Conventional farming practices have ruled the agriculture industry for hundreds of years. Chemicals used during conventional farming accounts to billions of pounds annually. These chemicals not just adversely affect our health but also impact the surroundings. Considering all the negative impacts of conventional farming, we would come to the realization that it is not a sustainable system for any of us. Besides the threat to environment at a global level, the chemical-driven food industry market is resulting in serious threats to human health.
A review by The Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine of various published studies on nutritional value of conventionally grown food and organic food verified that organically grown vegetables, pulses, rice, tea, etc. provides significantly more nutrients and help in fulfilling the daily intake of nutrients. Missing on essential nutrients which are deemed critical to maintain health is the main reason of illness. Studies have proved that organic food has more nutrients than conventional food. Organic food is associated with better health as it is rich in essential vitamins, micronutrients, and minerals. On an average, it has been found, that organic produce is rich in iron by 21.1%, vitamin C by 27%, magnesium by 29.3%, phosphorus by 13.6%, as well as important antioxidants and enzymes. On the other hand, the health benefits of conventional produce is destroyed by chemical fertilizers and pesticides used during inorganic practices of agriculture.
Numerous reports claim that harmful pesticides can affect the nervous system adversely, decrease fertility as well as increase the risk of cancer, while a U.S. study claims that low-level exposure to pesticides may result in better neurologic and behavioral health. Consuming organic food can drastically reduce exposure to toxic chemicals, 90% of which are not even tested for long term health effects before being approved for usage during conventional farming. Besides harmful fertilizers and pesticides, processed foods also expose us to genetically engineered (GE) food as well as genetically modified organisms (GMO), which survive glyphosate spraying and lead to super weeds and super bugs due to excessive chemical dousing. The World Health Organization’s cancer research scientists have recently classified glyphosate as a probable carcinogen for humans. The only way to avoid it is to go organic!
Organic farming can be viewed as a practice of regenerative agriculture which helps in increasing the fertility of soil and creating more nutritious food. At the same time it reduces carbon footprint by absorbing carbon dioxide from the air and helps in reversing rapid climate changes, thus protecting future generations. Besides diminishing the toxic load on health, organic farming is the way to keep toxic chemicals out of soil, water, and air. David Pimentel, an entomologist from Cornell, has estimated that 99% of pesticides sprayed during conventional farming impact the environment, while only one per cent reaches the targeted pests. Thus, organic farming not only helps in preserving water quality and improving soil fertility, but also directs us towards eco-sustenance, thus preserving eco-systems, bio-diversity, and our health. Therefore, organic farming is not only the way to sustainable agriculture, but also to a healthier planet!