Sometimes, in some places, under the misanthropic guise of some people, it is easy to forget just how powerful our food is. The reality is that many of us are completely detached from where our food comes from and the only insight into how it gets from farm to our table comes while walking through the aisles of the grocery store. However, this is starting to change as more people are beginning to take interest in how their food is grown, and learning more about how the foods we choose and purchase influence the larger agriculture system.
One of the major shifts we’ve seen in the last decade when it comes to food production, as a result of this interest, is a rise in the availability of organics. Once we started to understand how the plethora of pesticides and other chemicals used to grow food en masse impact not only our own health, but also the health of the planet and animals as well, organic produce became all the more desirable.
Studies have shown that eating organic can reduce the amount of harmful chemicals in our bodies, and in addition to this; there are many other positive benefits to choosing organic whenever possible. You might already try to buy organic when you shop for personal reasons, here are a few more that illustrate the larger, far-reaching benefits of eating organic.
More Organic Means Less Chemicals in the Ecosystem
One of the most apparent benefits of choosing organic is the fact that producing these foods does not rely on the use (or overuse) of petrochemical pesticides and herbicides. Worldwide, around 5.2 billions tons of pesticides are used every year, in the U.S. around 80 percent of pesticides are used for the agriculture industry. These chemicals are used by farmers to ensure the high yields of crops by minimizing the potential for pest invasions or the overgrowth of competitive weeds that choke out the desired plants. While these chemicals might be very effective at this, unfortunately, they don’t tend to stay in one place. Many pesticides are water soluble, meaning they are easily broken down by water, making them more likely to be absorbed into dirt or carried off in run-off water.
When pesticides enter local waterways, they pose a threat to the local ecosystem – including people. Exposure to the chemicals in pesticides has been tied to birth defects and certain cancers in people. By shifting towards organic farming that does not use these harmful chemicals, we can reduce the amount of toxins that enter our environment and avoid these horrific health impacts.