Ten Healthy Reasons to Eat Local, Organic Foods

By Molly Blakemore,  March 31, 2010

Zero chemical pesticides, fertilizers or antibiotics and improved nutrient value are just some of the reasons to shop at your local organic tienda. There are new studies out everyday about the health benefits of organic produce. Chronic illness and obesity are bi-products of a diseased food system, which makes it all the more important for you to know how and where your food was produced. Here are ten ways organics can help stem the tide of sickness and ill health.

1. Superior Nutrition: Studies have shown significantly higher levels of important vitamins and trace minerals in organic foods as opposed to foods grown on dead soils doused with toxic pesticides and chemical fertilizers. Higher levels of nutrients and essential minerals include, calcium, magnesium, boron, lithium, selenium, chromium, vitamin C, beta carotene, and B vitamins.

2. Lower Heavy Metal Content: Studies have also shown that organic food is lower in lead, mercury and aluminum.  Heavy metal toxicity can result in damaged or reduced mental and central nervous function, lower energy levels, and can damage lungs, kidneys, liver, and other vital organs. Long-term exposure may result in Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, muscular dystrophy, and multiple sclerosis.

3. No Pesticides: Pesticide residues, routinely detected in conventional (non-organic) foods have been linked to birth defects, nerve damage, learning disabilities, behavioral disorders and cancer. Infants and children are especially susceptible (10-100 times) to the toxic pesticide residues in non-organic food.

4. No Antibiotics: Antibiotics are used on factory farms to fatten pigs and speed the growth of chickens. As a result of rampant overuse of antibiotics in factory farm animals, humans are eating meat contaminated with drug-resistant bacteria and high levels of antibiotics. Prolonged ingestion of antibiotics increases drug resistance in illness causing microorganisms.  Organic agriculture does not allow the use of antibiotics.

5. No GMOs: Genetically Engineered Crops are outlawed in organic agriculture. GMOs have been linked to a wide variety of toxic and allergenic reactions, including sick, sterile, and dead livestock, and damage to virtually every organ and system studied in lab animals.

6. More Variety: Eating locally and with the seasons often provides more variety in what you eat.  More obscure local specialties, including native foods that are not carried or even accepted at supermarket-driven food chains.

7. Fresher and Sun-Ripened: Locally grown organic produce does not have to travel as far, so it is left on the vine or in the soil longer and ripens in the sun rather than on a truck. Sun-ripened fruits and vegetables are higher in nutrient content.

8. No Irradiation: Irradiated foods are zapped with radioactive nuclear waste or bombarded with electron beams, which destroy vitamins and nutrients and create carcinogenic compounds.

9. Safe for Farmers and Farm Workers: Dangerous pesticides linked to cancer, birth defects, and other adverse health effects threaten the health of millions of farmers and farm workers across North America. Cancer rates in these communities are alarmingly high.

10. Better Taste: Hundreds of gourmet chefs all over the world are choosing to use organic food in their restaurants because they firmly believe the taste and quality are vastly superior to the non-organic variety.  Because organic food is grown in well-balanced soil, it makes sense that these healthy plants have a great taste.