I always believed that, if only affordable, it is a good decision to go organic. Not only is the organic food cleaner from the synthetic toxins than the conventional food but the organic farming itself is less destructive to our environment. (Btw. toxins are listed as one of the possible causes of the autoimmune system conditions). As I buy organic food for a couple of years now, I thought it is good to review the newest facts about organic food and re-make my decision.
Is organic food better than conventional food?
Some studies confirm and other studies deny that the amount of nutrients and anti-nutrients differ in organically and conventionally produced food. It appears complex issue. Perhaps it isn’t the right question since the variations in food production and food handling make it difficult to generalize the results.
I think it is significant to know a couple of basic principles of organic farming first.
What does ‘organic farming’ stands for?
Depending on a country, there are different requirements in organic farming with regard to growing, storage, processing, packaging and shipping. But generally, the rules include following aspects:
- Synthetic chemicals (e.g. fertilizer, pesticides¹ ², antibiotics, food additives), genetically modified organisms, irradiation, and the use of sewage sludge
- Soil that has been free from prohibited chemical inputs for a number of years
- For livestock – requirements for feed, housing, and breeding
- Processing using no irradiation, industrial solvents, or chemical food additives
¹ Unfortunately, some pesticides (non-synthetic but so called ‘natural’) are allowed in organic farming under certain limited conditions. Sadly, the recent studies showed that both natural and synthetic pesticides are carcinogenic thus both can contribute to development of cancer.
² Pesticides – kill insects, fungus, bacteria etc. that feed on crops. They can be toxic to humans. Especially, children seem to be greatly susceptible to the toxic effects of pesticides.
In general, organic farming makes use of cultural, biological, and mechanical practices that:
- Protect environment
- Maintain long-term soil fertility
- Support cycling of resources
- Promote ecological balance
- Conserve biodiversity
- Decrease pollution
- Promote health
- Meet the behavioral needs of livestock
- Emphasize careful processing
Are we being fooled again?
Sometimes, I have an impression that we are being manipulated and asked a wrong question. Instead asking if organic food is better or not (which clearly can’t be generalized), another question should be raised.
As there are organic practices which do yield better food products than the conventional farming, the question shouldn’t thus be ‘if the organic is better from conventional’, but ‘how to improve the regulations of organic farming so ALL the organic products ARE better than the conventional products’.
Perhaps, the organic regulations became too flexible in order to facilitate the upscale of the organic farming as the demand for organic food increased. The market leading companies surely see a potential in investing in the organic food. Actually, organic food is available in almost all supermarkets nowadays. The problem with these Big Greedy Guys is that all they care about is money and not improving animal welfare or caring for the soil like the ‘small’ farmers do. I think that the small companies actually do believe in the cause of the organic farming. I wonder, how big is the difference in the quality of the organic cucumbers bought in various places.
Am I sticking to eating organic food? Yes. I am constantly malnourished and I suffer from multiple food intolerance. I already have two chronical immune system conditions. My immune system isn’t getting better, ever. If I have a chance to consume more nutrients and fewer toxins, it sounds like the right thing to do. But, I do not buy my organic fruits and vegetables in big supermarkets. Besides, I don’t like that our environment is recklessly damaged because money became the highest value in life of too many.
I am curious about opinion of others on organic food. Perhaps, you have other reasons to buy organic food or maybe, you don’t believe in the organic practices. Would you like to share your thoughts?