For Australians, the decision to buy organic is a personal choice. Organic options are often more expensive and far less mainstream than traditional fruit and veggies.
“Organic produce is categorised as being grown, harvested and processed without pesticides or synthetic chemicals” explains Vicki Witt who specialises in nutrition.
So is organic really worth the extra investment? This article explores the benefits of organic produce.
Improves Australian Water Quality:
Agriculture is a leading cause of damaged ecosystems. Flora, fauna and water are all suffering due to the 29.500 tonnes of chemicals like insecticides, plant growth supplements, herbicides and fungicides that are used in Aussie farming annually.
“These chemicals can runoff into waterways and coastal areas and can even impact drinking water” says naturopath Healthful, “They can also leave a residue that damages the environment around them”.
Improves soil quality
Around half of Australia’s agricultural land (50 million hectares) has marginally acidic topsoils. To secure Australia’s agricultural future, it is imperative that measures are taken to rejuvenate the soil quality using organic farming and environmental practices that produce productive cropland.
Food security in draughts
It’s no secret that Australia is prone to droughts that absolutely devastate crops and diminish Australian agricultural harvests. Drought damaged crops don’t just affect food security for Australians, they also affect jobs. Over 100,000 jobs were lost between 2002-07 due to the drought that ravaged Australia between 2002-03.
There is some evidence to support this claim. A 2012 study published in the British Journal of Nutrition found that organic fruits and vegetables contain higher levels of vitamins and minerals than non-organic ones. In this study the levels of antioxidants were found to be substantially higher.
“That said, it’s important to keep in mind that the overall nutritional quality of your diet is more important than whether or not individual foods are organic” notes organic protein supplement vendor Organic Innovation.
It can be a safer option:
Organic food is generally considered to be safer to eat than non-organic food. Studies have determined that organic produce have 30% lower pesticide residues than traditionally grown foods, but this doesn’t mean traditionally grown foods aren’t within safe level limits.
Organic foods are produced without the use of synthetic pesticides, herbicides, or fertilisers. These chemicals can end up in our food supply and have been linked to a variety of health problems, including cancer.