J. D. Heyes
August 27, 2012
There are plenty of good reasons why, in a world increasingly filled with processed – and over-processed – foods, that eating organic not only makes the most sense for your body, but for the planet as well. Here are seven reasons why you should switch to the organic food lifestyle, if you haven’t already:
1. Save the planet. No, it’s not just a slogan. Saving soil is a priority because much of it has been, for lack of a better term, over-farmed, and as such, it has been robbed of its nutrients. Still, most of our “soil is alive,” according to BodyEcology.com, and rich soil contains plenty of nutrients to grow lots of tasty produce that is free from chemicals and pesticides.
2. Organic farms are more diverse. That’s not a cultural statement, but a geological and agricultural description. Organic farms have a much more diverse range of fungi living in the soil, experts say. “Of particular interest were arbuscular mycorrhizae, also known as AMF, in which the fungus penetrates the roots of plants. AMF help the plant to capture minerals and micronutrients from the soil,” reports BodyEcology.com. Agricultural experts say routine tilling of the soil, coupled with the constant use of herbicides and pesticides, disrupts the natural – and necessary – fungi. Organic farms, by comparison, preserve the mycelial layer – an intricate web of vegetative fungus, thereby promoting a range of in-soil microbes that contribute to the health of crops.
3. Land and body. Consider organic farming much like the practice of alternative medicine. The latter uses substances and ingredients to heal, based on centuries of use by both ancient and modern peoples, because they are effective. The former depends on the natural composition of soil and earth in order to be the most productive; anything that diminishes or takes away from that composition harms the soil or, at the very least, makes it less productive. The body, like the land, is an ecosystem dependent upon certain elements to thrive and survive. Removing those elements disturbs and affects the survivability of the ecosystem.
4. Healthy soil is happy soil. Like the body, soil needs certain nutrients in order to thrive and, more importantly, in order to produce plants and crops that thrive. A healthy, organic soil serves to nourish what grows in it, often protecting plants from pathogen invasion. Also, healthy soil with a strong mycelial layer will detoxify land from heavy pesticides and metals that rob it of nutrients.
5. Do your body a favor. Organic foods are considered more nutrient-rich than non-organics, researchers have found. So what does that mean for you? For one thing, a better, more nutritious diet means a healthier mind and body, and that will be especially important as we age. Many of us have active lifestyles; organic foods, grown on organic farms, can help us maintain that lifestyle well into our twilight years. Consider what Hippocrates taught in the 5th century B.C.: “Let food be your medicine and medicine be your food.”
6. The research proves it. A recent study published in the Journal of Applied Nutrition listed many nutrients that appear to be altered based on how they are farmed. Researchers examined organic apples, pear, potatoes, wheat, and sweet corn, then compared the levels of certain nutrients in relation to the commercially available counterparts produced via modern farming practices. They found that levels of important nutrients – chromium, calcium, magnesium, and others – were many times greater in the organic foods. Similar studies have shown, by comparison, that pesticide use reduces the level of these and other nutrients.
7. Do the cost analysis. Why don’t more people eat organic? Well, because in many cases, organic foods can be a little more expensive, and we are all about saving money on our grocery bills when and where we can, especially now, as food prices soar. But consider a cost analysis of your decision: You can pay now or pay later. Studies have shown how the use of pesticides, herbicides and other chemicals in our food production can affect our health over time, and it’s the cumulative effects of these chemicals – not the immediate impacts – that rob us of longevity.
This article was posted: Monday, August 27, 2012 at 2:12 am