Monday, March 26, 2012

Reasons to go organic

I keep going back and forth between buying organic fruits and vegetables, mainly because of the cost. Many of the natural foods that I buy are already organic but its easy to not buy organic fruits and veggies because they are so much more expensive than their pesticide-covered counterparts. We've all heard the rumors of pesticides being linked to cancer and such but what are the actual reasons that you should buy organic food? Here's a summary of a list from Organic Gardening:

1. Genetically altered crops like soy and corn use so much weedkiller that researchers are finding it in rain, the air, and streams. The chemical glyphosate is in the weedkiller and linked to potentially irreversible metabolic damage, infertility, obesity, learning disabilities, and birth defects.

2. Hormone-disrupting phthalates, common fragrance chemicals used in soaps and shampoos, are winding up inside produce. The potential source is human sewage sludge that is applied as a fertilizer to farm fields.

3. Some chemicals in pesticides tamper with our body’s natural weight-loss chemistry thus increasing the risk of becoming overweight and obese.

4.  Pesticides are also linked to diabetes. Though obesity and genetics remain the two biggest risk factors for the disease, certain pesticides may interfere with the way our bodies produce the blood-sugar-regulating hormone insulin.

5.  Pesticides could interfering with your vitamin D levels. Vitamin D wards off cancer, diabetes, infections, heart disease, and broken bones and boosts your immune system.

6. Factory farming has become so filthy that farmers not only inject low levels of antibiotics into animals, breeding antibiotic resistance in humans, but they’ve also had to resort to other questionable techniques to prevent e. coli and other bacteria from getting into the food supply.

7. Thanks to an increased reliance on pesticides and machinery, farms have been able to grow in size while cutting back on labor. Organic farms create more jobs, which is good for the community but also one of the reasons that organic food is more expensive.
It is a fact that genetically-engineered crops paired with pesticides have drastically increased the yield of farms, especially in the U.S. But, is this system sustainable? Are pesticides leading to more problems, like increased risk of disease? I think that this ongoing debate is very important and until the government tackles this, then you have to make your own personal choice. You may be paying more for organic food now, but you could also save on health care costs in the future.

My personal debate about buying organic fruits and vegetables is ongoing but I'm thinking about switching over 100% until I can grow my own produce (hopefully I'll have a backyard one day). Going back to reason #3 above, some chemicals in pesticides lead to excess estrogen in your body which leads to excess fat in your midsection. I have actually noticed that I have less fat in this area during phases of eating organic produce. So if you already have a healthy diet and exercise regularly, eating organic can be that last step to reach your health goals. What do you think?

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