15 Reasons to Embrace Organic Food
(Images courtesy Noriberto, chef at Hope4Cancer Treatment Centers. These are images of actual dishes served to patients at Hope4Cancer during their stay. More images at the bottom).
When you hear the term “organic”, what is the first thing that comes into your mind? Lets face it, the first thought that most of us think is, “body loves it, wallet doesn’t”. But, when you think of food as investment in your body and long term health, the benefits from organic food start getting, well … easier to digest.
Let’s take a closer look, here are 15 reasons why we should start to think about embracing the world of organic cuisine:
1. Organic Food is Higher in Nutrients Than Mass Produced Foods
According to the research from various independent organizations, organic produce is richer in vitamin C, antioxidants, and the minerals calcium, iron, chromium, and magnesium.
Ever heard of mustard gas? During World War 1, a commonly used group of chemicals called organophosphates were developed as toxic nerve agents – the beginnings of the world of chemical weapons. After the was was over, the agricultural industry rapidly adapted these products to kill pests on foods by disrupting the function of their central nervous systems.
Organophosphates are among the most popular types of pesticides and herbicides used in the industry today. Industry claims that the left over pesticide residue is too small to make a difference. However, proponents of organic foods would rather not take that chance.
3. Help Support Child Physical and Mental Development
Choosing organic lifestyle for your children helps feed their bodies without being exposed to pesticides, hormones and genetically-modified organisms. Children’s bodies grow at a rapid, accelerated rate and through hormone-controlled growth spurts. Many studies express concern that today’s foods are disrupting this process of normal growth. In a future article, we will discuss the effect of hormones from mass produced milk that are causing developmental issues in children.
4. Organic is Real Food, Not An Engineered Pesticide Factory
Among genetically-modified seeds (GMOs), 18% are engineered to produce their own pesticides. According to the research, it shows that these seeds may continue producing pesticides inside your body once you have eaten the food grown from them. Think about that.
5. Buying Organic Helps Reduce Pollution in Our Drinking Water.
Organic Farming is one of the best way to solve the problem of drinking water pollution from toxic run offs from agricultural lands. The US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) estimates that pesticides pollute the primary drinking source for about half of the population in the United States.
Organic food production has been the chosen way of growing foods, proven over the course of thousands of years, and is the sustainable choice for the future.
7. Ensuring the Independent Family Farmers Can Create a Livelihood.
Mass grown produce always translates to massive control by big pharmaceutical and agricultural companies. The effort here is not to create a sustained livelihood for the farming community, but to produce large harvests with minimal human involvement. Organic farming, by its very nature, requires more intensive involvement of people, and can thus support this very important sector of our economy.
8. Organic Food Simply Tastes Better Compared to the Pesticide-Grown Products.
Not much to say here – give it a try if you haven’t, you will know what we mean.
9. Organic Food Is Not Exposed to Gas-Ripening
In order to rapidly ripen fruits, the agricultural industry uses a gas called ethylene. Ethylene is a natural plant hormone that triggers the formation of auxins, hormones responsible for plant growth and development. Fruits exposed to ethylene can be controlled to ripen at specific times and faster – great news for the industry, but not necessarily the consumer. Any plant that does not go through a natural process of growth does not develop the right balance of nutrients.
10. Organic Farms are Safer for Farm Workers
Harvard School of Public Health, found a 70% increase in Parkinson’s disease among people exposed to pesticides – something that farm hands are regularly exposed to every day. By simply choosing organic food, people will be able to work on farms without acquiring the potential risk of Parkinson’s or other neurodegenerative illnesses.
11. Organic Foods Supports the Ecosystem
Exposure to pesticides is harmful to wildlife and disruptive to the balance of nature. We share our world with myriads of plants, animals and other organisms that we depend on in many ways that are not always obvious to us. Protecting the ecosystem should be a personal responsibility for each individual.
12. May Reduce Cancer and Other Chronic Disease Risk
Organic foods are often promoted as an alternative to foods grown with conventional methods that use chemical pesticides and herbicides. Many of these chemicals are considered by the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) as potentially cancer-causing. In addition to that, foods with improper nutritional balance, cause deficiencies in the body that result in creating thriving environments for cancer and other chronic diseases.
13. Organic Meat Lessens Your Exposure to Antibiotics, Synthetic hormones and Drugs.
This point is especially important for non-vegetarians. The piece of meat on your plate is not just protein and fat – there are other additives, that if you are not careful, may accumulate over time to create significant health challenges.
14. Organic Food is Tried, Tested and Proven!
Genetic modification of foods is like an on-going experiment. The test subjects? All of us, of course. This is a series of experiments that are not designed to lead to victory. What are the goals of genetically modified crops? Higher yields, less damage by pests, better “look” and uniformity leading to higher marketability, intellectual property protection for ongoing profits, etc. As long as the foods meet the arbitrary criteria set by government bodies as far as levels of various toxicants, hormones and other additives are concerned, the food is considered safe.
You have a choice to make – would you rather be a part of this large scale experiment, or realize that nature is perfect just the way it is, and accept the food it gives us, as we would accept food from a parent who is trying to nurture us?
15. Supports Greater Biodiversity
Biodiversity – the existence of many different kinds of plants and animals in an environment.Genetically-modified and non-organic food is destroying biodiversity that is fundamental to life in this planet.
Hope4Cancer Treatment Centers’s Stand on Organic Food
At Hope4Cancer, organic, mainly vegetarian foods, are a key element to our cancer patient’s treatment programs. Our patients enjoy organic, vegetarian cuisine throughout the duration of their stay. Our nutrition training modules recommend that patients switch to organic foods in their homes, if they haven’t already.
Organic food doesn’t have to be a nightmare as many processed food lovers think. Our chef, Norberto, is a magician with organic, vegetarian food, making every dish he serves as a work of art. Check out some of his creations by clicking here.