Organic foods are becoming increasingly popular among consumers. This is based on the fact that foods which contain minimal chemicals are beneficial to our bodies (Givens, Baxter, Minihane, and Shaw, 2009). Organic foods are foods that are produced without using any form of chemicals or any genetically modified ingredients. The term, organic food, has for long been inappropriately applied for fruits and vegetables that are grown in small-scale terms using traditional techniques. As from 1980s, however, the production of small scale farms has drastically declined especially in the U.
S. and, this has transformed the organic farming into a multimillion dollar concern (Lipson, 2001). Producers of organic foods have been supplying these products to supermarkets and other joints, where demand is exceedingly higher than the supply. Many people believe that organic foods are extremely nutritious as compared to their conventionally produced equivalents, with greater levels of micro and macronutrients (Hayes and Laudan, 2008). It is doubtless that organic foods contain fewer chemical traces as compared to conventional foods.
Lipson (2001), asserts that the movement for organic farming has developed standards and principles for farm administration based on the recognition of the ecological and biological conception of nature, as well as the significance of the relationships in additional to interactions between plants and animals, both inside the soil an above the ground. These principles, according to Lipson (2001), are used across the globe in diverse climates, resulting in a great variety in the kinds of farming systems through which organic food products are obtained. Organic foods are therefore produced under standards that guarantee health safety.
Organic and naturally grown foods versus non-organic Hayes and Laudan (2008), states that there are increasing fears regarding food safety as well as the notion that a lot of processed foods are obtained from genetically modified products. The meaning of organically grown foods is that they are grown on a land that is free from chemicals for a period of about three years. These crops are grown without using any form of chemical, be it fertilizer, or pesticides. These crops are then harvested, processed, and packaged without using any artificial preservative, irradiation, additive, or coloring.
Organic foods, as indicated by Nicks (n. d. ), are sweetened and preserved using natural substances such as grape juice and honey. A lot of people who support the organic production of foods argue that organic farming does not create the risk of chemicals run-off as well as the resulting contamination of drinking water (Roth, 2010). Organic foods are grown in organic farms that are usually small and socially supportive. These farms have a better diversity of crop rotation and minimize the health and environmental risk associated with various chemicals. Nicks (n. d.
) argues that, organic framing also develops a richer and more sustainable soil, by using cover crops, organic compost and diverse crop rotation. Organic farming depends on organic fertilizers that maintain soil preventing its depletion. Conventional farming, through the use of chemicals, results in extensive environmental pollution. The quality of soils is also adversely affected in conventional farming. Extensive use of chemicals reduces the beneficial effect of soil, triggering soil compaction, thereby leading to production of unhealthy crops. Organic farming plays a major role of preserving diversity.
Organic farmers have maintained a trend of gathering, preserving, and growing unusual varieties of seeds for a long time. As a result loss of various species of seeds is prevented. Organic farming results in production of chemical free products (Powers, 2007). Studies have revealed that organic foods have a higher nutritional value as compared to non-organic foods (Lipson, 2001). Organically produced foods contain a very high concentration of both micro and macronutrients. Studies have shown that organic foods have a lot of minerals such as zinc, calcium, magnesium among others as compared to non-organic foods (Nicks, n.
d. ). Conventionally grown foods have little vitamin C and minerals content as compared to organic foods (Givens, Baxter, Minihane and Shaw, 2009). Organic foods, therefore, are very helpful for the maintenance of general health. Non-organic foods, on the other hand, are extensively processed and, as a result their nutritional content is greatly reduced. Research has been carried out to determine the difference between antioxidant value of organic and non-organic foods; it was found out that organic foods have higher antioxidant value as compared to non-organic foods (Lipson, 2001).
Consumption of organic foods can therefore result in positive changes in overall health of an individual as a result of high antioxidant value. Hayes and Laudan (2008) argues that the use of pesticides and other harsh chemicals, in conventional farming, results in depletion of nutritional value of crops and, also has been linked to development of certain diseases such as cancer. Organic foods do not contain artificial chemicals like non-organic foods. Sliva (2010) states that organic foods are not produced through routine use of antibiotics which leads to development of antibiotic resistant pathogens.
Organic foods, therefore, do not pose a health risk to those who eat them. People who usually eat organically produced foods rarely suffer from food borne illnesses (Sliva, 2010). Organic foods are regarded by many as the purest forms of foods available in the market. Many people argue that organic foods taste better than non-organic foods. This is true because chemicals used in conventional farming destroy the taste of crop products. Chemicals result in formation of toxic residues that not only destroys the taste of crop products, but also adversely affects the health of an individual.
Organic foods do not contain genetically modified ingredients (Powers, 2007). These foods can be fed to babies without exposing them to any health danger. Organic foods provide babies with the best form of nourishment available (Givens, Baxter, Minihane and Shaw, 2009). Bradman and Whyatt (2005), states that foods grown conventionally contain a lot of chemicals and, if fed to babies it adversely affects their health. Bradman and Whyatt (2005) also states that conventionally grown foods have devastating health effects to pregnant women. Organic foods minimize over reliance on non-renewable resources putting more emphasis on animal welfare.
Animal welfare is a very important feature in the production of organic milk, meat, fish and poultry. Animal welfare ensures that animals are not restricted in miserable cages for the whole of their life. Animals reared organically are allowed to grow and reproduce at their own pace, without being injected with any form of synthetic chemical into their system. Artificial Chemicals used in conventional farming expose farmers, animals, and consumers to adverse health effects (Powers, 2007). Conclusion It can therefore be concluded that organic and naturally produced foods are more beneficial as compared to conventionally produced foods.
The use of organically produced foods is becoming more and more popular with consumers. This is based on the fact that foods which contain minimal chemicals are beneficial to our bodies. Organic foods are grown without using any form of chemical. Organic foods have a higher nutritional value as compared to non-organic foods. Conventional foods, on the other hand, are extensively processed and, as a result their nutritional value is greatly reduced. Chemicals used in conventional farming are also associated with the development of certain diseases such as cancer. Organic foods taste better than non-organic foods.
Organic foods do not contain chemicals which result in formation of toxic residues that not only destroys the taste of crop products, but also adversely affects the health of an individual. Organic foods also minimize over reliance on non-renewable resources putting more emphasis on animal welfare. Reference Bradman A. , and Whyatt R. , (2005), Characterizing Exposures to Nonpersistent Pesticides during Pregnancy and Early Childhood in the National Children’s Study: A Review of Monitoring and Measurement Methodologies, Environmental Health Perspectives, Vol 113 Givens D. , Baxter S. , Minihane A.
, and Shaw E. , (2009), Health Benefits of Organic Food: Effects of the Environment, ISBN 1845934598: CABI Hayes D. , and Laudan R. , (2008), Food and Nutrition / Editorial Advisers, ISBN 0761478256: Marshall Cavendish Lipson E. , (2001), The organic foods sourcebook, ISBN 0879839783: McGraw-Hill Professional Nicks J. , (n. d. ), Organic Food Benefits, retrieved on May 4, 2010 from http://www. buzzle. com/articles/organic-food-benefits. html Powers S. , (2007), Organic for Health, ISBN 0595473083: Sandra Powers Roth R. , (2010), Organic or not Organic? retrieved on May 4, 2010 from http://serendip.