People are increasingly thinking about what they eat, where their food comes from and how it is produced. A positive development. One of the topics much talked and written about is organic food. Is that really better? Or is the difference from regular (mainstream) nutrition minimal? We list a few aspects for you.
What is organic?
The production of organic food takes into account the environment and animals as much as possible. Various regulations lay down the requirements that farmers and producers must meet. So you can’t just call something “organic. In the Netherlands, organic products must comply with the European Organic Products Regulation. For example, organic farmers give animals more space than in conventional livestock production and avoid manure surpluses. Organic farmers also do not use artificial fertilizers and synthetic pesticides when growing their plants or raising their livestock, and use fewer antibiotics. To indicate that something has been grown or produced organically, several labels have been developed, such as EKO and European Organic.
Healthier or not?
It sounds logical that fruits and vegetables grown without chemical pesticides and fertilizers and meat from animals that have had better lives are more nutritious than foods where this is not the case. However, this assumption is not entirely true. Indeed, in general, organic food has not been shown to be healthier than conventional food. The problem lies in the difficulty of demonstrating the (health) effects of organic food, in the short and long term. Food research has its hooks in: you have to follow people for a long time, people sometimes say one thing and do another, and people who eat organically, often live healthier lives on other fronts as well, making it difficult to demonstrate the effect of organic food on your health alone. So doing good research on the effects of organic food is difficult.
Nutritional value and toxins
There are several studies, which show that the amount of vitamins, minerals and antioxidants in organic food can indeed be greater than in conventional food. As a result, the overall nutritional value of the organic food is higher, making it more valuable to your body. Organic food also contains fewer pesticides, which means you will also ingest fewer of these toxins. A great benefit, since toxins are harmful to our bodies. Growing children are especially vulnerable to toxins because their bodies and brains are still developing. So proper nutrition and nutrients are incredibly important for children. The “cleaner” the foods we take in, the better for our bodies.
Regular animal husbandry or agriculture demands a lot from our nature and is harmful to the environment. This pollution comes, among other things, from the use of pesticides, antibiotics and (artificial) manure, which have become part of food production in the last 200 years. This form of environmental pollution is becoming more visible as we begin to think differently about our food and where it comes from. So you also help protect our nature and environment by eating organic products. One disadvantage of organic livestock production, however, is that it usually requires more land. Something that then comes at the expense of nature, for example. Regarding energy consumption, water use and waste management, there are no regulations for organic production. So at this point you could say that it is not easy to demonstrate whether organic production is better or worse for the environment/climate.
The step to eating organic can be tricky. Maybe you are not yet convinced of the (health) benefits or you cannot afford it financially (in general, organic products are more expensive than regular products). In the context of “you are what you eat” and “know what you eat,” you might then consider growing your own plants in your own garden or on your balcony. Herbs, tomatoes, peppers and chilies, as well as cucumbers and lettuce, for example, are easy to grow. That way you have more control over how healthy the foods you take in are and you take a first step toward organic.
Do you want to take the step to eating healthier? Then take a dive into the world of CURCUM!