Canadians are showing a budding interest in all things organic: approximately two out of three are buying organic products on a weekly basis.
And if the purchasing habits of millennials turn out to be perennial, there’s a lot more organic food in store for Canada’s future. 83% of millennials buy organic food and beverages — more than any other generation.
So what’s all the fuss about? Organic food and farming have a range of benefits, from supporting the local economy to addressing climate change — but many shoppers are also flocking to the organic section to take care of their health and well-being.
Here are our top 5 health reasons to eat organic.
1) More bang for your buck – and your health
Organic food may add a little more to your grocery bill, but the benefits add up: studies have shown that organic meat and milk contain about 50% more beneficial omega-3 fatty acids, and organic plant-based foods can contain up to 69% higher concentrations of antioxidants.
Just like the extra time, care and effort taken by organic farmers to meet the Canadian Organic Standards certification, the small difference in price for organic farmed food pays off in the form of higher quality.
But what exactly does that mean for your health and well-being?
2) Doctors orders
An apple a day keeps the doctor away, as the old saying goes. Doctors in Canada might not be using those words exactly, but more than half of Canadians say their decision to buy organic products is influenced by recommendations from a health professional.
Because organic food is produced without the use of synthetic pesticides, there is a lower risk of various negative health impacts associated with chemical pesticides, including gastrointestinal, neurological, carcinogenic, respiratory, reproductive and endocrine problems.1
3) Growing up green
It’s a scary thought for parents and kids, but there’s evidence from epidemiological studies that low-level exposure to organophosphate insecticides can impact children’s cognitive development.
Here’s the good news: these risks can be minimized by choosing organic food — especially during pregnancy and infancy.
Families in Canada seem to be catching on, with 76% of households with kids purchasing organic products.2
4) The “dirt” on soil
When it comes to soil, the devil is in the details — organic farming prioritizes healthy soils for future generations and mainly relies on compost, animal and green manures for crop nutrition, as opposed to synthetic fertilizers.
Some of the impacts of soil quality lie under the surface, but studies like the ongoing Vegetable Systems Trial are shedding new light. Organic and regenerative farming practices prioritize soil health, which leads to healthier, more nutrient-dense foods.3
5) No need for needles
The truth about antibiotic drugs in meat and dairy production might hurt a bit: globally, more antibiotics are used for animal production than for human health.
Organic animal husbandry heavily restricts the use of antibiotics, instead relying on preventative factors such as hygiene measures and giving animals more spacious housing.
It’s a pretty big deal: choosing organic meat and dairy products doesn’t just benefit your health — you’re helping the entire world in the global fight against antibiotic-resistant disease.
We hope this gives you some food for thought, and a bit of encouragement to explore all of your favourite foods grown organically if you haven’t already made the switch. In fact, we have another short, informative blog all about that — check out Going organic: 5 simple switches you can make.
1 – https://acornorganic.org/eatorganic/organic-is-health-conscious
2 – https://choosecanadaorganic.ca/
3 – https://rodaleinstitute.org/why-organic/issues-and-priorities/nutrient-density/