There’s so much misinformation surrounding the term “organic,” from the rumor that organic foods are entirely unregulated, to the outlandish claims that they are actually more harmful than their non-organic counterparts, it’s easy to see why some people simply opt for the cheapest possible option when they’re in the grocery store.
The truth is, organic food is much better for our bodies and our earth, here are a few examples that will have you buying organic without a doubt in your mind.
1. Certified organic equals non-GMO
Thanks to USDA regulations all GMO (genetically modified) foods are prohibited from any product that wants to obtain the organic label. Avoiding GMOs is important for a whole slew of reasons, from protecting local farmers against frivolous lawsuits to protecting our bodies from the uncertain long term repercussions of consuming things that have been genetically modified. While the certified organic label does allow for up to 5% of ingredients to be non-organic, there is no wiggle room whatsoever for GMO contents.
2. Regulations prohibit synthetic pesticides
For a crop to be considered organic, it must have been sown, grown, and harvested without the use of a variety of pesticides known to be toxic. Some, like organophosphates have been directly linked to leukemia and lymphoma. This doesn’t mean no pesticides are used on organic crops, that would constitute an impossible expectation and farmers would never meet the demands without losing a vast majority of their annual crops to pests, but it does mean that they are using natural pesticides, which have been studied and shown to leave significantly less residue on the foods they protect. That means you consume less pesticide with an organic apple than a non-organic one.
3. Roundup is banned from organic crops
Glyphosate aka Roundup is an herbicide and known toxin. The more you are exposed to it, the more of it you have in your body, a scary thought because elevated levels of Glyphosate are directly linked to breast cancer, birth defects, and kidney disease. The toxin may also be to blame for ever growing numbers of autoimmune and neurological disorders. If you eat wheat products, shopping certified organic is the only way to ensure you are avoiding this toxic chemical.
4. Organic means no hexane
Unfortunately, many popular cooking oils are extracted from their source using a known neurotoxin called hexane. During the extraction process, hexane residue is left behind, released and consumed unwittingly by families every day. Even more disconcerting: there is no research being done on the daily impact of hexane consumption on humans or animals, despite it’s neurotoxin status. In industrial settings, exposure has been connected to brain tumors. Ingredients processed in hexane are banned from USDA certified organic foods.
5. Organically fed animals don’t take steroids
Steroids and growth promoting drugs like ractopamine are pumped into most of the animals we consume as meat. Like all the other toxins and chemicals, residues of drugs taken by these animals finds its way into the bodies of those who consume them. Eating products that contain ractopamine, for example, is known to dramatically increase the risk of cardiovascular diseases, which are a primary cause of death in the US. Luckily, the USDA bans mWeat with the organic label from having taken these drugs.
6. Organic animals don’t take antibiotics
Thanks to the over application of antibiotics, humans are encountering infections known as “superbugs” that are entirely resistant to any antibiotics we currently have in existence. This is a threat to the entire human race, and it’s all too real. VICE news recently featured superbugs in a special report where they investigated the possibilities of developing new drugs, the consensus from researchers: it’s too late.
Unfortunately, antibiotics have been used for decades to fatten up farm animals. The result is environmental pollution, and the degradation of our food and water. When antibiotics kill off our healthy bacteria it also kills the good bacteria, which impacts how the body absorbs nutrients, burns fat, and fights infection. By purchasing organically fed and processed meat, you can stop these harmful practices and protect yourself.