Let’s be real, if you live in any major city it’s hard to eat organic food all the time. If you are eating out (unless you’re lucky enough to find an organic cafe or restaurant) it’s going to be difficult. And with the price sometimes double that of standard ingredients buying organic foods at the supermarket can be off putting.
For me, it seems like this issue has everything to do with cost, right? Because otherwise it would be a non issue! Given the choice between consuming foods with artificial additives, antibiotics and hormones, or foods without, I don’t think anyone would choose the former.
So what makes organic food 'organic'? Organic or biodynamic foods are grown without the use of synthetic pesticides, fertilisers, herbicides or livestock feed additives such as antibiotics, steroids and other growth formulas.
The two main reasons why I choose organic:
- Organic food tastes better - If you have ever tried something organic and thought: “Wow! That tastes better”, it’s because organic foods are grown for longer than conventional foods so their water weight is generally lower. I’m sure you’ve heard people complain about how their conventional tomato tastes “watered down." An organic tomato, on the other hand, will taste like a tomato. The other reason is organic foods have higher levels of antioxidants. Higher levels of antioxidants trigger flavonoids – the things that trigger your taste buds – thus you’ll experience a heightened reception of flavour.
- Mineral and antioxidant levels are higher in organic foods - Although this has been a controversial issue, it is now widely conceded that organic foods have a much higher nutritional content. In 2007 a study out of Newcastle University in Australia reported that organic produce boasted up to 40 percent higher levels of some nutrients (including vitamin C, zinc and iron, which has been linked to the prevention of cardiovascular disease, cancer and osteoporosis) than its conventional counterparts. The easiest way I have found to think about this is that organic fruit and vegetables are grown for longer than conventional foods so their water weight is generally lower and their mineral content is higher.
So what to do?
While organic food is most likely to be more expensive than non organic, the more you start to delve into the subject of organic food and the more you become aware of it, you’ll soon realise that you could be saving yourself money in the long run through poor health.
There is one nutritional certainty, though. If you want to get the most from the fruit and vegetables you buy, eat them while they’re fresh. And this is where organic food shines. Because organic foods are not grown or processed using preservatives, they have a shorter shelf life. This means that you can be sure the organic fruit and veg you buy from your local supermarket was picked not too long ago.
With no preservatives added, organic foods have to get to the shelves quickly, be sold quickly, and consumed very soon afterwards. And in that respect, if you are eating organic, it’s most likely been put into your hands at a point where its nutritional value is at its peak.
I grow the majority of my fruit, vegetables and also herbs. I learned how to manage my organic veggie patch from Vegetable Gardening for DUMMIES. I found it a very helpful and easy guide to follow!
Do you eat organic? Comment here and share your thoughts.
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