Monday, 24 November 2008

The benefits of organic food for your health

Nowadays more and more people seem to be buying organic food, and I'm not surprised. We are always hearing about different diseases and illnesses being linked back to the food we eat, this is mainly due to all the chemicals and toxins which are present in them, these are used at the time of farming in order to produce bigger and more bountiful fruit and vegetables. But at the end of the day we're the ones who end up suffering, these toxins in the body can result in the person suffering from headaches and tremors among other things.

We know how important it is for us to eat sufficient fruit and veg, because it's healthy and contains much needed vitamins for our bodies, but all we're doing is poisoning ourselves bit by bit, scary thought huh? And what about our children? do we really want them to have these toxins in their bodies? and at such a young age? of course we don't, the option is to go organic and feed ourselves and our children with the best food we can buy.

Among the many benefits of organic food are :

  • It is GM free - European law prohibits the use of Genetically Modified Organisms (GMO) in any aspect of organic food and farming. This means that organically reared animals are not genetically modified in any way whatsoever, and their feed is free from genetically modified material.

  • BSE free - The livestock neural disease Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy (BSE), which can cause the related disease Creutzfeld Jacob Disease (CJD) in humans, was caused by livestock feed containing animal proteins. As well as being unnatural, such feeding practices enable diseases such as BSE to be transferred between species.

  • Fewer artificial additives - Antibiotics, growth promoters and other additives are added to non-organic meat during the animal's life and while the meat is prepared for consumption. Normal intensive farming methods mean that animals live in overcrowded, unhealthy conditions where disease would quickly spread through the herd were antibiotics not used. Although antibiotics are still used to treat organically reared animals, the healthier living conditions of the animals mean that antibiotics are used prudently to treat specific ailments, rather than as a preventative method. Once the animal has been slaughtered and the meat is being prepared for human consumption, additives are often added to it to improve the flavour, colour or texture of the meat, or to make it stay fresh longer. Organic food producers are prohibited from using additives that research has shown may be harmful to human health, such as sulphur dioxide or artificial colourings. But as our organic meat is reared more naturally, the meat has its own natural flavour, texture and colour, and does not need any artificial enhancers!

  • More nutritious - organically reared meat contains far fewer artificial residues, toxins and additives and has no risk of diseases such as BSE, it also contains more naturally occurring minerals, vitamins and anti-oxidants.

  • Better for the environment - Organic farming works in harmony with nature. Organic animal feed is grown without pesticides, herbicides and artificial fertilizers, which means there are no damaging toxins released into the environment. Organic farming methods are sustainable - crop rotation allows the soil's fertility to recover naturally. No fossil fuels or other resources are used to create chemicals to fertilize the soil or treat the crops. The lack of pesticides also means that wild plants and animals can happily live in and around organic farms, encouraging biodiversity.

  • Better for the animals - For a farm to be registered organic, it must comply with rigorous animal welfare standards. These ensure that the animals are not overcrowded, have comfortable bedding, have access to fields, and are allowed to express their natural behaviour patterns. Livestock are mainly grazed on herb and clover rich grass, rather than processed feed. Organically reared animals lead as natural and healthy lives as possible. Conventional farms treat their animals as a product or commodity, so being able to cram animals in, use cheap processed feed or speed the growth of the animal increases profitability. Organic farms are still, of course, run for profit, but recognise that some people are prepared to pay a little extra for healthier food from happier animals on farms that do not impact on the environment.

  • Better for your taste buds! - Most people who eat organic food do so because they find it tastes nicer than conventionally farmed food. Organically raised animals eat herb and clover rich grass, which flavours their meat. They are given freedom to forage, graze and exercise. This makes the meat leaner, denser, less fatty and improves the texture and flavour. The animals are allowed to mature naturally, without growth promoters, which allows flavour to develop. And because the animals live more natural, stress free lives, damaging acids do not build up in the meat and the meat has a better texture. All the above mentioned benefits contribute to the great taste, so many notice when eating organic food.

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