Before we can look at the possible benefits of eating organic food
let us first see what does organic food mean?
- Chemical fertilisers are prohibited
- Nearly all pesticides are prohibited and residues are rarely found. By contrast, a higher incidence of pesticide residues occurs in non-organic foods. There is growing concern about the ‘cocktail effect’ of multiple residues, that means that one residue is safe by itself but when combining with many other residues it may have different effects.
- Routine use of drugs and antibiotics is banned. There is growing concern over the risk to health from antibiotic resistance.
- Genetically modified organisms (GMOs) are prohibited. There is currently insufficient evidence regarding their safety for humans, although negative health effects have been observed in animal trials.
Since the 1950s over 3500 man-made chemicals have made their way into manufactured everyday foods, along with pesticides, antibiotics and hormone residues.
Organic foods are higher quality
Research completed by an international team of experts into organic compared to conventionally produced foods; concluded that organic crops were of a much higher nutritional quality than their non-organic counterparts (https://www.ncl.ac.uk/press/articles/archive/2015/10/organicvsnon-organicfood/
With regard to antioxidants (including Vitamin C), for example, many studies show that there are health benefits to eating a diet rich in antioxidants, with an increased intake linked with protection against chronic diseases, including cancers. Switching to organic foods maybe equivalent to eating one or two additional portions of fruit and veg per day according to this recent research (https://www.ncl.ac.uk/press/articles/archive/2015/10/organicvsnon-organicfood/.
Getting organic food from a local or Irish supplier also means that the food is super fresh, next best thing to picking it yourself. This means that they taste better. Of course some key nutrients like Vitamin C are very fragile, and are easily destroyed by light, heat etc. Vitamin C was found to be higher, on average, in organically grown crops.
Is this more relevant for some of us?
I would argue it’s relevant for all of us but more so for small children, especially babies as their brains are still developing and they consume more food, pound for pound, than adults do. This is also the case if you are suffering from a health condition which is linked to, or aggravated by chemical intake.