Before I dive into the subject of whether organic food is for you or not, let's begin with the basics. What is organic food? After all, until now, food was just food, right? Not protein-rich, carb-loaded, or full of omega 3s. But, with the influx of information about what your food is made up of, there's a raging debate about what we're really putting into our bodies-is it hormone-injected, genetically modified, chemically treated? And how does any of this impact us?
There was a time when ready-to-eat mixtures and 2-minute noodles were part of every household's grocery list. But with the wave of fitness consciousness that has swept urban India, all of us are being forced to re-evaluate our food choices. Health advocates are shouting from the rooftops about the effects of eating packaged and processed food, and there's good reason to listen.
But while we can fight (and have fought) the packaged-food mania, how do we figure out the ill-effects of the chemicals concealed within the innocent-looking lauki (bottle gourd)? Or whether the broccoli we zealously add to our kids' meals hasn't been genetically modified? Also, why is all this bad for you? It's because they have the same effects that packaged foods have on the health. Having food that is highly treated or modified, consistently over a long period of time, can lead to many health conditions and even impact the autoimmune system. Now you know why the western world is going all-organic. Whole-food mart, anyone?
Switching over, organically
In contrast, organic food, by definition, is food grown without genetic modification, artificial additives or synthetic pesticides. Essentially, it is food the way it was meant to be offered by nature! Organic food is produced through systematic farming methods that do not involve any usage of pesticides or harmful chemicals for production. Besides being all natural, organic food has other advantages too:
- Studies show that organic food tends to offer 25% more nutritive value than conventional food, whose nutritive value is said to have dropped by about 76% since the early 1940s.
- If that's not a reason to switch, consider the environmental effects. Organic food is grown using conventional farming methods, such as crop rotation, composting and manure, and by keeping synthetic fertilisers, pesticides and growth hormones at a distance. Not only does this save thousands of rupees but also keeps our environment cleaner and free from harmful emissions.
- Moreover, organic food is also for animals. With fewer harmful emissions, the number of birds and bees that aid in natural pollination is higher.
- Lastly, it helps farmers sell directly in a free market and at fair price, making it possible for the large farming community in India to thrive!
Making a change in the food we consume is never easy, but with so many advantages, it's hard to argue otherwise. So, don't be penny wise and pound foolish. After all, what are a few rupees more, when you know that the veggies you're buying are all-natural and will truly help in keeping your kids and the family healthy?
Do tell us your thoughts on healthy foods and organic vegetables in the comments section below.