photo by Bret @ Flickr
For a race that is supposed to be the smartest living creature on the planet, it certainly did not take long for us to push it to the brink of being unlivable. The waters and air is polluted to the point that the very climate is in jeopardy. Even the food we eat is grown and treated with harmful chemicals. We noticed a bumper sticker the other day that pretty much sums it up. It read,
“Warning: Living on Planet Earth Causes Cancer in Humans and Laboratory Rats.”
Our governments have stepped in to try to stem the tide of pollution. Our scientists are looking for ways to reduce or reverse the Greenhouse Effects of Global Warming. Even our farmers have begun to grow organic foods. Most supermarkets offer this healthier option to their customers. Organic food is food that is grown without the aid of harmful chemicals. Pesticides may still be used in organic produce as long as the pesticide is made from natural, organic ingredients.
There are many healthy reasons to go organic. The laws of supply and demand dictate that if more of us make these healthy choices, more food that is organic will be grown and offered. With that in mind, here are the top ten organic food benefits to keep in mind the next time you visit your local grocer.
Benefit #1: It Starts Right on the Farm
Farms that grow organic foods dramatically reduce chemical illnesses and deaths in farm workers. For many years, evidence has been mounting concerning pesticides and the health of our farm workers. This threat has gone largely unaddressed for several reasons, one of which is the lack of proper reporting of chemical induced illness in farm workers by the insurance companies.
The families that come into contact with farm worker parents become sick Birth defects are more common among farm families
Children with deformities, learning disabilities, and other diseases are a direct result of the chemicals used in farming. See this startling report from 2002.
Benefit #2: Organic produce is safer (Direct Contact Illnesses)
Despite the EPA’s best efforts to regulate the amount of pesticides used and enforce stringent processes to clean the food grown with chemical aid, children are still getting sick. Children and the elderly are far more susceptible to the harmful effects of chemicals used in farming and in lesser amounts than healthy adults are. The EPA has found that even with thorough cleaning and precautions, there are still enough residues to make some children sick from handling and ingesting these foods. Organic food reduces and often entirely eliminates the threat to our children.
Benefit #3: Organic Pesticides Means Healthier Families
When we choose organic, we lower the risk of illnesses in our families. You would be surprised at how much. The average farmer exposes crops to up to 14 different synthetic pesticides.
• A synthetic pesticide has harmful chemicals contained in it in order to repel insects
• Organic pesticides perform the same function using natural ingredients by which the same insects are naturally repelled. This is better for the planet, the water table, and for us.
Benefit #4: Better for Us
Organic food is grown in active fertile soil. They take longer to grow and have a lower yield per acre that crops grown using chemicals. They are also higher in nutritional value, have more antioxidants, minerals, and vitamins.
Benefit #5: Healthy Dairy and Meats
Many farmers and ranchers will push livestock to the brink, pumping them full of hormones and steroids to make the animals mature faster and produce more. When the animals become sick, they pump antibiotics into them in massive doses. Insist on organically raised, chemical free meat and dairy products to stay healthy and wise. The National Organic Program seeks to end this cruelty to animals and see that they have pasture time, live in less-crowded environments without chemicals, and live humanely.
Benefit #6: Give the Planet a Break
Of all the farmland in the US, only .05% is organic farmland. This means that 95% of our farms are soaking the soil in chemicals, which in turn seeps into the water table. If everyone were to insist on organic food, our planet would feel better, our environment would improve…, and so would our health. More organic farm land equals a healthier ecosystem.
Benefit #7: Taste the Difference
It is a known fact that our food tastes better when grown organically, the way nature intended. Give your taste buds a break and go organic.
Benefit #8: Avoiding the Unknown
It took more than 12 years to get organic farms regulated and in place. It was a tooth and nail battle that should have been a given. Natural organic food should not have even been debated yet chemical lobbyist saw to it. Now, cloned food, which is a science that has barely had time to test makes up a full 30% of our market food. What will be the long-term problems should they arise? Your guess is as good as any. Organic food, a proven science with regulations behind it, makes up only .05%. How fair is that? Stick with a proven science in organic farm-fresh produce.
Benefit #9: BEE Smart
Scientists warn us that the bee population is diminishing and once they are gone; there goes life on earth as a result. Without bees to pollinate, plant life is unsustainable. Without the plants, the animals are gone. There we go as well. One of the reasons bees are disappearing from the face of the earth is due to the chemicals with which we treat our crops. Organic farms, on the other hand are teeming with bees, and other insects, wildlife, and birds. The farm becomes a refuge for the circle of life.
Benefit #10: A Sense of Pride
This may not sound like much of a benefit to those who do not care about our planet and the world we leave our grand children, however, when you eat locally grown, organic produce and wines… you are making a statement. You are saying that you care about the following facts.
• Organic farms use up to 30% less energy than other farms
• Organic farming is good for the soil, keeping it farm ready for years to come and naturally replenishing the earth
• Organic farms reduce water usage, saving our water supplies for when they are really needed, such as a drought
• Organic farms do not kill farm hands and their families
Write Your Congressman
In essence, you are saying that you care, and then backing that statement up with action. You are healthier for it as well. These ten benefits are just the tip of the iceberg. Let your voice be heard, reduce pollution, and save our planet. Every farm should be an organic farm. It is the least we can do for our children, and the planet we help cripple just by being here.