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Does Eating Organic Food Increase Life Expectancy?
- Four main differences set apart organic food production from more conventional techniques.
- Introducing more organic foods to the diet might help increase life expectancy but probably won’t help those who need the increase the most because they can’t afford to spend the extra money to buy organic produce.
Most decent size grocery stores today carry some of the top organic foods on the market, particularly in the produce section. While more people are buying up these foods, most don’t really understand the benefits of organic foods. Does eating organic food make you live longer? Can you really taste the difference between organic and inorganic foods? These are just some of the questions people want answered before spending the extra money to “go organic.”
What is Organic Food?
The term organic refers to organic food production. It’s an approach to raising and growing the food – nothing more or less. Four main differences set apart organic food production from more conventional techniques. For one, no chemical pesticides or herbicides are used on the crops. Instead, natural methods are used, such as using insects that kill the destructive insects to keep them away. Natural fertilizers are used over chemical ones, as well. Weeds are pulled by hand or controlled through mulch inside of by using chemicals. And the animals raised organically are fed a balanced, organic diet themselves and allowed access to the outdoors unlike those at most conventional animal ranches where they are fed antibiotics, growth hormones, and kept in tiny stalls.
The government regulates the organic food industry to ensure that conventional farmers are not allowed to label their products organic in order to raise the price. Make sure to look for the organic label before spending the extra money.
Benefits of Organic Food
When you understand the difference between conventional and organic food, you can begin to see some of the benefits of organic foods. For one, you don’t have to worry about the pesticide residue left on the produce you eat. You also don’t have to worry about ingesting large amounts of antibiotics and growth hormones which are fed to the animals nor do you have to worry about diseases, such as mad cow disease which is spread through animal populations when ranchers feed dead animals to other animals.
Organically grown food may also contain more nutrients. The reason is that conventional farming methods actually reduce the content of vitamins and minerals in food by depleting the soil through overuse and by using artificial fertilizers that bloat produce with water.
Some people also claim that organic foods simply taste better. There’s really no way of testing such a claim because taste preferences vary from person to person and are based on a variety of factors.
Organic Foods & Life Expectancy
Sadly, the United States is one of the only Western countries seeing a decline in life expectancy numbers. Most of the other countries that have had drops are also poor and, unfortunately, there is a clear gap in life expectancy between those with the most money and those with the least. Introducing more organic foods to the diet might help increase life expectancy but probably won’t help those who need the increase the most because they can’t afford to spend the extra money to buy organic produce.
The information supplied in this article is not to be considered as medical advice and is for educational purposes only.
|Healthy Menu5 Jan 2009|