Are organic foods really better for you?

The short and quick answer to this question is a resounding yes! According to HelpGuide.org, organic food is often fresher. Fresh food tastes better. Organic food is usually fresher when eaten because it doesn’t contain preservatives that make it last longer. Organic produce is often (but not always, so watch where it is from) produced on smaller farms near where it is sold. Fresh food is more likely to be better for you because it does not have bacteria or deteriorating happening to it yet. It is fresh and ripe.

Another reason organic foods are better for you is that it contains fewer pesticides. HelpGuide.Org explains, organic produce contains fewer pesticides. Pesticides are chemicals such as fungicides, herbicides, and insecticides. These chemicals are widely used in conventional agriculture and residues remain on (and in) the food we eat. The products include fewer of these harmful byproducts and that counts for something. It is healthier for you, for sure, to have less intake of chemicals used to kill insects, for instance.

Not only that, but organic farming is also good for the environment. Organic farming is better for the environment. Organic farming practices reduce pollution (air, water, soil), conserve water, reduce soil erosion, increase soil fertility, and use less energy. In addition, organic farming is better for birds and small animals as chemical pesticides can make it harder for creatures to reproduce and can even kill them. Farming without pesticides is also better for the people who harvest our food.

What about animals that are raised organically? They are also good for you! Organically raised animals are NOT given antibiotics, growth hormones, or fed animal byproducts. The use of antibiotics in conventional meat production helps create antibiotic-resistant strains of bacteria. This means that when someone gets sick from these strains they will be less responsive to antibiotic treatment. Not feeding animal byproducts to other animals reduces the risk of mad cow disease (BSE). In addition, the animals are given more space to move around and access to the outdoors, both of which help to keep the animals healthy. The more crowded the conditions, the more likely an animal is to get sick. Moreover, organic meat, dairy products, and eggs are produced from animals that are fed organic feed and allowed access to the outdoors. They must be kept in living conditions that accommodate the natural behavior of the animals. Ruminants must have access to pasture. Organic livestock and poultry may not be given antibiotics, hormones, or medications in the absence of illness; however, they may be vaccinated against disease. Parasiticide (a substance or agent used to destroy parasites) use is strictly regulated.

So, it is more humane to the animals and eliminates hormones and dangerous chemicals being part of the animals’ diet. That’s another healthy aspect of organic food.

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