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delicious bowl with organic food including asparagus, potato salad with tempeh and salad with strawberries

What Are the Pros and Cons of Organic Food?

  blog post author icon   blog post published date icon   09/05/22

Nutrition  

When you go shopping, you see the organic label on food, but do you really know what the best organic food is and if it is the correct option for you?

There are many great benefits to eating organic, as well as some problems. Keep reading to learn the advantages and disadvantages of organic food.

Organic produce is grown without the use of synthetic fertilizers and pesticides.

Animals used for dairy, meat, or eggs cannot be given antibiotics or growth hormones. They must live in conditions that allow for their natural behavior, such as grazing, in order to be called organic. The United States Department of Agriculture has federal guidelines that organic producers must follow.

Better for the Environment

Conventional farming relies on a variety of chemicals to eliminate pests and weeds and give the plants nutrition. These chemicals can destroy the health of the soil. Over time, this can result in soil that can no longer be used for farming.

If large amounts of farmland can no longer be used due to damaged soil, worldwide food shortages could happen.

The same chemicals that damage soil can seep into groundwater. Water is a precious resource, and preventing chemicals from entering the groundwater is beneficial to everyone.

Fewer Chemicals

Many people believe that organic farming does not use any fertilizers or pesticides. Organic farmers use a limited amount of approved substances on their plants and rely heavily on natural fertilizers and pesticides. 

The end result of these practices is that the food your receive has fewer chemicals on it than conventionally grown food. You do not have to worry that any of the substances used in organic farming will be harmful to your health.

Better Livestock Conditions

Organic livestock must live in conditions that allow for their natural behavior. In general, these conditions provide a better quality of life than animals who live on factory farms and do not have space to move or go outdoors. 

Animals in factory farms live in crowded conditions and rely on medicine to keep them healthy.

Organic livestock cannot be fed food with hormones or genetically modified organisms. They cannot be given antibiotics or other disease-prevention medicines.

There is concern that the antibiotics in factory-farmed meat can lead to antibiotic resistance in humans. It is recommended to avoid all unnecessary antibiotic use.

Organic farming practices result in higher quality meats that are richer in certain nutrients. Organic livestock is fed natural diets and can move, which builds more muscle mass.

The Best Organic Food Has Great Flavor

Many people say the best organic food has better flavor than conventional food. Juicing is a great way to take advantage of these flavors. It is impossible to prove that one food tastes better than another, but organic food does not use preservatives, so it arrives to the consumer fresher. 

Often times organic food is grown close to where it is sold, so it goes from farm to consumer faster than produce from large, conventional farms.

Good for Your Health

Organic food cannot be sprayed with chemical fertilizers and pesticides, which means that you do not ingest these chemicals.

Organic farms do not use genetically modified organisms. Scientists still do not know the effects consuming genetically modified organisms has on our health.

Organic meat does not contain large doses of antibiotics or growth hormones that can have negative effects on our health. These substances can especially be detrimental to children who consume them. 

Organic food is an overall healthier choice because it does not have harmful chemicals.

Positive Choice

Many people feel that choosing organic food is the best choice for their health and the environment, and it supports more ethical livestock treatment.

Although there are many advantages to organic food, there are also several disadvantages.

Organic Costs More

There is no way around it; organic food costs more to produce for farmers than conventional food.

Farmers spend a lot of money to certify their food as organic, and many small farms cannot afford to do this. Organic farms rely on humans to do more weeding and pest control.

The result is that consumers pay a higher price for organic food.

If you are on a budget, you can prioritize buying organic foods that have the highest pesticide levels.

Short Shelf Life

Organic food is not treated with preservatives, so it spoils faster than conventional food.

Farmers need to ensure that food is transported quickly. Stores must sell organic food before it spoils and they have to throw it away. This short self can result in more food waste.

Hard to Find 

Many people want to buy organic food but have a hard time finding their favorite foods.

Although organic food is gaining in popularity, there are still fewer options available than conventional food. Since organic food spoils faster, it is often not sent to stores far away, limiting consumers to organic food that is grown locally.

Try shopping at local farmer's markets and pay attention to what foods are in season to find local organic options.

Misunderstandings About Organic Food

Many people feel overwhelmed and confused about organic food. Food producers take advantage of this and may try to use labels to mislead consumers about whether their product is organic. 

There is still a lot of unknown information about the health benefits of organic food vs. conventional food.

Production Limitations

Organic farming yields less food than conventional farming.

With a growing world population, lower food production can lead to food shortages. Poor people will suffer the most from food shortages because they will not be able to afford the higher prices.

The Right Choice for You

Organic food is more popular than ever. People want to know what substances are used to grow the food they consume.

Organic food is not perfect, but you can see that there are many potential health and environmental advantages to choosing the best organic food. Now that you know more about organic food, get inspired to feed your body with recipes with natural whole foods.


headshot of Jay Todtenbier 2018
Author

Jay Todtenbier is an original founder of SupplementRelief.com in 2010 and has operated the business ever since. He is also a tennis instructor and gospel musician. Formerly he spent 25 years in business development, technology and marketing with startups and major corporations having gone through the tech boom in Silicon Valley in the 90s. He became passionate about, and began studying and practicing Wellness as a Lifestyle after experiencing chronic, personal health challenges including depression, auto-immune disorders, and being overweight that impacted his ability to live a healthy, vibrant life. Since then, he has been an advocate for healthier living encouraging others to live better through making small, gradual changes to lifestyle behaviors relating to whole-foods nutrition, stress management, reasonable exercise, proper sleep, and the use of targeted, high-quality supplements.

Learn more about Jay Todtenbier.

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