Benefits of Organic Food

Understanding the Benefits of Organic Food

The Sanctuary at Sedona’s dedicated team understands the benefits of organic food. Therefore, the holistic rehab center offers only organic food, many of which are grown on the property itself.

The benefits for organic food extend far beyond superior taste. It is better for the environment, the economy, and especially the health of the people.

Defining Organic

To understand the benefits of organic food, one must understand how organic differs from conventional. Organic means no synthetic fertilizers, no pesticides and no sewage sludge. For vegetables to be considered organic, farms must have a buffer zone surrounding crops to protect from contaminants. For meat to be considered organic, no hormones or antibiotics can be given to animals unless they are sick. They must be given 100% organic feed.

While organic food is typically more expensive than conventional foods, there are many benefits of organic food that far outweigh its costs.

Harmful Effects of Chemicals

The use of pesticides and herbicides have grown exponentially over the past few decades as commercial farms aim to cut costs and increase output using chemicals. These chemicals are relatively new, and its long-term effects on its consumers have not been thoroughly researched and all its risks have yet to be identified.

benefits of organic foodIn a statement responding to the ongoing debate over the environmental health repercussions of genetically modified crops, a group of prominent scientists that includes Bruce Blumberg cautioned that the use of herbicide-resistant GMO crops has led to increasing herbicide use. The scientists wrote that “despite their widespread use, the human and wildlife toxicity of herbicides has not been well studied. Evidence suggests that at least some may induce detrimental health effects even at low exposure levels.”

Essentially, today’s typical consumer of conventionally farmed foods is the guinea pig of the current era. To avoid health problems, it is important now more than ever to pay attention to the benefits of organic food. Produce and animals treated with chemicals have a potentially detrimental effect on its consumers.

For instance, a 2012 report published by the Enviornmental Health Perspectives (EHP) found that potential health effects of low-level exposure to widely used pesticides. Specifically, a pesticide called triflumizole (TFZ), which is used on leafy greens, apples, cherries, strawberries, cucumbers, grapes, watermelons and other food crops has been identifies as an obesogen in mice. An obesogen is a chemical that promotes obesity by promoting the growth of more and larger fat cells, often doing so through prenatal exposure and setting the stage of metabolic disease later in life. Thus, one of the benefits of organic food is that it can prevent obesity and other health risks associated with obesity.

“An alarming recent trend is the increasing rate of obesity in very young children, even infants,” writes Bruce Blumberg, University of California Irvine professor of developmental and cell biology who led this study of the fungicide called triflumizole (TFZ). “Since it is unlikely that infants are consuming more calories and exercising less than in the past, it is reasonable to hypothesize that the prenatal and/or early postnatal environment has recently changed.”

Buying Organic

While the benefits of organic food are undeniable, it is true that they are usually more costly. If one cannot afford 100% organic produce, Monica Meadows, Lydia Steinman and Sara Sweitzer – leaders of the Dietetics Program at The University of Texas at Austin – explain that not every conventionally grown fruit and vegetable presents the same risk. The amount of pesticide residue that will actually make it into your mouth varies widely depending on how the fruit or vegetable is grown, how porous its skin is, how effective it is to wash it, and whether it has a peel that you remove before eating.

They suggest using the Environmental Working Group (EWG)’s Dirty Dozen and Clean 15 lists as guides to enjoying the benefits of organic food.

benefits of organic food - 3The Dirty Dozen is a list of the 12 foods that are most contaminated with chemicals; therefore, it is important to purchase them organically. This year’s list include:

  1. Apples
  2. Strawberries
  3. Grapes
  4. Celery
  5. Peaches
  6. Spinach
  7. Sweet Bell Peppers
  8. Imported Nectarines
  9. Cucumbers
  10. Cherry Tomatoes
  11. Imported Snap Peas
  12. Potatoes

The Clean 15 is a list of the 15 foods with the least contaminants; therefore, if one cannot afford 100% organic produce, the following foods can be purchased conventionally:

  1. Avocados
  2. Sweetcorn
  3. Pineapples
  4. Cabbages
  5. Frozen Sweet Peas
  6. Onions
  7. Asparagus
  8. Mangoes
  9. Papayas
  10. Kiwis
  11. Eggplant
  12. Grapefuit
  13. Cantaloupe
  14. Cauliflower
  15. Sweet Potatoes

benefits of organic food

Learn more about the benefits of organic food. The Sanctuary at Sedona is committed to helping clients heal the body, mind, soul and spirit. Nutrition and proper eating plays a large role in the process of integrative healing. Read about our food paradigm.