Organic foods avoid the use of pesticides, GMO’s and man-made fertilizer for a healthier product and healthier environment. Farms are getting polluted everyday with the use of fertilizer, which in turn pollutes the water system. Organic foods are a step up throughout our society as it benefits the livestock and our environment, but organic foods might not be as healthy as some believe. In 2009 the FSA (Food Standards Agency) published a report on the benefits of organic and conventional produce. The report concluded that organic foods did not provide any significant health benefits than non-organic foods, but it did have more vitamins, minerals, and omega 3’s. In consideration, Organic is a better option because of vitamins, our improved livestock and our agriculture.
To begin with, organic foods can provide healthy vitamins and nutrients that you might not find in non-organic foods. Researchers from Stanford University did a decade long study where they concluded that the antioxidant compounds found in organic foods such as flavonoids, and carotenoids can be linked to protecting cells from the effects of aging and damage that can lead to cancer (Citation). Although these studies are being done, there is still not a clear production system in place. Some organic foods will receive less fertilizer, and some won’t. The difference is not that big when it comes to non-organic food, although the more fertilizer used can make foods like produce grow larger but in turn dilute the nutrients. Even with all the studies it is hard to differentiate the nutritional quality, especially when you think about what Americans should eat, and what they are consuming.
Organic production is also one of many options available for livestock producers. There is a little bit more of a clear system in place when it comes to Organic livestock. For example, any livestock labeled organic must originate from an animal that has already been managed under organic operations. A livestock producer must maintain living conditions that accommodate the natural behavior and health of the animal. In turn, these animals can live out a happier life. Organic livestock producers also must maintain and manage manure, so it does not contribute to the contamination of crops, soil, or water. Records of these practices are kept for five years and must maintain compliance with the organic food protection act (citation).
Lastly, there are many benefits to the agriculture of Organic farming. Agricultural interventions aim to produce quality products without the contamination of soil or other pesticides. Soil building practices have become essential to organic producing. The length of time that the soil is exposed to erosive forces is decreased, soil biodiversity is increased, and nutrient losses are reduced, helping to maintain and enhance soil productivity(citation). Water is also affected by the use of pesticides that enter the ground water systems. Conversion to organic practices can result in less pollution overall in the ecosystem.
In conclusion, some can argue that it really does not matter if their food is organic or not. With a little more research, we all can be more educated and in turn provide ourselves more nutrients that our bodies may be missing. We can also look at the practices of where our livestock comes from to see if we are getting the best product that we need to give our bodies the best nutrient source possible. and also knowing that the records of these organic livestock practices are kept to see the facts. Our agriculture is also suffering more than ever, and it is best we use better judgement, so we can continue to live with healthy soil in the ground and cleaner water to drink. Organic food does seem like the clearer option, but it all depends on who you are asking and how passionate you are with protecting your body, our livestock, and our agriculture.
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