Eating organically is not a new concept, in fact people have been doing it for centuries. The farming industry, on the other hand, has been a bit slower to catch up and has only been around for about eighty years. It has been steadily growing in popularity over the past two decades, however, for a number of different reasons.
What Does it Mean to be Organic?
In order to understand why organic foods became popular it helps to understand what exactly it is. It’s an actual definition of how something was grown and processed. There are several different factors that are taken into account in order to be certified as organic. These include the environment in which food was grown, the quality of the soil used, how animals were treated, and any additives that may be used. Perhaps the most significant factor, though, is how pests and weeds are handled throughout the growth process. Organic foods must be grown without the use of any sort of toxic pesticides or herbicides.
Personal Health Benefits
Countless articles have been written on the subject of why organic foods are better for one’s health than commercially grown foods. As more of this information gets released more people are interested in eating in this manner. Researchers claim that there are physical, mental, and emotional benefits to eating foods that are free of toxins. Neuroscientists are still looking into what impact long term exposure of toxins has on the brain, but preliminary findings include headaches, poor memory, vertigo, and problems with concentration. Sprouts organic food store is one of many grocery stores that carries a wide array of fruits and vegetables that were grown without the use of any pesticides nor do they utilize any preservatives to help maintain freshness. Experts say these foods are higher in naturally producing vitamins, minerals, and nutrients. One of the other health benefits of toxic-free foods is that they have increased antioxidants which can support healthy immune systems. A recent study in Europe also showed that certain nutrients are up to fifty percent higher in organic milk and meat. Some of these nutrients include omega-3 fatty acids which have been shown to lower blood pressure, reduce the risk of heart disease, and lessen the likelihood of stroke.
In addition to many personal health benefits, research has shown that there are significant environmental benefits to growing natural, toxin-free food. Environmentalists are certainly not new, but as worldwide conversations about climate change and global warming increase more people are trying to do everything they can to reduce their carbon footprint. Organic farming conserves water, uses less energy, and reduces soil erosion. It also creates more nutrients and minerals in the soil and increases its fertility, which gets passed along to the fruits and vegetables themselves. Eliminating the use of pesticides means that they won’t run off into the rivers and streams, which can poison aquatic wildlife. It’s also much healthier for the animals, birds, and insects that live in the same environment where produce is grown.
The factory farming industry has become more transparent in the past two decades. It's not a secret that the conditions of commercial chicken farms and slaughterhouses are not ideal. Cows and pigs are raised in cages with very little room to move and no exposure to sunlight. People who oppose this kind of treatment choose to buy meat from places that allow their animals to walk freely outdoors. Animals that are raised in factory settings are usually given growth hormones and antibiotics, and experts believe that those are being passed on to the consumers that eat them.
Supporting Local Economies
Another reason people may choose to buy organic foods is because they want to support their local economy by shopping local. Small local grocery stores and farmers' markets generally have non-commercially grown foods. Because they are smaller operations many of them can manage pests without using chemicals. Shopping locally is the best thing you can do for your local economy.
There are several reasons people may choose to eat all natural, pesticide-free foods, and because of its popularity it's become much easier to do so. Organic choices are more readily available than ever before and costs have come down considerably. Given all the benefits of eating these kinds of foods it’s no wonder it’s become more prevalent.
Mia Morales is a loving wife and mother of twins from Colorado. She is a self-described “DIY addict”, and loves to decorate her house and office with her creations. As a mother, Mia is really passionate about health, nutrition, and what she puts in her body. When she’s not writing, you can find her with a glass of mint lemon water and a child on each hip."