Farming got a boost in productivity with the discoveries of synthetic pesticides and chemical fertilizers but we now know that more food does not mean more nutrition. These substances have toxic results on our health. The nutritional differences between conventional and organic foods are debated, although most people see the health benefits of foods without chemicals.
A 2012 study, which some believe is flawed, found no significant difference in nutritional value between conventional and organic foods. But a new analysis from the United Kingdom analyzed over 300 studies and concluded that organic crops are higher in antioxidants.
They also have lower levels of toxic metals and pesticide residues. Most significantly, organic crops are said to have an average of 48% less cadmium, a metal that can cause kidney failure, bone softening, and liver damage.
Organic farmers are not allowed to plant genetically engineered seeds or use synthetic pesticides, artificial fertilizers, hormones or antibiotics. Not only does this result in healthier food, organic fruits and vegetables have higher levels of favor-enhancing nutrients, so they taste better.
Organic farming also benefits the livestock, farmers, and environment. Organic farmers provide more humane conditions for the animals and leave soil and water supplies less contaminated. Additionally, farm workers avoid contact with the toxins used on conventional farms.
Organic foods can be expensive in some areas, but perhaps not in the long run. If we are healthier, we can live better and longer with fewer medical bills. Sometimes advances in science bring us back to the beginning where less is best.
©2014, Mary K. Doyle