Many consumers are now becoming more health wise and conscious. They opt for organic products rather than inorganic foods. Thus, the demand for organic supply increases. According to the latest 2017 survey of Organic Trade Association, the sales of organic products in the United States has totaled to around $47 billion in 2016. Moreover, the sales organic food products now in 2017 increases by 8.4 percent from last year, whereas non-food organic products, like cosmetics and beauty products were up by 8.8% in 2016.
Actually, it is a good news that more consumers have realized the goodness of going “organic”. But for some, they are still confused about what real benefits they could obtain from consuming organic products.
Organic and Human Health
Consumers are going “organic” because they believe that it will make them healthier. In the latest study of National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI), they have found out that “there are significant differences in the concentration of nutritionally relevant compounds” between organic products and conventionally-produced foods.
Avoid Intake of Chemicals
There are over 600 active chemicals that are approved by the Agricultural standards to be used in farming. However, according to National Academy of Sciences, 90% of these chemicals are not really declared as “safe”. The bad news is, 16 pounds of chemicals pesticides are found in an average person every year. On the contrary, organic farming does not use any synthetic pesticides and chemicals in growing their products.
Packed With More Nutrients
Based on the findings of NCBI, organic crops have higher antioxidants, in which 69% higher concentration in each antioxidant. Antioxidants help us decrease our risk to certain chronic diseases, including cardiovascular disorders and cancer. Organic crops also have higher concentrations of protein and nitrogen while organic dairy products are highly-concentrated with omega-3 fatty acids.
Better Smell and Taste
Since organic foods have a higher concentration of antioxidants, it affects the organoleptic qualities of the foods, including taste, aroma, and mouthfeel. According to British Journal of Nutrition, the taste quality of crops and other foods are dependent on its environment, including how it was grown and harvested. Since organic products avoid the use of chemicals, its quality is natural, resulting in its tastier, natural flavor and taste.
Organic products do not use genetically modified organisms (GMO) and genetically engineered food. According to Non-GMO Project, GMO is associated with various health problems and environmental damages. They contaminate our food supply at an alarming rate. That is why some countries require food manufacturers to label foods with GMO.
No Hormones and Drugs
Lastly, scientists found out that around 70% of antibiotics are injected into animals for nontherapeutic purposes. Also, over 90% of the pesticides that are used in conventional farming are being ingested by consumers. Moreover, conventional farming injects millions of pounds of growth hormones to animals every year. According to the Environmental Protection Agency, a majority of our pesticide intake comes from dairy products, eggs, fish, meat, and poultry.
Organic and Environment
Apart from humans, the environment also benefits greatly from organic products. The use of organic farming is vital in the conservation of biodiversity and natural resources.
Maintain Soil Quality
Synthetic fertilizers decrease about 65% of nitrogen and carbon from the soil. It affects fertility and productivity of crops. Whereas in organic farming, one teaspoon of compost consists 1 billion helpful bacteria that maintain the health of the soil. Apart from quality, organic farming combats soil erosion. Agriculturists found out that organic fields have almost one foot more topsoil than the chemically-treated field.
In the Journal Biological Conservation, scientists compared the abundance of plants and animals between organic and inorganic farms. They have found out that majority of biodiversity species are concentrated in organic farms compared to inorganic fields. Plus, these species live a healthier life. The non-use of pesticides and chemicals contribute to the conservation of biodiversity, making species interact naturally.
Reduces Air and Water Pollution
The dependence of conventional farming to chemicals and synthetic pesticides have contributed a lot to pollution. Based on a research, half of the nitrogen that is applied in chemically-treated fields go to the rivers and other ecosystems, affecting marine environments. Moreover, organic farming helps conserve water as crops highly depend on soil fertility rather than just irrigation.
Uses Less Energy
The manufacturing of synthetic fertilizer demands a lot of energy. According to the British Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, over 30% less energy are used to produce organic foodswhereas organic dairy products used 74% less energy per unit of production. Moreover, study suggests that organic farms only use 40% of the total energy used by conventional farms.
Support Animal Welfare
The problem with conventional farms is that they destroy the natural habitat of insects, birds, fishes and other sorts of species by expanding their agricultural lands and by using chemicals that threaten their existence. Also, livestock animals that are grown in conventional farms are most commonly abused and are caged. Whereas in organic farms, animals are free to live normally and do their natural processes in a free, open natural space.
Combats Global Warming
The major contribution of organic farming to our environment is that it helps prevent global warming. In a study, organic farming can actually reduce the amount of carbon dioxide in our air. In fact, if 10,000 conventional farms will be converted into organic farms, the Earth will be free from carbon dioxide emitted by over 1 billion cars off the road.
Further, Rodale Institute suggested that we could stop more than 100% of annual carbon dioxide emissions if we switch to organic farming practices.
Apart from human health and environmental benefits, organic farming makes our communities sustainable. It is given that the use of organic farming produces more healthy food products which are essential for the human health and the environment. But apart from that, our consumption of organic products can support our local farmers. By this, we can be able to create a more sustainable community that protects and supports its people and the environment.