6 Benefits Of Going Organic

When people read or hear the word “organic,” they might picture a blissful woman in a boho dress and sandals picking out a $7 mango from a co-op farm stand. Another assumption that most people have is that organic means expensive. Isn’t it just easier and cheaper to grab a burger and fries at the drive-thru? It may be easier, but in the long run, the cheap part could turn expensive if your health suffers because of the effects of an unhealthy diet filled with processed foods.

So what exactly constitutes organic products? Ingredients that are organically farmed without pesticides and chemicals, and meat, poultry, fish and foul that have been raised without hormones or other drugs that stimulate their growth cycles and size. If you find produce or food that’s sporting a USDA Organic seal, that means that the product consists of at least 95% organic ingredients.

Here are six reasons to opt for the farmer’s stand versus the hotdog one.

1. You’re not putting dangerous chemicals in your body

Commercially grown food contains chemicals and pesticides, many of which haven’t been thoroughly tested for long-term health effects. Pesticides, in particular, can cause nerve damage, cancer, and even congenital disabilities.

2. You’ll glean more nutrients

Foods that are grown organically contain more minerals and vitamins – not to mention micronutrients – because the soil they grow in is managed at a high standard, especially if the end product features the FDA seal. Research has shown that five servings of organic vegetables offer an adequate Vitamin C dosage where the same amount of commercially grown produce does not.

3. You’ll avoid GMO, hormones and other scary drugs

The effects of eating genetically engineered food and genetically engineered organisms (GMOs) long-term and short-term are unknown and in question. And it’s not just limited to produce. Commercially raised meat, poultry, fish and foul are often fed hormones for faster, bigger growth.

5. Food tastes the way it should and satisfies you longer

If you bite into a commercially grown, perfectly red, blemish-free beefsteak tomato, you’ll probably end up with a mouthful of mushy pulp that has little flavor. Pop an organic cherry tomato into your mouth and get ready for an explosion of flavor! Organic means that tomato has been lovingly grown in tended soil in small batches, not on thousands of acres of commercial farmland tended to by machines for volume sales. Another bonus: Since that tomato tastes like a tomato, you’ll be satisfied with a smaller quantity because the flavor is more intense.

6. You’re helping to preserve the planet

Organic farming helps to support the eco-system. It’s farming that’s in harmony with nature. The lack of chemicals keeps farming areas safe for wildlife and other living beings; they also prevent poisoning of the Earth’s water supply.

One secret to going organic is to work it into your lifestyle. Not everything in your diet has to be organic – unless you have the means to do so – but you can take a step toward a healthy lifestyle by avoiding as many processed foods as possible. The best place to find organic food is at your local farmers market or a brick-and-mortar store. If all that fails, roll up your sleeves and plant your own organic garden. Your body – and the Earth – will thank you.