Harvard’s School of Public Health Urges Eating Organic
Besides air, water and shelter, the other basic human essential is food.
For centuries, the biggest human challenges were getting enough of it and obtaining the nutrients necessary from it to maintain good health.
Now, the world is faced with a food conundrum that was likely (hopefully) unforeseen a 100 years ago. This stems from the fact that crops for human consumption are not grown for optimal health as much as they are to be easily produced.
Note: The term “pesticide”encompasses insecticides, fungicides, herbicides and rodenticides.
Recently, experts from several countries were asked to review the possible health advantages of organic food and farming practices when the European Parliament commissioned Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health to prepare a report outlining possible benefits.
Researchers used in vitro and animal studies, epidemiological studies and food crop analyses to determine that the most pressing concern regarding conventionally grown food is the use of pesticides, which are still detectable even after being washed. In comparison, organic foods are generally pesticide-free.
The Big Q: What Constitutes ‘Organic?’
The Big A: According to Organic.org:“‘Simply stated, organic produce and other ingredients are grown without the use of pesticides, synthetic fertilizers, sewage sludge, genetically modified organisms or ionizing radiation. Animals that produce meat, poultry, eggs and dairy products do not take antibiotics or growth hormones.”
The US Department of Agriculture (USDA) states that organic farming emphasizes the use of renewable resources and conserving soil and water in food production. Produce can’t be labeled “Organic” until a government-approved certifier ensures farmers are following USDA organic standards.
Companies handling or processing Organic Food must also be certified before they’re shipped to supermarkets or restaurants.8 As a caveat, it’s important to know that some organic farms sometimes do use natural pesticides to get rid of or at least limit weeds or bugs, but it’s the origin of the product that makes the difference.
Using caution with any material on crops is advisable, because even pesticides given the Organic Label may be harmful to humans and the environment.
A British study recently found that organically grown foods contain “significantly” higher antioxidants than the conventionally grown variety.
The director of science programs for The Organic Center, a non-profit research and education organization, reported in Whole Foods Market’s blog, Whole Story, that, compared to conventional, organic foods have the following;
- 19% more phenolic acids
- 69% more flavanones
- 28% higher levels of stilbenes
- 26% higher levels of flavones
- 50% higher levels of flavonols
- 51% higher levels of anthocyanins
Additionally, organic fruit and vegetable consumption may up or antioxidant intake by 20 to 40%. Organic strawberries, for instance, have more nutrients and antioxidants than conventionally grown, and organic tomatoes contain 50% more Vitamin C and had a 139% higher total phenolic content in comparison.
Far from being “bland, unappealing or otherwise peculiar”, organic produce imparts a number of benefits you may never have thought of, according to a report i read today, as follows:
- Organic food is fresher, more filling and free of additives that could keep nutrients from being absorbed by the body.
- Organic food tastes better because it is Real. Conventional growing methods often produce tough, mealy and/or tasteless fruits and vegetables, compared to Organic food.
- Processed or “treated” foods, from apples to chicken to bread, can be cross-bred within an inch of their life, injected with hormones and preservatives, genetically engineered or subject to other processes and ingredients that are harmful to consumers.
- Fast food restaurants are all about “hot and fast,” but the additives most contain can make you feel bloated and give us gas, heartburn or acid reflux, all while leaving one hungrier than before.
- Having undergone no harmful treatments or additives, Organic Foods are naturally resistant to bacteria and decay.
Eat healthy, Be healthy, Live lively