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Lifestyle

Going Organic

The Benefits of Organic Foods—Organic growing offers a viable and beneficial alternative to poor-quality conventional food.

Most people have noticed that the quality of our food has been on the decline for years. As we lose control over how and where our food is produced, organic farming is on the rise —

offering nutritional assurance and quality control to the everyday gardener. Organic foods offer incredible benefits to individuals as well as the environment.

The number one reason that people are going organic is that organically produced food offers much better quality than it’s counterpart. Increased pressure for food to be produced on a large scale at the cheapest possible cost has created a situation for businesses to increase their profits while the customer suffers the consequences. However, consumers do not have to accept this fate. Many people are reaping the benefits of organic foods grown in their own home gardens or purchased from their local organic farmer – cutting out the middle man and improving the quality of what they eat.

On average, an item produced organically provides twice as many nutrients as those produced using conventional methods.This is because chemical pesticides are aimed at killing all organisms – including those that provide essential benefit to plants, such as microorganisms. On the other hand, organic soil contains a natural army of microorganisms. These live beneficial bacteria serve a major function as part of the healthy organic growing cycle. They decompose the earth surrounding the plants and carry a plethora of enzymes, vitamins and minerals to the roots and, ultimately, into our produce. This process results in food that provides maximum nutrition and flavor.

In addition to improved nutrition, organics offer prevention from the exposure to harmful chemicals used in the mass production of conventional foods. A person can ingest over 30 pesticides while eating conventionally produced fruits and vegetables. This consumption of pesticides leads to toxic build-up which has been linked to a wide-variety of health problems including cancer, birth-defects, digestive disorders, Alzheimer, and more. Furthermore, conventional methods rely on fertilizers containing an abundance of antibiotics and hormones which had, at one time, been consumed by livestock and are now being recycled into our food. Other additives are included in order to increase the size and rate of production in conventional foods. These chemicals enter our systems, altering the balance of our own health and natural hormones. The growth-hormones used in genetic alteration do not just cause the cells in our foods to multiply, they also increase the cell division in our own bodies, thus increasing the speed of by which viruses and bacteria can take-over in the form of illness. The FDA has mandated that all genetically altered foods are specially coded with a five-digit number starting with “8” to set them apart from natural products — a fact not advertised openly to consumers. These methods offer little substance or quality can expose people to harmful byproducts. Although the long-term health impact of consuming the toxins now found in conventional foods has not yet been recorded, the fact that they pose a high risk for detrimental, long-lasting consequences is undeniable.

The benefits of going organic extend beyond individuals to the environment at-large. The same problems that conventional methods pose for people translate into devastating effects on the environment as well. Experts estimate that carbon emissions could be reduced by 25-percent using organic soil. In organic soil, the same microorganisms that carry the nutrients to our food also serve as consumers of carbon – taking it out of the environment and converting it to positive energy. Finally, organic soil has hugely increased water retention which offers sustainability during both droughts and floods. Moreover, organic soil produces clean water run-off as opposed to the pollutant waste-water that flows from conventional farming into the drains and out to the ocean – harming the entire ecosystem.

Going organic in no longer for a small, niche market of elite. The average person can easily produce their own organic foods or take advantage of the booming growth of local farmer’s markets where goods can be purchased at a reasonable cost. Anyone can make the change toward organics with a few simple adjustments to their daily lives. These small changes can make a very big difference. Going organic is an investment in both personal and environmental health.