Organic food is becoming more ubiquitous in our lives as we read about people who are recovering from illnesses by ingesting organic food. No doubt, organic food is one of the hot topics nowadays in the field of health and food, with the emergence of many books and articles on it. The question of whether organic food will result in longevity, although still subject to controversy, has slowly gained a much affirmative response in the face of much well-received scientific support.
==Organic food is more nutritious ==
Physical benefits of organic food can be traced back to nutrients present in organic foods that are not found in non-organic foods. A Journal of Applied Nutrition article stated that organic foods have higher nutrient levels than non-organic food, and this notion was backed by a study where the mineral content of organic apples, pear, potatoes, wheat, and sweet corn were weighed against non-organic varieties. On the whole, the organic foods showed much higher levels of nutrient minerals. The following are some nutrients that were found to be at higher levels in the organic foods:
– Chromium was found to be higher by an average of 78% in organic foods. Its deficiency is associated with adult diabetes and atherosclerosis (hardening of the arteries), which results in heart diseases.
– Selenium was found to be an average of 390% higher in organic foods. It is an antioxidant nutrient that protects us from damage by environmental chemicals and generally protects against cancers and heart disease.
– Calcium was found to be an average of 63% higher in organic foods. It is well-known for building strong bones.
– Boron averaged 70% more in organics. It is proven to help prevent osteoporosis (along with calcium).
– Lithium averaged 188% more in organics. It is used to treat some types of depression.
– Magnesium averaged 138% more in organics, and it responsible for reducing death from heart attacks, and preventing muscles from spasm and easing the post-menstrual symptoms.
Studies have shown that certain pesticides when applied to crops would significantly lower the vitamin levels in the food plants. As can be seen, chemicals can in fact lower the amount of nutrients in crops after their application. Some of the micronutrients most associated with the drop are vitamin B and C, which are essential for the body to endure the negative impacts of chemical toxins. In particular, Nobel laureate Linus Pauling has found that Vitamin C prevent and treat cancers. This point should be distinguished from the fact that plants grown using chemicals are low in nutrients because the soil is depleted.
==Reduced levels of toxins in organic food==
Generally, many toxins that are present in commercial non-organic foods, are not found in organic foods. When organic food was studied for mineral amount, the amount of the heavy metals such as aluminum, lead, cadmium and mercury were also examined. It is not a surprise that much lower levels of heavy metals were observed in organic food as follows:
-Aluminum content in organic food averaged 40% less than in non-organic food. It has been associated in the development of Alzheimer’s disease.
-Lead was found to be on average 29% lower in organic food. Lead poisoning is well-established to cause brain damage and adversely affect the intellectual development of the brain.
-Mercury, on average, was 25% lower in organics. Similar to lead, it can cause neurological damage.
In addition to the decreased levels of heavy metals, organic food has lesser chemical remains themselves due to the very means in which they are cultivated. Although it is common sense to note that chemical residues affects one’s health negatively, this hypothesis has not been proven mainly due to the difficulties in carrying out studies of this nature. The main problem is looking for chemical-free population which is almost close to impossible to find in many countries these days. Nonetheless, studies have been carried out looking at the correlation between chemical residues and disease like breast cancer. These cycles of study, in done in progress, have demonstrated that chemical residues such as the well-known DichloroDiphenylTrichloroethane (DDT) in the fat cells of women significantly increase the risk of breast cancer. Breast cancer is one of the major causes of death in women, and thus it is reasonable to conclude that organic food, with its much lower level of chemical toxins, can extend the lifespan of people.
==Transformed relationship with nature==
In addition to the physical benefits of eating organic food, there are also psychological and effectual benefits. This is a result of the law of reciprocity. By taking organic food which reduces harm done the environment in large, organic food eaters will have a belief that they will not be harmed by the environment. It starts with an “I won’t poison you, you won’t poison me” outlook. Taking organic food is like taking wholesome food for the soul as such.
Accordingly, organic food instead boosts the immune system of one by providing one with the necessary nutrients for good health and reduces the health care costs. Organic crops can also develop better because of lesser artificial chemicals to interfere with the minerals in the soil. At the same time, there will be a lesser concern for insecticide-resistant bugs if there is more acceptance to organic food.
==Organic food has implications for the environment and society==
While studies have shown that most organic food, carrying certified labels, have reduced levels of synthetic chemicals, it may not be true all the time. Some of them still show certain contamination due to chemicals leaching in from previously contaminated soil or proliferated from nearby environments, or even from polluted rain and wind. Although the weather elements by and large cannot be controlled, growing organic food can be made more widespread through policies and regulations. This can result in a much contamination-free environment and water bodies that will eventually reduce the problems that organic food now face. This has much larger implications on the ecology of land as well.
Also, by approaching organic food as helping the environment, people are forming social groups to promote such environmentally-friendly ways to take care of people’s health which will affect the longevity of many. Lifestyles developed as a result of forming such social niches, does support the well-being of people and the society in large and the acceptance of organic food becomes more prevalent.
In conclusion, consuming organic food is one of the easiest ways to control the amount of detrimental chemicals that are already existent in our body. Despite the costly price of organic food, in the long run, it may prove to be less expensive to consume organic food, taking into account the costs of his poor health, including health care expenses and time off work. Hence, organic food does play an important role in longer living.