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This is a question that plagues my mind over and over again. I’m not the type of person to recruit people when it comes to diet and nutrition. I think it’s safe to agree that processed food, be it sugar, carbs or fats isn’t good for our health. The next thing that comes into play is the definition of health – some agree that going vegan is the correct way to optimise good health, others say organic, and then there’s the raw community, oh and I almost forgot the carnivore eaters too. By now you’re probably wondering about the direction I’m headed to with this post and what my opinion is, right?
Well to be frank I’m sort of on the fence, I appreciate – raw, vegan, meat and the organic lifestyle. I’m not partial to either of them and I’d be a complete fraud if I sat here, high on my pedestal promoting one of the aforementioned. While I’m impartial to the former I still want to open up a dialog about organic food.
I remember when I first begun to pay close attention to organic food, this was a few years ago. Like many people I didn’t grow up on a farm or raised by a family who purchased solely organic produce. For me organic food was more or less a commodity, and to be honest, back then I felt indifferent to the whole organic ideology.
In my naive little mind – food was food, as long as I was satisfied, I’d daren’t question its origins. My mindset was different from how it is now, I was a lot younger with a vision contrasting diet and nutrition. Now that I’m more mature and full of knowledge about nutrition I make it my duty to work aimlessly to keep up with what’s happening in the food industry.
Without further a due, let’s talk more about organic food in depth and I’ll share my own personal thoughts on the whole matter.
What is organic food?
In a nutshell organic food is food that has been produced using animal friendly and environmental cultivating. The use of most pesticides are banned and chemicals minimised, if not used at all. In other words, organic food is produced in a way that aims to retain it’s ‘natural state’ and keep in alignment with the organic standards set by the national government and global organisations.
With the increase in use of synthetic compounds in food, more people are choosing to opt for foods grown in its near to natural state. I can certainly see why this trend is catching on. The legal defined labelling of food gives us that transparency of knowing whether or not chemicals/pesticides were used during rearing.
Why choose organic food?
A recent study published by the British Journal of Nutrition (BJN) claims that nutritional content in organic food is superior to it’s non organic counterpart. The findings centred around the quality of food influencing by how the food was produced – meaning the standard of food is determined by the origin of production (with vs without pesticides and additional chemicals).
The study conducted by an international team of experts, went even further to debunk the notion that the method of farming doesn’t affect the quality of food consumed.
The findings suggest that 60% of organic crops, fruit, had a larger number of antioxidants in comparison to non organic food. The study also highlighted that farming did have an impact on the quality of food, as previously mentioned a significantly higher intake of antioxidants (20%-40% more) without compromising calorie consumption.
Also, there were lower numbers of pesticide, cadmium (toxic metal) and nitrogen which said to be linked to stomach cancer. This discovery quite vividly suggests that organic food has fewer health risks and a boast of antioxidants.
While the above sounds like the perfect reason to make a quick transition, unfortunately organic food is more costly which presents itself as a major problem for many people. We should certainly strive to eat wholesome food (fruit, veg and crops) and the recommended 5 a day, using this as the ideal starting point rather than having hang-ups about not being able to afford organic food.
It’s a tough call sometimes; health vs affordability, but the scope of this discourse can also be balanced on it’s head in the respect that in general fruit and vegetables are far more healthier than processed food, so all is not lost and don’t feel guilty if the price of organic food is not within your reach. I myself strive to be pro-organic, but I cannot always afford to purchase everything organic and that’s just the reality of it.
Here are a list of fruit and vegetables that are the most contaminated with pesticides (buy the following organic if possible).
- Fatty meat
I hope my readers find this post useful, my intention isn’t to bash anyone for not choosing to eat organic – affordability or not. I do want to raise more awareness about what food choices are available and educate on the benefits.
Question; Do you eat organic food? Do you think if organic produce was more avoidable more people would purchase it or is there a lack of awareness around the subject?