Eating Organic Food Keeps You Healthy
Without a shadow of doubt organically produced crops are richer in nutrients than their commercially grown counterparts. The organic farmer uses traditional methods of crop rotation, green manure planting, composting and organic fertilising to keep the soil in good heart and to replace nutrients taken up by previous crops. Intensive commercial cultivation relies on artificial fertilisers, which replace only the nutrients essential to grow the plants, with scant regard to their nutritional quality.
Intensive livestock producers have to use feed supplemented with minerals and vitamins to replace those missing from their own feed crops, and in human terms non-organic produce has a much higher water content and contains less of these essential vitamins and minerals.
Studies consistently show higher contents of vitamins A and C in organic fruits and vegetables and whether it’s eating organic or avoiding the chemicals isn’t certain, but a European study of organic farmers found their sperm count was double the average.
Now new research led by Prof Carlo Liefert at Newcastle University has shown that Organic food has more of the antioxidant compounds linked to better health than regular food, and lower levels of toxic metals and pesticides, according to the most comprehensive scientific analysis to date.
Even these eminent scientists say that going organic could be as beneficial as adding another couple of portions of fruit and veg to you five a day. They found substantial increases - between 19% and 69% in the antioxidant content of organic food and say this is the first study to demonstrate clear and wide-ranging differences between organic and conventional fruits, vegetables and cereals.
We have long known that these plant chemicals have a protective effect against many chronic illnesses including heart and neurological diseases and some types of cancer. As if this were not enough, the study also discovered pesticide and toxic residues, especially the heavy metal cadmium in non-organic crops.
I know that some, but not all, organic food is more costly so most of us have to make choices. If you are pregnant, breast feeding or have young children I think that organic dairy products, eggs and poultry are most important. For the rest of us the more organically we eat the healthier the diet. BUT do not become obsessive as any fruit and vegetables are far better than none. I have seen “chemophobes” who are so scared of the chemicals that they avoid fresh produce for them and their children if they can’t find or afford organic food.
Some of my books...
- Superfoods, Superjuices, Superhealth
- Eat Well Live Longer
- Superfood Pocketbook
(100 Top Foods for Health)
- The Omega 3 Cookbook
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