When one hears the term ‘organic’, several different words pop to mind. Some of these would be ‘healthier,’ ‘fresher’ or maybe even ‘environmentally friendly’. Once the decision to turn to organic has been made and the trip to the shops has been completed, another word springs into your head, ‘expensive’.
It is not a big secret between regular shoppers and food lovers that generally, the food that has proven to be better for spirit, body and mind is several euros more expensive than the less healthy alternative. But what is organic food? And is it really as healthy as the package says?
According to the Irish Organic Farmers and Growers Association (IOFGA), organic food is food that has been grown in a farming eco-system that is committed to working alongside nature rather than against it with the use of pesticides or unnatural growth hormones such as GM (genetically modified) crops.
All organic farming avoids the use of all kinds of pesticides and chemical fertilizers and not only that, maintains the adequate habitats for all plants, animals and other kinds of wildlife in Ireland.
By buying organically, a consumer has knowledge that the food they have chosen to eat has been grown or brought up in a healthy and free-range environment. It has also been produced with no foreign chemicals pumped inside its fruit to make it juicer, fatter or more attractive to the buyer. The food you are choosing to eat is 100 per cent natural.
Some studies have even been able to prove that organic food contains more nutrients than non-organic and all the better for our bodies. There are also several ingredients in organic food that could be reduced in non-organic that have better cancer fighting properties such as ascorbic acid and B vitamins. So by choosing to spend that little bit more in the shops, you could be helping your body stave off one of the deadliest disease known today.
If you are pregnant or the parent/ guardian of young children, organic may also be the best way to go when it comes to loading your shopping trolley as children and unborn foetuses are more vulnerable to pesticide exposure found in non-organic produce. This is because of their relatively young and less developed immune system and pesticide exposure could result in behavioural disorders and other development delays as the child grows older.
Because organic farms do not use chemicals or pesticides, their soil and waterways are clear, clean and fresh. This works wonders for the Irish wildlife around the area and the eco-system works the way it should without the intrusion of foreign bodies.
So perhaps the difference in price may slow you down in making up your mind to make the leap from non organic to organic but when the results and benefits are weighed up against the possible outcomes of eating non-organic, not only is it good for the environment to turn to the healthier way of life but it could even make your own life longer as well.