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What are Organic foods? Health benefits of Organic foods

Updated on June 16, 2016

What are Organic foods? Health benefits of Organic foods

The term 'Organic Foods' is gaining more significance day by day. So what exactly are these Organic Foods? Organic foods are more natural than conventional foods. They are grown without using pesticides, chemical fertilizers or modifications by ionizing radiation. Organic foods don’t include genetically modified organisms (GMO). Similarly, meat, eggs and dairy products are obtained from animals that are not administered hormones or antibiotics. Today, Bt crops (transgenic crops) are widely grown in developed countries. As a result, non-Bt foods are widely marketed as organic foods to attract consumers even though they may contain chemicals and preservatives.

The USDA has classified organic foods into three categories:

Organic- Made with 95% organic ingredients

100% Organic- Made with 100% organic ingredients

Made using organic ingredients: Contain 70% organic ingredients with remaining 30% containing no GMOs

Cost: Generally organic foods cost more as they are grown without synthetic fertilizers and pesticides. They are also more labour intensive. The organic farmers don’t receive big subsidies as those received by farmers using chemical fertilizers. Production of organic manure means increased cost. Today many organic foods like whole organic wheat, organic raw honey, Moringa powder, Wheat grass etc are available online. People generally don't mind paying higher prices for Organic foods as the health benefits far outweigh the increased costs.

Environment and Organic foods: Organic foods are not only beneficial for individual health, they also help protect the environment. By buying organic foods, you are helping protect the environment.

Health Benefits of Organic foods:

Organic foods are found to be more nutritious compared to conventional foods. They are devoid of harmful chemicals, metal toxins and agricultural residues. Many health risks, such as cancer are associated with insecticide/pesticide use. Pesticides can disrupt the endocrine system in Humans and cause birth defects in babies. Organic foods are packed with essential nutrients. They also contain more antioxidants than conventional foods. Organic foods boost the immune system. They possess better natural taste and offer better digestion.

Organic Milk is found to contain more antioxidants, vitamins and omega-3 fatty acids than non-organic milk. Organic tomatoes contain increased quantity of antioxidants such as Quercetin. Organic Strawberries contain more Vitamin C than conventional strawberries. Organic animal products contain CLA (conjugated linoleic acid). CLA protects cardiovascular health.

Organic Wheatgrass has wonderful health benefits. Wheatgrass juice is one of the best natural sources of Chlorophyll. It contains important minerals and vitamins such as vitamin A, B complex, C and E. It is also rich in amino acids. Wheatgrass is an anti-ageing miracle. It is an excellent detoxifier and helps purify the liver.

Rooftop Organic Farming

Grow organic food at Home: Most supermarkets sell organic foods. Organic foods are also available online. You can grow your own organic fruits and vegetable at home in your rooftop garden. If you could spare a few minutes of your leisure time daily, you could produce good quality organic products at your home itself.

Disadvantages of Organic Foods: Organic foods are costlier than non-organic foods. Since Organic foods don’t contain preservatives and chemicals, they will perish shortly. Hence, they have to be consumed as soon as possible. Further, some merchants sell non-organic foods as organic foods. In most countries, there are no strict rules and guidelines for marketing Organic foods. As a result, any non-Bt food is being sold as organic food in many countries even though the foods may contain pesticides and preservatives.

Further, they are not enough varieties of Organic foods to choose from. In many cases, people don’t get access to organic foods even though they are able to afford them.

Growing Organic foods is a time consuming, laborious affair. Since Organic foods are grown on small farms, they don’t achieve the economies of scale achieved by conventional farms. As a result, Organic food producers tend to sell the products at higher prices.

However, the truth is that the advantages of Organic foods far outweigh the disadvantages

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