The ongoing debates over conventional versus organic farming is puzzling for many consumers. What’s healthy and what is not? These are the main issues at stake, a lot of people forget that organic farming used to be considered conventional a century ago. The process of industrialization has changed people’s views on farming industry. A highly mechanized approach and unlimited supplies of chemical fertilizers define the modern concept conventional farming, whereas organic farming does not support the use of chemical.
A lot of people prefer buying organic food out of fear of pesticides and other chemicals in food. Do these fears have logical ground? Is organic food healthier than non-organic food?
How does it affect the soil?
You should take into consideration various social and environmental factors when evaluate the benefits and downsides of different farming styles. Farming techniques affect a lot of people around the farm who share the same ecosystem. As a result the nutrient value of food is affected as well.
The amount of fertilizer and pesticides a farmer uses affects the quality of food he produces. These chemicals also affect the soil and the groundwater of the farm, which, in turn might cause some issues with water quality in the neighboring region.
Organic ways of fertilizing the soil include manure and other animal-related sources. It also requires a lot of work to apply it that’s why a lot of farmers prefer conventional ways of fertilization. Organic fertilizers not only bring naturalnitrogen to the soil, but also add some organic matter to it.
Big farms use a lot of genetically modified seeds. Even though lab experiments were successful at cultivating certain qualities of plants, it is still difficult to evaluate the impact of GM food on human body. A thorough evaluation and monitoring of food impact is still needed. At the same time a lot of corporations control the industry of genetically modified seeds and it is not in their interest to reduce the amount of purchased seeds. This approach keeps our health in hands of multinational corporations.
Organic farmers use only organically grown seeds. Farmers collect and save seeds from previous season and use them the next time. They don’t use GM seeds from corporations.
What about animals?
Conventional farmers use a lot of antibiotics, hormones and chemical feed to raise their animals. These chemicals end up on our plates. Farm animals live in horrible conditions; some of them have never even seen the sun and walked on the grass.
Organic farms do not feed their animals with artificial products and hormones. Strict animal welfare is ensured on these farms.
Is organic food healthier?
Nutritional value of both organic and non-organic food is not that different. However, nutritional tests don’t include the level of vitamins, minerals and pesticides in food. They also don’t estimate the risks of regular chemical, pesticide, antibiotics consumption. These toxic elements build up in our bodies, thus compromising our health.
That’s why organic food has superior health benefits. Low level of cholesterol in organic meat is only one of them. Organic food reduces human exposure to chemicals and pesticides.