Author: Kevin Doye
20 Good Reasons to Buy Organics...
There are 100s of good reasons to buy organics. Here are 20 of them....
Information courtesy of the Biological Farmers of Australia / Australian Certified Organic Magazine
1: Reduce Chemical Runoff & Residues
Runoff is the main cause of diminishing marine life; animals and plants. Approximately 30 000 tonnes of herbicides, insecticides, fungicides and plant growth regulators are used each year in Australia. (OzProspect, 2003)
2: Restore Soil
Restore soils for productive cropland and secure the future of Australian agriculture. Forty-eight per cent of Australian croplands have topsoils that are marginally acidic or worse (Land & Water Australia, 2001). Organic farming systems are based on the principle of land and soil regeneration and best environmental practice.
3: Increase Drought Resiliance
In the wake of the 2002/2003 drought 100 000 agricultural sector jobs were lost (Australian Government, 2004). Organic farms have a greater resilience in times of drought. A 21-year trial showed that organic crops saw a margin of 38-196 per cent greater yield than comparable conventional crops (AJAA, 2003).
4: Increase Biodiversity
...and save disappearing native animal habitats. For decades scientists worldwide have carried out studies with the clear conclusion that organic fanning significantly supports biodiversity (Soil Association, 2000).
5: Eliminate Use of Growth Hormones
...antibiotics and genetically engineered drugs and feeds in livestock. In Australia there remain 12 antibiotics that can be used as growth promoters. More than 500 OOOkg of antibiotics were used each year in the 1990s. Resistant bacteria such as Vancomycin-resistant enterococci (VRE) are known to spread via the food chain (Collignon, 2003).
6: Ensure Humane Treatment of Animals
Scientific evidence indicates that practices such as battery hen farming, and the use of sow stalls, inflict continuous intense suffering on animals throughout their confinement leading to acute physical and behavioural problems (RSPCA). Organic livestock is grown in a way that conforms to natural processes of growth and development.
7: Reduce Landfill
Composting and recycling of nutrients is a major feature of organic farming systems, which, in Australia, recycle hundreds of thousands of tonnes of putrescible industrial and other waste each year. Still 8.4 million tonnes (40 per cent) of the total waste stream consists of "compostable organic material" (1998/99 EPA Landfill Levy Data).
8: Safeguard the Integrity of Food
Certified organic provides a guarantee that product has been grown, handled, packaged and distributed avoiding risk of contamination of the product to the point of sale. Full traceability is maintained along the chain.
9: Reduce Greenhouse Gas
Capture CO2 back into the soil in the form of humus. A 23-year research project shows that if only 1000 medium sized farms converted to organic production, the carbon stored in the soil would be equivalent to taking 117,440 cars off the road each year. (The Rodale Institute, 2003).
10: Reduce Greenhouse Gas #2
Reduce greenhouse gas emissions by eliminating synthetic nitrogen fertilisers. Agriculture in Australia is the second-highest contributor of greenhouse gases (17 per cent in 2004). The Australian Greenhouse Office says that fertiliser emissions accounted for two-thirds of all cropping emissions. Organic standards prohibit the use of nitrogen fertilisers (Cotton Research and Development Corporation, 2007)
11: Eat Produce This is Better for You
Two independent comprehensive studies each analysing around 40 previously published studies comparing the differences between organic and conventional foods have concluded that there is overwhelming evidence that organic food is more nutritious.
In Shane Heaton's report it is found that on average organic is higher in vitamin C, mineral levels and phytonutrients - plant compounds that can be effective against cancer (Heaton, 2001, Worthington 2001).
12: Avoid Eating up to 2kg of Food Additives Each Year
Many food additives have been linked with symptoms such as allergic reactions, rashes, headaches, asthma, growth retardation and hyperactivity in children (Heaton, 2004).
13: Avoid GMOs
Avoid GMOs. Independent testing of the long-term health effects of GMO foods on humans has not been carried out. The many exemptions from GE labelling laws in Australia makes it impossible to know which grocery items use GMO-derived ingredients. Certified organic foods are a great way to avoid GMOs.
14: Lower the Incidence of Neurodevelopmental Problems in Children
...perhaps including ADHD and autism. Abnormal neurodevelopment in children can be caused or made worse by prenatal and early life exposures to pesticides and chemicals that contaminate our food (Guillette, et al., 1998).
15: Virtually Eliminate Dietary Exposures to Insecticides
...known to be developmental neumtoxins. Findings were reported in two University of Washington studies involving school-age children (Lu, et al., 2006).
16: Reduce Unwanted Interference
...by many pesticides with our sex hormones. This in turn should reduce the prevalence of erectile dysfunction, the number of people suffering from loss of sexual drive and a host
of estrogen-related health problems (EXTOXNET).
17: Give Infants the Nutrient Building Blocks They Need
Ninety per cent of dairy and meat products from organic sources have been shown to increase
levels of healthy fatty acids in breastmilk (British Journal of Nutrition, 2003).
18: Reduce Infants Exposure to Pesticides
A 1995 Victorian study of breastmilk found that infants are regularly exposed to several pesticides at levels greater than the 'acceptable daily intake' (Quinsey, et al., 1995).
19: Reduce the Risk of Cancer
Reduce the risk of cancer. On average organic foods contain about one-third more cancer-fighting antioxidants than comparable conventional produce (Benbrook, 2005).
20: Eat the Best Tasting Food
Many Australians who consume organic products every day do so because they believe that organic tastes best.
Happy shopping and happy eating!