By: Jackie Dutkanych
Oftentimes organic produce has more nutrients and antioxidants than non-organic produce. This is because non-organic fruits and vegetables are treated with chemicals, pesticides, and preservatives that strip away nutrients. When produce is treated with these toxic chemicals, they remain on our foods even after being washed. Switching to eating organic produce will lower your exposure to pesticides and potentially harmful chemicals.
The WHO says that pesticides are potentially toxic to humans, even in small amounts, and that it is best to limit exposure to pesticides in our systems. The chemicals used to treat produce are classified as carcinogenic (may cause cancer). Exposure to these pesticides can have effects on our reproductive organs, immune system and nervous system. Due to the neurotoxic nature of the chemicals, they can potentially cause neurons to die, resulting in brain damage. Although, the severity of these effects depends on how much exposure an individual has had. An individual can be exposed by ingesting, inhaling or injecting these chemicals.
When it comes to meats, non-organic chickens are fed antibiotics to make them plump and ready for the slaughter house and to our grocery store shelves faster. An arising issue is that feeding these chickens antibiotics could increase the risk of antibiotic resistant strains of bacteria. In organic meats, these animals are not fed hormones or synthetic chemicals to plump them up. Going organic lowers your chances of consuming trace amounts of these chemicals that are sometimes found in non-organic meat. Milk and meat products that are organic have as much as 50% more good, healthy Omega-3 fatty acids. Also, organic milk was found to have less saturated fat than its non-organic competitor.
Organic grains contain no additional additives and they also contain a higher nutritional content than non-organic grains. Consuming these nutrients can help reduce inflammation in the body and reduce the risk of obesity. When inflammation is built up in the body, it can lead to acute and chronic health conditions. Acute inflammation can make your body more susceptible to bacterial, viral and parasitic infections. While some chronic conditions include, autoimmune disorders, metabolic and endocrine disorders, cardiovascular, neurological disorders, among many others.
A non-organic diet can show on your skin. Since produce sprayed with pesticides can strip the nutrients, this can have an affect on your overall intake of nutrients and antioxidants. Less antioxidants can contribute to dull-looking skin. “Eating organic food may decrease your amount of acne overtime” says dermatologist Jeanine Downie, from Montclair, New Jersey. Some dermatologists have noticed that when patients consume non-organic milk that they have more hormonal acne--you could unknowingly be consuming the trace amount of hormones given to the cows.
There is still controversy over whether or not these pesticides and chemicals that are sprayed on non-organic foods, and antibiotics fed to animals will have an impact on the human body or health in the long-run.