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Why Organic? – Plant and Food Medicine

Why Organic?

The argument rages. Some studies appear to indicate that there’s little difference between the nutritional value of organic and non-organic food. And we all know that organic food is more expensive. But more studies are pointing to the dangers present in foods farmed under modern conditions.

While we’re told that chemicals in synthetic pesticides and artificial fertiliser are deemed ‘safe’ in the quantities used, herbicides such as Roundup have been classified as a “possible human carcinogen”. Pesticide residues have been associated with developmental delays in infancy; they may contribute to ADHD prevalence and reduced sperm quality in men. Organic farming’s different fertilisation techniques mean organic food is about half as likely to test positive for cadmium, a toxic heavy metal that accumulates in the liver and kidneys. Conventionally raised livestock are often injected with antibiotics and synthetic growth hormones.

Organic foods grow more slowly to maturity without the heavy dose of artificial fertilisers used in conventional farming. This, along with the fact that organically grown plants have to develop their own immune systems to combat pests, means that they have maximum nutrients to offer us when we consume them. One example of this is a six-year study reported in the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry, where researchers found that organic onions had approximately 20% higher antioxidant content than conventionally grown onions.

But while the science is strenuously argued from both sides, we think there’s another winning argument: taste! Organic food definitely wins in the ‘taste stakes’. It also helps to satiate you more quickly, so you don’t actually need to eat as much. This helps to keep your weight under control.

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