, you're also supporting the planet, as they operate in harmony with their environment.

4. Future generations

For four generations, we've been exposed to high levels of agricultural and industrial chemicals. Studies have shown that babies are currently exposed to hundreds of harmful chemicals before they're even born – it's time to break the cycle!

5. Reduce toxins

Most farms are at risk of creating produce that has been exposed to noxious agricultural chemicals. Not so with organic farms, which are committed to producing food in such a way that it pumps far less toxins into the air, water, soil and ultimately, your body.

6. Stringent standards

Organic products must meet stringent pre-determined standards in order to be sold as 'organic'. Certification is your assurance that the organic products you buy are grown and processed according to strict non-toxic procedures.

7. Say no to GMO

Cloned and genetically modified (GMO) food accounts for around 30% of all US cropland; organic certification is the only seal of reassurance you'll get against lab-produced food.

8. Innovative research

Organic farmers lead the way, in terms of innovative research into pesticide use, and how it can be reduced to minimize agriculture's impact on the environment.

9. Promote biodiversity

Organic farms promote thriving, diverse habitats brimming with native plants, birds and wildlife. You could think of organic farms as being the equivalent of reforestation, while profit-focused industrial farms are the equivalent of deforestation.

10. Healthy soil

Industrial farming has taken its toll on the healthy topsoil levels, which in turn has reduced the amount of micronutrients and minerals in fruits and vegetables. By feeding soil with organic matter instead of synthetic fertilizers such as ammonia, organic farmers produce food with higher levels of vitamins and minerals and other nutrients*.

* According to the 2005 study, "Elevating Antioxidant levels in food through organic farming and food processing," Organic Center State of Science Review (1.05)

 

More help with picking your food

How to Tell if Your Food is Fresh
The Basics of Vegitable Pickling
The Basics of Braising Meat

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