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15 Advantages of Organic Food (and a few disadvantages too)

The Advantages of Organic Food (and how to rebuttal the disadvantages), via SustainableBabySteps.com

There are so many advantages of organic food, some obvious and some not-to-so-obvious. Some organic food benefits are solely about you, some about others, and some about the environment.

IMPORTANT DISCLAIMER: None of the health topics presented on Sustainable Baby Steps have been evaluated or approved by the FDA. They should not replace personal judgment nor medical treatment when indicated, nor are they intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease. Always talk to your naturopathic physician about the use of these or any other complimentary modalities. Reading this website denotes your understanding and agreement to our full disclaimer.

My hope is that this aricle will dispel any doubt in your mind that organic food should always your first choice.

IMPORTANT DISCLAIMER: None of the health topics presented on Sustainable Baby Steps have been evaluated or approved by the FDA. They should not replace personal judgment nor medical treatment when indicated, nor are they intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease. Always talk to your naturopathic physician about the use of these or any other complimentary modalities. Reading this website denotes your understanding and agreement to our full disclaimer.

Organic Food and Your Health

This is probably the most obvious but there are two different aspects of your health that are impacted by your choosing organic food: what you're NOT getting and what you ARE.

The biggest advantages of organic food include:

  • Nutrient-Denser Food:
    According to a State of Science Review done in 2008, organic food has more nutritional superiority than its non-organic counterparts.1
  • Stronger, More Energetic Body:
    No pesticides, chemicals, or processed additives bogging down your system means a smaller risk of disease, illness, and disorders in yourself. Nothing leaves you feeling tired and gross like unhealthy junk food.
  • It Tastes Better:
    True, it may not taste as good if you're accustomed to the addictive qualities of junk food additives, such as processed sugar and MSG. But after just a short time of your body experiencing truly healthy food, you'll be craving it. No, really, you will. And all the crap will start having a bad after-taste.
  • Yes, It's Cheaper:
    Although some organic food and products are more expensive, you actualy WILL save money in several ways:
    1. Whole foods help to prevent major and minor diseases and illnesses, meaning lower health care costs and less likelihood of missing work. One of the hidden advantages of organic food.
    2. Your brain tells your body to eat partially based on the nutrients it receives. Now that we know eating organic means more nutrients, it means your brain won't tell your body to keep eating like it does with junk food.
    3. Buying organic food from the farmer's market is incredibly inexpensive. You also have the option of bartering with farmers for good or services.
    4. Growing your own can become free when you get your organic vegetable garden in place!
    5. Andthis might not be one of the advantages of organic FOOD, but when it comes to non-food products, organic merchandise are generally a higher quality, so you don't need to buy a new cotton shirt every year when the old one falls apart.
    6. Want some practical tips on making organic food cheaper? Read more about how to make organic food affordable here.
  • Safe from Dangerous Pesticides:
    Chemical pesticides has been linked to breast, prostrate and other cancers, non-Hodgkins lymphoma, leukemia, infertility, convulsions, immune and endocrine disorders, Parkinson's disease and depression. Just to name a few!2
  • Safe from Scary Chemicals:
    Herbicides and fertilizers have been connected with various cancers, immune disorders, infertility, cardiac disease, hypertension, and numerous other diseases.3,4
  • Safe from Other Crazy Shizz:
    Things like genetically engineered foods (frankenfoods, such a tomatoes spliced with fish genes for cold weather tolerance), food fertilized with sewer sludge, appetite enhancers given to animals and synthetic hormones are just a few more advantages of organic food.
  • Peace of Mind:
    Knowing your buying organic food can help you to enjoy what you eat for all the reasons outlined above and below.

I hear a lot of people say that eating healthy and organic doesn't really matter.

"I mean, we're all gonna die anyway, right? I might as well eat what I want!"

However, it's not totally about how long you live but the QUALITY of those years. Feeling healthy and energetic to have fun and explore life sounds much better to me than battling off cancer, obesity, or lifestyle-preventable diseases.

Read more about how an inorganic environment affects our human health here.

Organic Food Benefits Others, Too

Some of the advantages of organic food seem to have less to do with you than they do with others. But we all know that what we do to others, we do to ourselves.

A few of the benefits for others when we choose organic:

  • Supports the Local Economy:
    Purchasing organic, especially from the farmer's market, supports your local community's economy, creating jobs and keeping farmers thriving.
  • Keeps Our Families Healthy:
    Conventional food practices have been linked to birth defects, learning disorders, childhood leukemia, ADHD, autism and nervous system disorders in children.5 In fact, even a newborn baby's cord blood shows traces of 21 banned pesticides and 200+ other harmful chemicals!6
  • Keeps Our Neighbors Healthy:
    Supporting organic farms means fewer people - neighbors or farmers or people in distant countries - coming into contact with harmful chemicals. This benefits the entire nation's and world's health and wellness.

The more we support organic farming with our dollars the more we protect the people we (or they) love. Let's do more of that, m'kay?

Organic Food and the Environment

And lastly, the advantages of organic food to the environment. Not only does this protect the planet, but it obviously still protects our health, the health of loved ones, and the health of other living creatures.

A few more advantages of organic food to support the environment:

  • Keeps Plants Healthy:
    No super-insects created by pesticides wiping out farms or wild spaces.7 Organic plants thrive because they are made stronger with organic practices.
  • Keeps Animals Healthy:
    No sick birds, dying sea or freshwater life, or infertile wildlife from chemical exposure.8
  • Creates Healthy Conditions:
    No topsoil erosion, pollution, nutrient depletion, antiobiotic-resistant bacteria, or scarred landmarks from clear-cutting and mono-cropping when we work with Nature to provide for our needs.
  • Supports and is Supported By Nature:
    Let's face it. We don't know it all. We may not know all the advantages to organic food (or manufacturing) practices. But we know "organic" has been working for millenia, so why mess with a track record like that when we don't need to?

What is the Disadvantage of Organic Food?

I'm a realistic person. I know in our day and age we don't do something unless it brings us some benefit, and the same is true for processed or conventional foods. (I just happen to believe there are ways of adjusting and transitioning to make organic work.)

One disadvantage of organic food is that it can be difficult to find. Your area may not have a farmer's market and your local stores may only carry a limited selection. Thankfully, these things are expanding drastically in recent years, but we still have a ways to go and this means a little extra work on your part, either finding good sources, ordering in bulk or growing and/or raising our own.

Another hindrance to the advantages of organic food I think I hear often is that the selection is just naturally limited, not just because stores don't stock it, but because the organic counterpart to a conventional food just isn't made. And this is true for multiple reasons. First, some foods are just plain crap and can't be made healthy or organic without a bonafide miracle. The second is that organic foods tend to be seasonal, since they aren't genetically modified to withstand cold and aren't usually grown unnaturally (such as in hothouses). This means it's going to be hard to get something like fresh tomatoes in January, or asparagus in the heat of summer.

The most common complaint though is that organic food is too expensive. And this seems accurate when you're comparing it in your grocery store to conventional food.

But it's important to understand that what IS organic isn't actually more expensive; non-organic food has just been made artifically cheap by government farm subsidies.

Most non-organic food derives from corn and soy, two heavily subsidized commodities. Think about it: most processed foods are about 80% corn-derived, and animal products are fed a corn- and soy-based diet. (Yum.) The other subsidies come in the form of oil: petroleum-based fertilizers, pesticides, and so on. And another has to do with scale: large-scale producers are often government-supported, too. Non-organic farmers simply get more subsidies in various ways for producing food than organic farmers, and so they can keep their prices artificially low.

This means you are actually paying the same price for non-organic, but some of it is paid at the grocery store and the rest in your taxes. Doesn't really seem fair does it?

But knowing that doesn't change the most important fact of what is: organic food doesn't have to be more expensive. There are countless strategies to making organic food affordable.

Making Organic Food Affordable: A Step-by-Step Guide

In fact, a family of four can easily eat organic for $100 a week or less. And if you really want to put in the time and effort, you can probably even eat organic for even less than that, especially if you want to grow/raise your own. But you don't HAVE to be a suburban farmer to afford to eat clean. Our family of three (including a teenager who eats like 3 people on his own - seriously, we're gonna have to make him get a job), we spend less eating 100% organic than conventional. In fact, we only spend about $100-125 a week (and that includes way too much convenience food - if I didn't hate cooking and cleaning the kitchen, and was willing to use more of my own strategies, we could do half that).

How do we do it? Well, I'm glad you asked. ;) By popular demand, I put together an ebook outlining all the ways we save money on organic food. Click the link or the picture to the right to see if it's what you've been looking for to help you finally go organic in your own home.

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1. "New Evidence Confirms the Nutritional Superiority of Plant-Based Organic Foods," State of Science Review, March 2008: http://www.organic-center.org/science.nutri.php?action=view&report_id=126
2. http://www.sustainablebabysteps.com/dangers-of-pesticides.html
3. http://www.sustainablebabysteps.com/herbicide-toxicity.html
4. http://www.sustainablebabysteps.com/effects-of-chemical-fertilizers.html
5. http://www.sustainablebabysteps.com/environment-affecting-human-health.html
6. Environmental article on Cord Blood Test Results; Number of Chemicals Detected: http://www.drgreene.com/ewgreport/cord-blood-cord-blood-test-results
7. http://www.nationofchange.org/first-super-weeds-now-super-insects-thanks-monsanto-1338362046
8. http://www.sustainablebabysteps.com/human-impact-on-environment.html