Health Benefits Of Organic Foods

The organic food vs. non-organic food great debate still wages. Both sides pose facts and statistics so getting to the core of this important issue is not as easy as one would think. The public must understand that organic and non-organic distributors and growers are heavily invested in their positions so we can reasonably expect some territorial prejudice.

Objective Benefits

It is no secret that organic foods are more expensive than non-organic food. Part of the expense is caused by rising demand but the biggest factor is the increase cost of labor and the growing process. If you buy organic, you pay more than you would for non-organic food. If you get past that hurdle, you will find positive health benefits at the end of the rainbow.

Antioxidants - The University of California, Davis, studied organic foods over a 10-year period. Organic tomatoes yield superior amounts of antioxidants including 79 percent more quercetin and 97 percent more kaempferol than non-organic tomatoes. Antioxidants provide significant health advantages, including reducing heart disease and reducing the probability of cancer. If you want foods that have more antioxidants, organic foods will serve you well. When levels of nutritionally beneficial antioxidants are increased and the body’s exposure to toxic chemicals and heavy metals is decreased the body is stronger and less susceptible to disease. Advocates for organic foods believe this may be the biggest advantage of these foods.

Pesticides - Many organic food advocates are influenced by the environmental benefits of organics. If the environment is important to you, organic foods are much safer. Organic foods do not use any pesticides. Non-organic foods are protected from bugs and pests by these environmentally unfriendly chemicals. Consider the finding that almost 80 percent of the unnatural mineral compounds in our bodies are attributed to pesticide covered food that we digest and you will build a case for organic foods.

Immune System – Many non-organic growers are focused on genetic modification to help reduce world hunger. A tomato six times the size of an organic tomato can feed more people. However, in animal tests, genetically modified foods increased sexual dysfunction, increased the risk of cancer, caused higher rates of birth mortality and was a major factor in reduced immune system strength. With human health, the jury is out on long-term effects of genetically modified foods.

CLA For Heart Health – Conjugated Linoleic Acid (CLA) is a “heart-healthy fatty acid” that is recognized by cardiologists as an excellent line of defense against cardiovascular disease. Because organic foods enjoy more grazing time, their CLA levels are significantly higher than levels in non-organic grazers. This has led to significant demand for cage-free and range-free meats.

Animal Activists – Organic food enthusiasts praise farmers for their animal welfare practices. Animal rights activist oppose the caged life to which non-organic farmers subject their animals.

Freshness – Because organic foods are raised, sold and consumed locally, advocates staunchly believe they taste better and are fresher than non-organic foods which can cross thousands of miles to reach the dinner table. Freshness and taste are common benefits cited by organic farmers and their followers.

Despite steady data submitted by non-organic farmers and distributors, sales of organic goods have increased by 30 percent over the last five years. Prices are higher than non-organics, but the public believes the health benefits are significant enough to merit adding these healthy foods to the household diet.