The Benefits of Organic Food - A Guide to Staying Healthy
Organic food sits right next to conventionally grown or produced food. However, if you don’t understand the difference between organic and conventional products, it might seem equivalent to spending more money on the same thing.
After all, how different can cucumbers really be?
The answer might surprise you. Although organic and conventional cucumbers are roughly identical in their nutrients, vitamins, and calorie content, conventional cucumbers come with a few surprises, such as synthetic wax.
In contrast, organic cucumbers cannot contain any chemicals prohibited by the USDA. That’s exactly why people are willing to pay a premium.
What is Organic Food?
Organic products are food that has been grown or cultivated without synthetic pesticides, herbicides, fertilizers, or GMOs. When it comes to milk and meat, such as organic chicken and pork, organic products can have as much as 50% more nutritional value.
Organic meat and dairy products come from livestock animals that were fed an organic diet and allowed to live in farms that mimic natural conditions without any antibiotics or growth hormones.
The feeding requirements for organic livestock farming, such as alfalfa for cattle, also result in higher levels of beneficial acids such as conjugated linoleic acid (CLA) and omega-3 fatty acids.
Not to mention, studies have shown significantly lower cadmium levels in organic grains, in addition to toxic metal and insecticides.
Organic foods can be cultivated with natural pesticides and herbicides derived from plants. For instance, organic farmers use neem oil, diatomaceous earth, and derivatives from chrysanthemum flowers are used to naturally deter pests from organic produce.
The FDA does not regulate the term “organic,” which can lead to many misunderstandings or deliberately misleading marketing practices.
Only foods certified by the US Department of Agriculture’s National Organic Program fit the assumptive definition of organic food. If you want to be sure you’re getting what you pay for, check for the term “certified organic” and look for the USDA organic seal on the sticker or packaging.
What are GMOs?
GMOs were to engineer crops that grow bigger and stronger with bountiful yields. Some GMO crops are resistant to certain illnesses or pests.
In many cases, it isn’t the GMO version of a food that makes it inherently harmful. Non-GMO bananas are entirely inedible. They’re full of black seeds and have no edible pulp.
In this instance, GMOs were helpful. Researchers sometimes work with genetic engineering to create more nutritious crops and quickly grow in areas where food scarcity negatively impacts people.
The truth about GMOs is that we don’t have any meaningful long-term data to verify their safety. An essential factor in this situation is that we don’t know. Every time you eat GMO food, you’re eating something unstudied. That alone justifies concerns people have about the use of GMO foods.
Pesticides and Their Relationship to GMOs
We know beyond the shadow of a doubt that many pesticides and fungicides used in conventional farming aren’t safe. Glyphosate has been linked to cancer, and the World Health Organization recognizes this link. It’s better to be on the side of caution and avoid glyphosate. But the use of this pesticide has only increased.
Pregnant women, developing fetuses, and children seem to be most at risk for the potential dangers of pesticides. There is no ethical way to assess what long-term exposure to toxic chemicals will do to a developing fetus or a young child, but we do know their immune systems and brains are still developing.
Pesticides Facilitate the Need for More Pesticides
These pesticides have been used for a long time to eradicate weeds, and weeds are eager to survive. They’ve evolved to become immune or less impacted by these poisons that are already dangerous to humans.
However, strong superweeds can only be managed with gardening poisons that are far more toxic than glyphosate. The overuse of glyphosate means that the pesticides of the future will need to be even more dangerous.
Can You Remove Pesticides from Produce?
Fruits and vegetables have high water content. They’re very absorbent and get their nutrients and water from the soil, and they can undoubtedly get their pesticides from the ground. Washing the exterior won’t do anything to eliminate pesticides that have already seeped into the fruit or vegetable you’re about to eat.
Some conventional produce doesn’t require a significant amount of pesticides in the growing process. If you’re not going to buy organic all the time, stick to the “Clean 15” list for conventional produce.
- Sweet Corn
- Sweet Peas
- Sweet Potatoes
Why is Organic Better?
Organic produce is just as nutritious as other produce. In fact, organic products are healthier because they contain more vitamins, nutrients, or minerals. A study by The Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine revealed that organic carrots, lettuce, and spinach had more vitamin C, Magnesium, Iron, and Phosphorus than their non-organic counterparts.
Certified organic produce’s advantage to your health comes from the fact that it isn’t grown with dangerous synthetic pesticides that you may wind up inadvertently ingesting when you make a salad or smoothie.
Organic farming practices are also significantly better for the environment. Water from crop irrigation, rain, or snow can cause pesticides on the ground to travel into groundwater. Contaminated water can harm humans, animals, and plants that rely on it to survive.
Switching to organic products is also beneficial for your health. You wouldn’t voluntarily expose yourself to poison or toxins in any other aspect of your life. Why present them to your family at the dinner table?
Everything Can Be Made Organic
Everything you use in your home can come into contact with your body. The solution you use to clean your bathtub can just as easily impact your body as the fruit you eat for breakfast.
Eliminating pesticides and pesticide residues from your life is a multifaceted process that should be addressed from all angles. It’s so much more than buying groceries.
Anything naturally derived can be made organic. The rules don’t exclusively apply to food. Your toiletries, cleaning products, and even your clothes can be made organically.
If you’re looking to cut pesticides out of your life permanently, you need to look for certified organic ingredients in everything you buy.
These choices also help to preserve the environment.
Everything you purchase that’s produced without the use of pesticides prevents pesticides from entering the environment. In fact, organic cotton clothing, sheets, towels, and drapes are more sustainable and less damaging than their conventional counterparts.
We’ve Built Our Brand Around Nature
It’s essential to make safe choices for everything that comes into contact with your body. The food you eat and the products you use on your skin can be impacted by dangerous pesticides and other toxins that were never intended to be used around humans.
Caldera + Lab’s men's skincare line is formulated with wild-harvested and organically grown botanicals. There are no other ingredients.
When you use Caldera + Lab, you’re naturally promoting the health of your skin without introducing toxins or pesticides to your body.
Our men’s skincare line is clinically demonstrated to provide meaningful results in skin health and appearance without synthetic ingredients. Why use something potentially harmful when a safe alternative is proven effective?
National Organic Program | Agricultural Marketing Service
Everything You Wanted To Know About the 'GMO Banana' | Explore Biotech
Organic foods: Are they safer? More nutritious? | Mayo Clinic