Organic food is growing in popularity, but for some people the question remains: “Why should I eat organic produce?”
There are probably as many reasons for eating organic food as there are organic consumers. This post is about the most common reasons for eating organic foods.
A few years ago I suffered from chronic digestive complaints. Visits to the doctor just resulted in me having more pills to take. I decided to change my diet to include more fresh fruit and vegetables. I cut out a lot of the processed foods that I was eating. I bought the glossy-looking conventional fruit and vegetables on display at the supermarket. There was some improvement in my health but not enough for me to enjoy life fully. I had spent quite a lot of time, in my youth, working in various forms of agriculture. I understood that there were many things added to foods when they were being grown. Many of these additives required special protective clothing before handling. I had burnt my skin, caused heart palpitations and given myself breathing problems by not dealing with these things properly. I thought that there had to be a way to eat food that hadn\’t been covered in poison. I started to think hard about the alternatives. Organics was an obvious answer.
While I was buying things from the regular shelves in the supermarket I realized that something was missing. Flavor. The fruit and vegetables looked fantastic and they lasted for a long time if I didn\’t get around to eating them right away. But the taste was lacking. I began to yearn for the fresh flavors of the home grown veggies I ate as a kid. I asked some horticultural friends about the requirements for food to be on the shelf of a supermarket. Most important was looks. The produce has to look good. Then came shelf life. The produce has to stay looking the same for as long as possible, in order to give the supermarket a chance to transport and sell them. Then uniformity. The supermarkets want all the apples, tomatoes or whatever to look more or less the same. Flavor and nutritional value come a very poor fourth and fifth. Most organic producers will tell you that the first things they think about are flavor and nutritional value. It\’s a very different mindset.
Many of the additives that are put onto conventionally produced food are derived from the oil industry. Oil is a finite resource. That means that one day it will run out, or at least, will become too expensive to extract. So how will the conventional producers fertilize their crops when the oil runs out? The organic producers will still be able to use their compost and manure. Most of the organic producers, that I know, do not have to bring very much extra onto their farms in order to produce effectively. They have developed eco-systems that, while still needing human care, can provide pretty much everything for themselves.
So what are your reasons for choosing organic food? I\’d love to read your comments.