Making the right choices at the grocery store for both you and your family can often be a daunting task. There are so many products to choose from that all seem to do the same thing: feed you.
Nevertheless, the vast majority of products at your grocery store are often associated with a number of different hidden costs. At Nature’s Path we believe in the power of organics and have compiled a list of reasons we believe organics will help you on your path to becoming happier and healthier.
1. ORGANICS KEEP GMOS OUT OF OUR FOOD
Not only does the organic certification ensure there are no harmful chemicals on our food, it also guarantees that they are not GMOs. Among other things, GMOs are often engineered to be used in conjunction with a single harmful chemical, such as Round Up or Agent Orange. Therefore, shopping organic is taking a stance against the large chemical producing corporations that have polluted the world’s food and fields.
2. ORGANIC FARMING MAINTAINS HEALTHY SOIL
Just how your choices at the grocery store dictate your health, they also dictate the health of the earth. Non organic foods are sprayed with extremely toxic chemicals that kill everything other than the crop itself. This includes the living organisms that a plant needs to grow and make the soil nutrient rich. Once those organisms are killed off they are replaced with synthetic fertilizers made up from… you guessed it, more toxic chemicals.
3. ORGANICS DON’T INHIBIT THE GROWTH OF SUPER STRAINS (EXPLANATION BELOW!)
Nature always adapts. Spraying chemicals to kill bugs only makes them grow, adapt to overcome the horrible toxins we use to kill them. There will always be something that eats the plant, and it will continue to grow and adapt until we no longer have control over it. The toxins we use will eventually become ineffective and plants and pests will become much more harmful.
4. ORGANIC FARMING SUPPORTS POLLINATORS
Herbicides and Pesticides do not differentiate between good and bad bugs, it simply kills them all. In order for there to be life on earth we need to maintain a certain level of biodiversity; this includes everything from the biggest mammals to the tiniest of insects. Organic farming practices healthy growing techniques that aim to maintain that necessary level of biodiversity.
5. ORGANICS SUPPORT A HEALTHIER FARM LIFESTYLE AND A HEALTHIER COMMUNITY
Growing food organically does not harm the surrounding community in which it’s grown. Unlike non organic practices, organics keep toxins out of the air, out of the drinking water and out of the soil. Farmers aren’t exposed to herbicides and pesticides all day; and if food is bought at the market where it’s grown, it reduces transportation costs and emissions.
6. PERSISTENT PESTICIDES
Eating organic reduces the amount of chemicals in your diet namely persistent pesticides. The use of insecticides, fungicides, fertilizers and weedkillers are strictly monitored in organic food production.
Organic farming produces healthy food without the use of toxic pesticides. While some organic farmers do use pesticides they are primarily derived from natural substances. These natural pesticides must be approved for organic production. The National Organic Standards Board, or NOSB, and the National Organic Program, or NOP. maintain a list of materials approved for use in organic production. This list is determined with input from farmers, business owners, consumer advocates, and the public. The general rule for the national list is that naturally occurring materials are allowed, and synthetic materials are prohibited, however there are some exceptions. Once the NOSB and NOP add a material to the national list, third-party organizations like the Organic Materials Review Institute evaluate new products to make sure they’re in compliance. It’s a process that involves hundreds of technical experts. Learn more about this process from the Rodale Institute. The natural pesticides that are approved are only allowed to be used when other pest control methods aren’t successful. Find out why pesticides can’t just be “washed off” here.
No artificial colors, flavors or preservatives are allowed in organic food. Cleaner food means cleaner diets which leads to a cleaner bill of health.
No artificial preservatives, colors or flavors are allowed in organic food. Fewer than 40 synthetic substances can be used in organic packaged foods, and only after they have been reviewed by independent and government experts. By contrast, thousands of chemicals can be added to conventional packaged foods, including preservatives, flavors and colors linked to health problems. Learn more about these differences in organic and conventional foods from EWG.
The issues with these synthetics additives that are found in processed conventional foods is that they are targeted at children and parents. These chemically addictive additives lead to many health problems. The hidden cost in this “cheap” food is the fees American’s are paying with their health. From diabetes to obesity, to ADHD, the food-related diseases are at an all-time high. As the New York Times recently put it, “Our Food Is Killing Us.”
Organic food contains more vitamins, minerals, enzymes and micronutrients than conventionally raised food.
- A six-year study found more antioxidant activity and higher flavonol content in organic onions over conventional.
- Meta-analysis published 2016 in the British Journal of Nutrition, found that organic dairy and meat contain about 50 percent more omega-3 fatty acids. increase is the result of animals foraging on grasses rich in omega-3s, which then end up in dairy and meats.
- An 18-month milk study in 2013 found that organic production enhances milk nutritional quality by shifting fatty acid composition.
- Meta-analysis published in 2014, in the British Journal of Nutrition, found that organic crops had significantly higher antioxidants than conventional crops, including 19% higher levels of phenolic acids, 69% higher levels of flavanones, 28% higher levels of stilbenes, 26% higher levels of flavones, 50% higher levels of flavonols, and 51% higher levels of anthocyanines.
- A ten year comparison study of tomatoes conducted in 2008, at the University of California, Davis, found that organic tomatoes have almost double the concentration of a beneficial flavonoid known as quercetin, compared with conventional tomatoes grown on an adjacent field.
- In a 2001 study published in The Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine, they look at already published literature to compare the nutrient content in five common organic vegetables versus “conventionally” grown ones. In organic carrots, spinach, lettuce, potato and cabbage there was significantly more Vitamin C, Iron, Magnesium and Phosphorus and less nitrates than the alternatively grown ones.
- A 2019 study on dairy products had findings showing antibiotics were detected in 60% of conventional milk samples whereas organic samples did not contain antibiotics. By testing milk straight off store shelves, researchers were able to uncover exactly what consumers are ingesting when they choose conventional or organic milk.
9. FOOD FUTURE
Eat organic because supply meets demand. As consumers we have three votes per day for our food future. This puts us in a powerful position to design the $1 trillion food industry market in America. Spending dollars in the organic sector is a direct vote for a sustainable future for the many generations to come. Although organic is the largest growing sector in the food industry, it still only accounts for around 5% of purchases. The more consumers demand organic, the more readily it will be made available in larger supply. Large grocery outlets like Costco and Wal-Mart carry organic food but so do small Co-Ops and corner stores. Costco passed $4 billion in annual sales from organic produce in 2016, eclipsing Whole Foods for the title of organic heavyweight champion in the U.S. Organic farmers couldn’t grow produce fast enough to supply the retailer so they decided to lend money to farmers to buy land and equipment to grow more organic produce. If the organic industry continues to grow, more opportunities, like the one Costco provides to farmers, will be available to people looking to move into the organic space.
10. CLIMATE CHANGE
Organic farming supports carbon sequestration, which helps to mitigate rising atmospheric carbon dioxide levels. The primary benefit of organic crop and livestock production, compared to conventional agriculture, is that it is focused on soil-based production with underlying principles of maintaining or improving soil quality. Healthy soil counteracts climate change by pulling carbon out of the atmosphere. This is similar to how native ecosystems, including prairies and forests, act as carbon sinks in nature.
Organic farms and crops are pollinator-friendly and protect bees, pollinators and wildlife from toxic chemicals. The Organic Center released a report showing that organic farming has an important role to play in supporting the health of our pollinators. Large-scale, chemically intensive agricultural production has been implicated as a major source of threats to pollinators. Increasingly, scientific research demonstrates that the use of toxic synthetic pesticides, destruction of native habitat, and a decrease in nutritious forage due to extensive use of mono-cropping are detrimental to pollinators. A number of studies reviewed in this report have demonstrated that organic farming practices alleviate many threats to honey bees and that organic farms support significantly more pollinators than conventional farms. This is because organic farming standards not only prohibit the use of synthetic pesticides, many of which are highly toxic to bees and can be persistent in the environment but also require that organic producers manage their farms in a manner that fosters biodiversity and improves natural resources.
Eating organic can reduce your risk of cancer. A new study in JAMA Internal Medicine found that those who ate organic foods frequently lowered their overall risk of developing cancer. Specifically, those who primarily eat organic foods were more likely to ward off non-Hodgkin lymphoma and postmenopausal breast cancer compared to those who rarely or never ate organic foods.