The Benefits of Eating Organic Vegetables
March 29, 2017 at midnight
In the US, organic food sales have been growing steadily, making up 4 percent of all food sales during 2016 while raking in a net amount of 81.6 billion US dollars in 2015. This increase can easily be attributed to a higher level of awareness regarding the overall health benefits of organically-grown vegetables.
The Difference Between Organic and Non-Organic Vegetables
Before understanding what makes organic products healthier, it's best to outline the different ways in which they are grown:
Non-organic vegetables are grown to maximize profit. Chemical and synthetic fertilizers are used to promote growth, chemical herbicides to get rid of weeds, and synthetic pesticides to kill pests. Some non-organic produce may also be genetically modified.
Organic produce is grown with manure or compost—both of which are natural fertilisers—while weeds are kept in check with traditional gardening methods like tilling and mulching. Birds and insects take care of the pests.
The Benefits of Organic Produce
The lack of synthetic pesticides reduces the risk of cancer.
While the human body has acquired a tolerance for many of the chemicals found in non-organic foods, a diet based on naturally-grown produce can still significantly lower the chances of developing certain forms of cancer. Pesticides are believed to contribute to the development of brain tumors, leukemia, as well as prostate and breast cancer.
Organic vegetables are richer in antioxidants and vitamins.
Studies have shown that organic produce is richer in nutrients, which leads to a better absorption by the body. This increase in absorption positively impacts the overall health of the consumer, as it contributes to the prevention of heart disease, vision problems, premature aging, and cancer.
There's a lower exposure to toxic metals.
Research reveals that cadmium levels can be up to four times higher in non-organic crops. Experts state that cadmium levels then accumulate inside the body and eventually cause health problems. Organic vegetables carry up to 48 percent less cadmium.
Organic produce is fresher.
Since most organic vegetables are grown relatively close to their selling location and since no preservatives are involved, the food maintains higher levels of nutrients and even tastes better.
It doesn't have to be expensive.
While organic products in grocery stores are pricier than their counterparts, those sold in farmer's markets are not. Buying from local farmers and gardeners can ensure both a healthy diet and lower costs.