Organic Food - Worth The Money?
There's a lot of debate about organic foods Vs non-organic, with many studies proving no health benefit from eating organically. A new study(1) has found that organic eating does matter, for the following reasons;
Organic food contains higher antioxidants.
These compounds 'donate' electrons to unstable elements in the body (pro-oxidants), reducing cellular damage. This helps reduce the risk of inflammation, subfertility(2,3), cardiac disease, neuroligical disease, cancer and premature ageing. Studies show that antioxidants (polyphenols) are 19% - 69% higher in organic foods than non-organic foods.
Organic food contains lower levels of Cadmium
Cadmium is a metal compound found in higher levels in soils fertilised with super-phosphate fertilisers. Cadmium easily deposits in liver and kidney tissue, causing damage to these organs, and also increases the risk of breast cancer and prostate cancer.
Organic food contains lower levels of pesticides
Pesticide residue is up to 4 times higher in non-organic foods. The risk of pesticide poisoning is well proven, with effects on neurological development, increased cancer risk and increased food allergies.
What about the cost?
While organic foods are usually more expensive, it makes sense to avoid as many toxic chemicals as possible, while eating more antioxidants to promote health and longevity. The high cost of buying organically can be minimised by setting up your own garden, and using netting and garden enclosures as well as companion planting to keep the pests away. If your plants do suffer some insect attack, remember that the plant responds by producing more defense chemicals and it just so happens that these are ...antioxidants!
At my home, we've made a large organic garden. There's a fair amount of effort involved, but the benefits of getting away from technology and other demands are great, with some studies showing gardening may improve body mass index (weight)(4), psychological/emotional health and even family relationships.(5)
At the end of the day, eating non-organic food raises the risk of disease and earlier death, and it's hard to put a price on that! Enjoy your garden, or at least, your organic foods!
Here's the articles I've referenced