Going Organic: Why It’s Important to Switch to Organic Foods
When it comes to the health of our families, the future of our communities, and the health of our food supply, it’s important to think and act not just locally, but globally. Switching to organic food is more than just a decision for your family’s well-being. Switching is an opportunity to take a stand and make a positive impact on the future of our food system and the health of our planet.
If you’ve been paying attention, you know that over the last decade, studies have highlighted the widespread dangers of pesticides and other chemicals found in our foods. This is especially true with the foods we eat every day. One study found that if everyone ate just 10 percent more organic food, the accumulation of pesticides in the environment would be cut in half!
Reducing your family’s exposure to harmful pesticides and chemicals is a smart move for your family’s health. And it’s also an important step toward a healthy and sustainable food system for our future.
Let’s take a look at why switching to organic food is so important. And why it is worth fighting for your family’s health and for the health of our shared environment.
Organic produce is grown without the use of pesticides.
Pesticides are a big concern in conventional food, too. But with a whole lot less evidence pointing to their risks. While many pesticides are used legally in conventional agriculture, they may be too toxic to be used safely. For example, neonicotinoids, a class of pesticides commonly used on corn and soybeans, have been shown to harm beneficial insects, birds, and other wildlife. With no effective alternative for many crops, these chemicals remain in our soil and water and are carried through runoff and erosion into our waterways. This is where they can harm aquatic organisms and other species.
Conventional fruits, vegetables, and grains grown in the U.S. are exposed to a combination of pesticides. Some are applied much more frequently than others. According to the USDA, organic produce is less likely to be treated with dangerous synthetic pesticides than conventionally grown foods.
Organic fruits and vegetables often don’t need to be treated with pesticides because they are not vulnerable to pests. Farmers also get certification for their crops. This guarantees that all the products you get do not contain synthetic pesticides and are locally grown food that is safe for conventional food consumption.
It doesn’t contain hormones.
Petrochemical-based pharmaceuticals represent a huge proportion of our antibiotic consumption. These antibiotics are used not only to prevent disease in animals but also to promote growth and increase profits. Unfortunately, overusing antibiotics leads to the development of antibiotic-resistant bacteria, which can be dangerous not only to the animals who ingest them but also to humans who come into contact with these bacteria.
Organic fruits and vegetables are often grown without synthetic fertilizers, pesticides, or antibiotics. While organic produce may still contain trace amounts of pesticides, these products are much less likely to contain antibiotics or other chemicals that can be harmful to human health.
It has few or no chemicals.
Organically grown fruits and vegetables aren’t as likely to have pesticides in them, but you should also keep in mind that organic foods don’t require as much care or maintenance as their conventionally grown counterparts.
In many cases, organic foods are just as nutritious.
The nutritional value varies depending on soil quality, climate, and other factors. While organic fruits and vegetables do contain more nutrients per pound than their conventional counterparts, they also require more space to grow because they’re not treated with pesticides.
Organic farming requires more work and labor costs than conventional farming, which can make it more expensive than conventional farming. But this isn’t necessarily a bad thing—it means that organic foods are produced in a sustainable way.
Most of the products you buy in the grocery store come from fields that are more than 50 miles from where you live. There is a huge difference between this and directly supporting a local farmer.
Organic farmers are allowed to use fewer resources, such as pesticides and fertilizers because these products can have negative effects on the environment. But this kind of farming also requires farmers to take greater care to avoid damaging the land.
Buying helps communities where it’s grown because it supports local farmers who are investing their time and resources back into their own communities.
It’s important to keep in mind that organic farming is extremely labor-intensive. It requires a significant investment of time and labor. While it’s certainly possible to produce some foods without hiring help and without paying extra for expensive equipment, it’s going to cost more money than buying conventional produce.
How to make the switch?
You need to be more mindful of what you buy.
Read more about organic food production.
There’s so much to learn about how organic agriculture works and why it is better than conventional farms.
Read your food labels.
Almost everything you need to know starts with the food labels. There you will learn about the ingredients and more. Read food labels carefully when visiting your local grocery store to make sure you know the ingredients in your food. Find the label if it is certified organic or has an organic label.
Join community-supported agriculture.
Most of the time, these communities promote organic production.
The ultimate switch happens when you just do it. Eat produce from organic farms and you’ll start a healthy habit that will benefit you in the long run.
Eating organic is a healthy choice for your family. When you eat organic, you take an essential step toward a healthier food system and a more sustainable food system.
While you may have to spend a little more money on organically grown foods, you’ll also be reducing your family’s exposure to harmful pesticides, as well as supporting a local farmer who is investing their time and resources back into the community.
Remember, the health benefits of switching to organic foods outweigh the costs and affect environmental health overall —it’s worth it!