Why organic? The organic food movement has witnessed a huge change in the past few years. It started out as a sort of “hippie” thing, and then increased in popularity thanks to the entrance of grocers such as Whole Foods and Sprouts. It seems like organic has become pretty mainstream, with most stores around the US carrying various organic produce, meats and packaged goods.
So what’s the deal with organic foods? Is the burst of popularity just a trend that will lose momentum as soon as the next “it” product comes around? Is it worth spending the extra money? Although research has a way to go before it truly proves the superiority of the organic movement, preliminary research shows many proven and promising benefits of consuming as much organic food as possible.
Let’s start by defining what “organic” actually means. The USDA defines organic foods as those prepared and processed without the use of chemicals in the form of fertilizers, pesticides or preservatives. Easy enough. And while there are different levels of organic (contains 100% vs less than 70% organic ingredients, and most everything in between), scientists have shown that consuming any level of organic food is better than none at all. Here’s why:
1. Organically-produced foodstuffs contain fewer pesticides and heavy metals
As you can imagine, the consumption of heavy metals and pesticides can be detrimental to our health. Many of these chemicals are proven carcinogens and have been linked to developmental issues, incidences of ADHD and autism in children. Organic produce is 48% less likely to test positive for Cadmium, a heavy metal that accumulates in our kidneys and livers.
2. Organically-grown produce potentially contains more antioxidants
And who doesn’t want more of those! Organic produce contains maybe even 20% more antioxidants than their inorganic counterparts. Antioxidants are critical for our health and help our bodies function properly. Read more about what antioxidants actually do here.
3. Organic production methods are better for the environment
All the pesticides and chemicals used in inorganic production yield high levels of soil, air and water pollution. Because organic farming methods don’t utilize these chemicals, there is minimal pollution involved.
4. Organic products taste better?
Okay this one is pretty subjective. But organic food is often sold locally (such as at farmers markets), which means it’s usually perfectly ripe and fresh. Tough to tell whether or not it’s the organic nature of the product or the better taste is a result of the quality of the produce.
Organic makes a pretty compelling argument, but what are the drawbacks? For one, organic products are often more expensive, especially if you don’t have access to a local farmers market or if you live in a more rural area. If you want to eat more organic, but can’t afford to purchase all of your food from the organic section, here is a list of the “dirty dozen,” or products that are most important to be mindful of.
Often we’ve heard people confusing “organic” with “healthier.” While there are many proven benefits of consuming organic foods, we have to note that organic cookies are still just as bad for you as inorganic cookies. But don’t let that stop you.
Want to try organic black garlic? We’ve got you covered! Check out the organic section of our store to get your favorite organic products today.