Organic food is more than a fad. A nearly 13% increase in organic food sales, to a whopping $56.5 billion last year, is proof that organic is here to stay. But for every person jumping onto the organic bandwagon, there is a person who has been eating organic for years or even decades. They know the truth: that organic food is better for people, better for animals, and better for the environment.

Read on to learn more about the advantages of organic food.

Organic Food Is Better for People

Everyone thinks they know that organic food is better for you than non-organic. But do they – and do you – know why? Well, there are lots of reasons!

Increased Health

Studies have shown that organic fruits and veggies have up to 50% more antioxidants, plus more vitamins and minerals. Eating organic can help you fight cancer, reduce your risk of cancer and heart disease, improve your immune system, and help you sleep better.

If you’re worried about the rise of genetically modified foods, then switch to organic. GMOs are prohibited by law in organic foods. Farmers can’t use GM seeds, and livestock can’t eat GM feed. Some people feel that GMOs exacerbate food allergies, increase inflammation in the body, and negatively affect the immune system.

Great Taste and Improved Nutrition

Do you miss the taste of fresh, juicy, in-season strawberries? What about your favorite salad or grilled corn? Organic foods don’t contain preservatives like conventional foods. Preservatives or irradiation kill bacteria and make conventional produce last longer, but the very thing that makes this produce more shelf-stable strips it of taste, color, and nutrients.

Given our ability to fly in produce from around the world, everything is always in season. We’ve forgotten that food is supposed to taste good, look better, and satisfy us. Choosing local organic produce means that you bypass the food production pipeline altogether.

Keeping the Next Generation Healthy

Give your babies and kids the right start in life by feeding them an organic diet. Toxins and carcinogens from processing and pesticides pass from mothers to their babies through the umbilical cord, resulting in the average baby being born with upwards of 200 distinct chemicals in its blood. Everything from mercury to pesticides to residual chemicals from flame retardants, non-stick coatings, and industrial manufacturing can affect growing organs and brains.

Feeding organics to your child won’t entirely undo the damage already in place, but it can prevent further damage. A diet of organic produce, wild or grass and pasture-fed meat, fish, and poultry, raw seeds and nuts, and cold-pressed fats will help reduce the effects of early toxin exposure. The same diet will also reduce future toxicity and reduce the effects of early exposure on your child’s future health.

It’s Also Better for Animals

We’ve all seen videos and read articles about the poor treatment of stock animals being bred for food. Organically-raised animals have better living conditions, yes, but it’s about much more than that.

No Drugs or GMOs

Organically-raised livestock is not fed animal byproducts, which increases the risk of mad cow disease (BSE). These animals don’t get antibiotics, either through their feed or by injection, which can cause future antibiotic resistance. They are not given growth hormones to speed up muscle development. Organic meat and poultry are often free-range and pasture-fed, meaning that the animals are given space to roam and eat grasses and plants.

Organic food is, by law, GMO and GE-free. Genetically modified organisms (GMOs) and genetically engineered (GE) foods have modified DNA that doesn’t occur naturally. These alterations are made most often to increase pest resistance. So not only can organic produce not include GMOs and chemicals, neither can organic meat and dairy. Organic meat and dairy producers can’t give their livestock any feed that is grown with pesticides or that has been modified.

Healthier Meat and Dairy

According to researchers, Organic meat and dairy can contain up to 50% more nutrients than conventional meat and dairy. Omega-3 fatty acids, iron, vitamin E, selenium, and carotenoids all occur in higher concentrations in organic milk. Organic beef is rich in antioxidants while also having reduced cholesterol and fatty acids levels compared to conventionally-raised beef.

It’s Better for the Environment

Conventional farming and livestock raising methods are dangerous for the planet. Soil erosion, chemical and pesticide contamination of soil and water, and overuse of antibiotics have long-term, multi-generational impacts on our world and its citizens. Pesticides like DDT have long been banned, but it continues to permeate the environment and all the food we eat.

Organic farming on its own is better for the environment. Organic farming practices have a demonstrable reduction in pollution and its adverse effects on people, birds, and animals. In addition, organic farming practices conserve water, reduce soil erosion, increase soil fertility, and use less energy.

Raising livestock on organic feed with sustainable grazing practices naturally supports pest and weed resistance. Rotating grazing lands and allowing unused fields to over-grow aids in healthy soil that conserves water.

Top 10 Organic Foods

Every year, the Environmental Working Group (EWG) puts out its so-called Dirty Dozen list. The Dirty Dozen lists the conventional produce that, when purchased traditionally, contains the most pesticides. So, in addition to organic and free-range meat and dairy, you should always buy the following fruits and veggies organic:

  • Strawberries
  • Spinach
  • Kale, Collared, and Mustard Greens
  • Nectarines
  • Apples
  • Grapes
  • Peaches
  • Cherries
  • Pears
  • Peppers

Or better yet, grow them yourself!