Sunday, September 10, 2017

Are Organic Foods Safer and More Nutritious?

Organic food items are now a staple of fresh produce aisles on most supermarkets. Perhaps, you are wondering why the sudden fondness of organic produce where people flock the weekend market all over the metro like AANI Weekend Market. There are studies claiming that there are no significant differences when it comes to the nutrient contents of organically and conventionally farmed. On the other hand, there are studies that proved otherwise.

Safer the way organic foods are produced

Primarily, organic farming practices are geared toward conserving soil and water and reducing pollution. Organic farmers do not necessarily use fertilizers and pesticides. For the latter, when a conventional farmer sprays pesticide on the produce, residues are left. Although the amount of pesticide residue does not exceed safety thresholds, the fact remains that we can ingest such.

Buying and consuming organic products, therefore, is a way to limit our exposure to these toxins. About 240 studies that compare organic and non-organic foodstuffs discovered that the former are less contaminated with agricultural chemicals. Conventional produce is discovered to contain 40% more pesticide residues. The percentage can be higher than reported.

Further, there is a separate study that organic foods have low levels of cadmium (48% on average). Cadmium is a carcinogen that accumulates within the body. Put simply, constant exposure to cadmium leads to the onset of certain cancers.

More nutritious due to higher antioxidant contents

Another nutritional difference between organic and conventional food is the antioxidant content. Research findings proved that organic fruits and vegetables contain 18 to 69% more antioxidants compared to their conventional counterparts.

Based on dietary interventions, the higher levels of antioxidants resulted in reduced risks of chronic, cardiovascular and neurodegenerative diseases. Certainly, antioxidants also fight the development of certain cancers.

Food safety tips

Studies said it. However, there are additional safety tips to keep in mind. First, choose and buy various food items from various sources. The practice not only reduces your exposure to chemicals but also provides you with a mix of nutrients.

Second, buy in-season fruits and vegetables. Better yet, buy fresh produce from the farmers’ market.

Third, read labels carefully. The term organic is not interchangeable with the term natural. Organic products are labeled 100% organic. Some products are produced using organic ingredients, and thus should be labeled ‘made with organic ingredients,’ for example.

Fourth, even when the product is labeled 100% organic, it is still best to wash the fruits and vegetables under running water to clean them further. Washing removes dirt, bacteria and chemical residue.

The value of having peace of mind over what you eat and what’s within what you are eating are immense. In the time when green living is more apparent than ever, the movement towards organic diet is a welcome change. Based on the findings, consuming organic foodstuffs is safer and more nutritious than consuming non-organic foodstuffs. 

Isn’t it a perfect time to go organic? Your call.

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