Organic: Why Make the Transition?

Organic food is great business, but a bad investment” – Bjorn Lomborg

This statement, made by a writer for USA Today, is one of the many negative statements revolving around Organic products that lacks any scientific backing. There are countless articles all over the internet putting negative information into consumers heads. With a bit more research and effort towards the subject matter, finding adequate research to support our decision to transition to organic products is not difficult. Here, I am going to discuss the many reasons why making the transition from conventional food products to organic can benefit our health, our environment, and our planet.

Biodiversity: the variety of life in the world or in a particular habitat or ecosystem.

Currently, the expansion of modern agriculture is one of the greatest current threats to the biodiversity of the Earth. Dramatic declines in both range and abundance of many species associated with farmland have been reported. This has left farmers with a growing concern for the sustainability of conventional farming practices. Birds, mammals, invertebrates and various flora are being effected. If the farmlands we are receiving our food products from are so negatively effected, why would an individual choose to consume these products?

This information alone, is enough of a reason for me to stick with my decision of consuming only organic products. The benefits of organic farming practices are clear. There is a typical increase in organism abundance of 40 to 50% across various species.

New life

Soil Health: This is such an important topic for us because without healthy soil, none of our crops would grow. Without soil, there would be nowhere to grow our food, so keeping it as a healthy as possible is essential. Soil contains food, water and air: all needed by plants to grow. Essentially, the healthier the soil, the more nutrients it contains, allowing for more nutrients to be absorbed by the plants. The healthier the plants, the healthier we are, as consumers.

Organic farmlands have a higher organic carbon content. Carbon is like the basis of fertility when it comes to soil. It releases nutrients for plant growth, promotes the structure of plants, aids in the health of the soil, and acts as a buffer against harmful substances. Additionally, organic soil reduces erosion, has a higher soil health, and a higher abundance of essential bacterial species.

Farm-worker Health: The individuals most effected by the harmful pesticides used with conventional farming are the farm-workers themselves, and their families. Most often these individuals live very close to the farmlands, leading to an increased chance of over-exposure of harmful pesticides. Pesticides drift within the air, leading to water contamination. The farm-workers are often directly in contact with the pesticides, bringing it into their homes by their clothing, exposing their children and/or pets. Additionally, pregnant women are at a very high risk of pregnancy complications due to over-exposure of pesticides.

Synthetic pesticides are banned from organic farmlands, resulting in the prevention of pesticide poisoning not only for the farm-workers, but for their families and neighbours as well. This has led to a dramatic decrease in over-exposure reported deaths and illnesses.

The discussion can go on and on forever. There are so many negatives to conventional farming, and so many positives when it comes to making the transition to organics. I hope I have given you some insight and have helped start your research towards making the transition yourself.

Looking forward to seeing some organic products on your next grocery store list!!!

 

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4 thoughts on “Organic: Why Make the Transition?

  1. Katie,

    I never considered the transition from conventional to organic food products for the reasons that you have suggested. While I do purchase some organic food products, because of their flavour, I often find that the increase in price deters me from buying these products. Especially as a student, I find that I have been able to buy more items that still benefit my health than I would if I were to consider purchasing solely organic food. However, your post has put some things into perspective for me, especially the idea of soil health. I look forward to learning more about living a healthier life!

    – Maranda G.

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  2. Katie,
    I enjoyed reading your post mainly because I have always had an interest in eating more organic foods, but never really knew where or how to start. Organic food can be very expensive, but after reading your post, I can see the many benefits of going completely organic. I look forward to your next post.

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  3. Katie,

    Although I’ve been a vegetarian for 5 years now and like to think that I eat somewhat healthy foods, I clearly don’t. Whether it’s a bag of potato chips or a veggie burger from The Works, I still find myself eating way too much processed junk. However, I definitely agree with you that society should incorporate eating organic foods into their diet… not only is it healthier, it’s also better for our environment. I just feel like the majority of people will still choose a fast food item over a bowl of salad from an organically grown garden. Until we all smarten up, people will continue to gravitate towards “convenience” rather than “health”. Sad, but true.

    Very informative post… This week I’ll try my best to eat purely organic food.

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  4. Interesting post. I never really looked into eating organic foods since I always thought it was far too expensive for my expenses. I understand the benefits of eating organic, better for your health and environment, and will try to incorporate some more organic foods into my diet for the next few weeks. It won’t strictly be organic, but I have to start somewhere.

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