Sunday, August 30, 2015


(By: Lennard M. Gettz & Colleen Katju)
Organic food is mainly produced by biological, cultural, and mechanical practices that are carried out by recycling already existing nutrients. Organic farming practices differ widely all across the world, but every organic product must have at least 95 percent of organic compounds as per the standards. Pesticides and chemical fertilizers are completely forbidden for the production of organic food, hence the term organic (Winter & Davis, 2006). Now, let’s take a look at the benefits of organic food and why they should be preferred over non organic food.

Benefits of Organic Food / No Chemicals: Eating organic food means no chemical, pesticides, or fertilizers make it to your daily diet. Organic food does not contain any harmful poisons or chemicals present in fertilizers used for the growth of conventional food items (CABI, 2008).

Highly Nutritious: Organic food is highly nutritious since it contains all the nutrients like enzymes, minerals, (phosphorous, iron, magnesium), vitamins, and other micronutrients. A research conducted by the Journal of Alternative and Complimentary Medicine presented that grains, vegetables and fruits grown organically contain more nutrients as compared to conventional foods (Worthington, 2001).

Better Taste: If you try organic food then you will notice a change in taste from processed food. It is speculated that organic food tastes better due to lack of any nitrogenous fertilizers during their growth. These fertilizers increase the amount of water uptake by the plants hence increasing their size but decreasing their taste value (Lipson, 2001).

Avoidance of Genetically Engineered (GE) Foods and Organisms: Eating organic food is the only way to avoid GE food and organisms. GE food has modified DNA i.e. they contain high amounts of chemicals, hormones or drugs which modify their structure, taste, size, and nutrient content. Now, if you take these foods you will be taking a high quantity of all the drugs and other chemicals (Lyons, Lockie & Lawrence, 2001).

Avoidance of Hormones, Drugs, and Antibiotics from Animal Products:  Hormones, drugs, and antibiotics are found in high quantities in conventionally produced dairy and meat products. These chemicals are used as a part of the animals daily feed. In turn, these chemicals can cause infertility, tumors and other diseases (Morgan & Murdoch, 2000).

Environment Friendly: Organic food is environment friendly, since it is produced without any pesticides, chemicals, and fertilizers. This way, organic food does not destroy or kill other animals or plants grown on the farm (Andersson & Skakkebaek, 1999).

Less Pollution and Ecosystem Preservation: Continuous recycling of nutrients occurs due to crop rotations and the absence of chemicals preserves the ecosystem. Insects, wildlife animals, frogs, soil organisms and birds are not damaged in anyway; hence the ecosystem is protected from any damage (Cooper, Leifert & Niggli, 2007). 

 Improved Quality of Drinking Water: Irrigation water used for the production of general crops contains high amounts of chemicals which can go downstream into lakes and rivers. This water is then consumed by you and can make you sick with different diseases. Organic foods are grown without fertilizers, hence no diseases or sickness (Hart & Pimentel, 2002).

Preservation of Agricultural Diversity: Conventional farming has led to the loss of around 75 percent of the originally existing crops (Diouf, 2004). This can be avoided by organic farming where all species of crops can be grown and natural diversity can be preserved.

Preserving the Future:  By eating organic foods you will be investing in such an industry which will benefit not only you but your future generations as well. Increase in the production of organic foods will benefit the organic food industry and improve the future as well.

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Andersson, A. M., & Skakkebaek, N. E. (1999). Exposure to exogenous estrogens in food: possible impact on human development and health.European Journal of Endocrinology140(6), 477-485.
CABI. (2008). Health Benefits of Organic Food: Effects of the Environment
Cooper, J., Leifert, C., & Niggli, U. (Eds.). (2007). Handbook of organic food safety and quality. Elsevier.
Diouf, J., (2004). Director of Food and Agricultural Organization of the United Nations. Speech at Howard University of Law.
Hart, K. A., & Pimentel, D. (2002). Environmental and economic costs of pesticide use. Encyclopaedia of pest management. New York: Marcel Dekker, 237-239.
Lipson, E. (2001). The organic foods sourcebook. Contemporary Books.
Lyons, K., Lockie, S., & Lawrence, G. (2001). Consuming ‘green’: the symbolic construction of organic foods. Rural Society11(3), 197-210.
Morgan, K., & Murdoch, J. (2000). Organic vs. conventional agriculture: knowledge, power and innovation in the food chain. Geoforum, 31(2), 159-173.
Winter, C. K., & Davis, S. F. (2006). Organic foods. Journal of Food Science,71(9), R117-R124.
Worthington, V. (2001). Nutritional quality of organic versus conventional fruits, vegetables, and grains. The Journal of Alternative & Complementary Medicine,7(2), 161-173.