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Healthy Eating Choices

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In order to stay healthy, we not only have to stay physically fit, emotionally satisfied, but we also need to make healthy eating choices. Eating organic is a great way to stay healthy. We should eat organic and support organic products. In order to make organic eating choices, we must first understand what organic food is.

A recent study shows that 56% of Americans do not know what “organically grown” means. Organic farming is when there are no synthetic fertilizers or pesticides used to grow plants, or animals are raised without the use of growth hormones, antibiotics or food containing animal parts. Organic farming methods are internationally regulated and legally enforced by many nations. This could be simplified as: vegetable and livestock production using natural sources of nutrients, natural sources of weed control and crop methods.

Eating organic benefits our health. To begin with, organic products do not contain chemical pesticide residues. Pesticides residue can increase the toxicity up to 100% and will affect the productive, immune, and nervous systems; increasing the risks of cancer. Companies claim that these chemical will not harm us because no tests have been done on the impact of pesticides in small amounts on humans. If pesticides, by their very nature, are intended to kill living organisms, does it make any sense to think that they will not impact us? Secondly, organic meat and dairy products do not contain growth hormones or antibiotics. This results in healthier livestock, therefore, healthier meat. Organic meat is also less likely to cause mad cow disease in beef. In addition, organic foods have a higher level of nutrients including vitamin C and antioxidants. They not only taste better, but also give you more energy.

Organic farming benefits the environment because these plants are grown using sustainable practise and causes less pollution. First of all, Organic farming improves soil quality and maintains biodiversity. These farmers rotate crops each year (ex. growing corn for one year and soy beans for the next), to restore nutrients in the soil. Because there are less pesticides and chemicals used, there is less soil erosion; therefore, the nutrient value is higher. Equally important, conventional (non-organic) farming causes disease, water contamination, dead zones in oceans, degraded soil, resistant pests, and expensive clean ups. Not to mention organic farming is part of the planetary ecosystem. Meaning it is more natural and sustainable.

The main reason for many people to choose conventional over organic is because of the high price put on organic products. As a matter of fact though, analysts say that the demand for organics will set the wheels in motion that will drive prices down. People do not believe that their choice of buying organic will make a difference, but the truth is, it will. Every time we buy something, it is like voting for what we want to see on the shelves in the grocery stores. Also, studies show that organic farming is just as profitable as conventional farming. Organic farming produce slightly less than conventional farming, but not an endangered amount, they use less energy and leave the soil and water healthier. In the light of that, by 2002, about three-quarters of the conventional grocery stores carry natural and/or organic food (natural?organic), and the number is growing as we speak.

With all this in mind, did you know that conventional apples are the fruit with the second highest amount of pesticide residue? The old “one apple a day will get you away from the doctor’s” does not really apply anymore. The fruit with the highest amount of pesticide residue is peach.

Conclusively, organic farming is an ecological system of agricultural management. In every way, we should support organic production. It not only benefits our health but it also makes our environment healthier. Eating organic is bringing more meaning to your dinner table. Knowing that by buying organic foods, you are voting organic over conventional and that that will bring down organic production’s price where more people will be able to start an organic diet.



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