Why Organic?

What is Organics:

Organic products are produced with minimal or null impact to the natural life-cycle systems on the planet. To achieve this, organic products are strictly regulated to follow the same principles and practices within the European Union. Such principles and practices are:

  • No use of chemical synthetic pesticides, persistent chemicals and fertilizers:
    Not only pesticides, synthetic chemicals and fertilizers historically applied in agricultural, they are also hazardous for the ecosystem, but many scientific research studies have shown that they are harmful for our health. Of high concern is the prenatal and early life exposure to certain widely used pesticides which are found to be important risk factors of autism and Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), leukemia, thyroid malfunction in adulthood and lower IQ levels. To overcome the use of synthetic pesticides, organic farming replaces, whenever is feasible, existing plant and animal species with disease resistant ones and uses only organic pesticides and other eco-friendly practices. In addition, for fertilization, crop rotation strategies are followed, that minimizes the occurrence of crop diseases but also allows natural fertilization of the land. Livestock manure from organic farms is usually used as a fertilizer as well.
  • No use of livestock antibiotics and growth hormones:
    Lack of control and overuse of antibiotics in animals has led to a generation of resistant microbes with huge negative impacts on the ecosystem’s harmony. In addition, administration of growth hormones in livestock aiming to maximize the monetary benefits of the farmers, boiled down to products containing growth hormones such as recombinant bovine growth hormone (rBGH). This hormone is used to increase milk production in dairy cows and is linked to several health complications for both animals, but also consumers of dairy products containing rBGH. In contrast, in organic feed internally produced in the same farm or other organic farms is used as well as free range systems which promote both the animal welfare and natural growth.
  • No use of Genetically Modified Organisms (GMO’s):
    Despite the fact that there is no evidence on humans showing that GMO’s  put our health in jeopardy, there is enough evidence for how dangerous GMO’s could be for the ecosystem and the surrounding living organisms. Huge numbers of sheep, goats and buffaloes in India died after grazing on genetically modified cotton plants. Studies on mice and rats showed increased health defects, such as offspring deaths, small for gestational age size, liver and kidney damages, infertility etc.
  • No use of sewage sludge:
    Sewage sludge is the remaining material of the human waste after bacterial treatment. Sludge is then used as a fertilizer in agriculture since it contains high amounts of beneficial nutrient for land. Unfortunately though, sewage sludge not only contains nutrients, but it also contains toxicants such as polynuclear aromatic hydrocarbons (PAH’s), polychlorinated biphenyls (PCB’s), pesticides, dioxins, heavy metals (lead, arsenic, mercury), other industrial solvents and sometimes viruses, bacteria and fungi. Plants can then up take most of them during cultivation processes and finally end up in consumers’ plates with all their known health risks.

What the Benefits are:

Choosing organic products is definitely a multiple-win situation. The first win, goes to you and your family’s health. For example, pesticides, a major public health concern since they are found to be associated with several chronic diseases, such as cancer, Alzheimer’s disease, autism and asthma, are not used in organic farming.

In addition, you help the environment to recover from the massive historical use of persistent, toxic pesticides and other synthetic chemicals widely applied in agriculture sector. Soil contamination and water pollution are of major concern nowadays, concerns that can be addressed only if we promote a chemical-free agricultural environment. Biodiversity will follow environmental recovery allowing all living micro-environments to come back to harmony and all together to create a unique living ecosystem.

The ecosystem’s harmony (such as personal harmony’s reflected on our face) is reflected in the quality of products providing authentic colors, tastes and nutrition values. Scientific studies have shown that organic products (see from articles) have higher nutritional value than those grown conventionally and significantly lower pesticide residues. For instance, although, not yet scientifically proven, organic products taste better mostly because of the farming techniques used which do not force plants/animals to prematurely grow.

Is it worth the cost?

It is widely known that organic products usually cost more than conventional ones. There must be an explanation about that, and, in fact there are multiple. Organic farming demands more labor and follows more expensive practices increasing the cost of production as compared to conventional farming. Organic farmers follow very strict regulations through the whole process of production which increases the cost of production. In addition, the lack of use of chemical preservatives such as waxes for fruits and nitrates for processed meat products, make organic products spoil faster if not consumed fresh. In opposition to conventional products, organic products include also the indirect cost of air, water and landfill pollution and their clean-up methods, environmental protection activities and health care cost attributed mostly to the treatment of health complications from the use of hazardous compounds in conventional farming practices.
So far, there is no study to show in absolute numbers a comparison of the cost between the two practices but from our experience as environmental and public health scientists, the monetary cost of environmental pollution and health care is much higher than the higher cost of buying organic products.

The choice is yours!

 

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