We make a choice as a family to buy organic groceries whenever possible. We want to support the farmers who care for our planet and our health. I am willing to pay a little more at the store in hopes that I don’t pay the price with our health later. Does eating organics ensure we will never become ill? No. But I would rather invest in prevention than in recovery.
The United States Department of Agriculture states, “The USDA organic regulations describe organic agriculture as the application of a set of cultural, biological, and mechanical practices that support the cycling of on-farm resources, promote ecological balance, and conserve biodiversity. These include maintaining or enhancing soil and water quality; conserving wetlands, woodlands, and wildlife; and avoiding use of synthetic fertilizers, sewage sludge, irradiation, and genetic engineering.Organic producers use natural processes and materials when developing farming systems—these contribute to soil, crop and livestock nutrition, pest and weed management, attainment of production goals, and conservation of biological diversity.”
Here are the 5 reasons why you should support organic farmers now:
Reduce your family’s pesticide exposure
A study published by the European Parliament in 2016 found higher urine concentrations of pesticides in children compared to adults, “most likely reflecting children’s higher food intake in relation to body weight and maybe also more exposure-prone behavior.” Pregnant women and children are more susceptible to the harmful effects of pesticides in our food supply. “Synthetic pesticides comprise a variety of bioactive chemical substances, and a considerable proportion of these possess neurotoxic, endocrine-disrupting, carcinogenic and/or toxic properties. Exposures related to the production of conventional crops have been related to an increased risk of some diseases including Parkinson’s disease, type 2 diabetes and certain types of cancers including non-Hodgkin lymphoma and childhood leukemia or lymphomas. Even brief occupational exposure during the first weeks of pregnancy, before women know they are pregnant, have been related to adverse long-lasting effects on their children’s growth, brain functions and sexual development.”
Decrease your family’s opportunity for illness
“Globally and in the European Union, more antibiotics are used in animal production than for human health. The World Health Organization (WHO) has identified the overly prevalent use of antibiotics in animal production to be one of the contributing factors to increased antibiotic resistance in bacteria.” We can’t use our dollars to support a farming process that harms human health. It is a global issue but one that can be tackled from home. Studies find that children who eat organics are less prone to infections, colds and the flu and when confronted with an illness are found to recover quicker. Less illness means better health obviously but it also means less doctor visits, less absences from work to stay at home with a sick child and more money in your pocket.
Support the health of farm working communities
Choosing organic foods for your family “reduces the occupational exposure of farm workers to pesticides and drift exposures of rural populations.” I don’t know about you but I live in Wichita, which means the lands lay flat and the winds blow hard. Buying organic means I am doing my part to keep those winds clean. I want my kids to run outside and breathe fresh air not chemical residue from neighboring farms. And I don’t want farm workers to labor in harmful conditions.
Improve the health of the planet for generations to come
Buying organic means you are supporting a cleaner ecosystem. I don’t care how rich you may be – if you don’t have clean air to breathe, clean water to drink and healthy food to consume; you have nothing. Did you know more than 80,000 chemicals (yes, 80,000) are approved for use in the United States? Dr. Ramsey, Columbia-trained psychiatrist, states a “vast majority of these have not been studied for their safety-many are found in processed foods.” How can we improve the health of the planet and the people who inhabit it, if we douse our food and water supply in pesticides, weed killers, chemicals, and antibiotics we know are harmful to human health?
Increase support for sustainable agriculture
Buying organic gives you the opportunity to support smaller farms who are not as heavily subsidized. Buying organic means you are supporting traditional methods of farming that have fed billions of people for centuries in a manner that nourishes and restores health. Buying organic gives you an opportunity to eat food that tastes better, contains less harmful toxins and more vitamins, minerals and healthy fats. That, my friend, is sustainable agriculture at its finest.
In conclusion, “decreased exposure for the general population is desirable from a human health perspective in light of the findings from epidemiological studies that indicate very high costs to society of current levels of pesticide exposures.” – Human Health Implications of Organic Food and Organic Agriculture