The Advantages of Eating Organic Fruits and Vegetables

Including organic produce in our vegan diet is a sure way to increase our nutrient intake and safeguard ourselves from the devastating effects of harmful, chemical fertilizers and pesticides. Along with enjoying the enhanced flavor of organic produce, we can also enjoy the enhanced ecological connection we nurture through our support of the organic, natural process of food production.

It All Begins With The Soil

It is the nutrients in the soil that are the source. We are made from these very minerals, and it is these soil minerals that sustain our lives. Plant life is the conduit. Organic agriculture promotes the unhindered transfer of nutrients from the soil, into the plants, into our systems.

“In the original design of nature, plants play an essential role, because man cannot ingest elements (nutrients) for his sustenance directly from the soil. Man must receive nutrition through the living tissues of plants, which likewise, feeds all animal life.

Hence, via plant life, “the body of man grows out of the soil… It should be obvious that soil is vital to health! Soil is a living dynamic substance and it transfers its life force to man, via plants.” (1)

“The universe of micro-organisms in a healthy soil contributes to the major nutrients and micro-nutrients, minerals and enzymes in our food.”

Organic produce is grown with natural methods that work in unison with the inherent nature and cycles of soil development to provide plants with maximum nutrients; which is great for those who consume organic vegetables.

Precious Nutrients Lost

f you are not consuming organic vegetables, not only are you missing out on needed nutrients, but you are subjecting yourself to the harmful effects of chemical pesticides and fertilizers. Chemical fertilizers rob the soil of their nutrients and pesticides kill off helpful micro-organisms in the soil, while simultaneously accumulating in our body tissues causing illness.

“Unfortunately, many pesticides can kill more than just their intended targets, namely the necessary micro-organisms in the soil. When chemicals are used for a period of time on plants in an area, they will eventually leach into the soil. Once in the soil they can kill the micro-organisms living in the soil that break down organic material and aid in plant growth. It can take years before micro-organisms can once again live in soil that has had toxic chemicals applied to it.”

Chemical fertilizers destroy topsoil minerals that plants are meant to absorb. The three main chemicals in fertilizers, Nitrogen, Phosphorus and Potassium are pumped onto the soil in excessive, unnecessary amounts and this affects not only the soil but our bodies as well. The nitrates formed, damage red blood cells. The excess phosphorus produces salts that block nutrients from entering the plant. It causes deficiencies of iron and zinc in the soil. Excess potassium causes deficiencies of magnesium and calcium in the soil. These are all nutrients we are meant to receive from plant life; nutrients that give us health and vitality.

Organic Produce Provides More Nutrients

With all the strides we have made to become vegans, we don’t want to get taken out by fruits and vegetables that lack nutrients and have pesticide residues that enter our body tissues and cause us ill health. Organic vegetables are well worth the extra pennies. We will either pay for the food or pay for the doctor bills. Even if you supplement your diet partially with organic produce, those nutrients count and help to fight off the ill effects of the commercially grown produce. There are plenty of facts and studies that support the claims and that verify our innermost feelings that the ecologically sound method for growing food, the organic method, yields more nutrients to us.

“Organic produce have more nutrients because they are grown in good quality soil. Further, because the growth of conventional produce is usually artificially sped up using chemicals, they tend to contain more water and less actual solid food content…

Not only does organic produce have more vitamins, minerals and other important nutrients, it retains the nutrients for longer periods of time…

The truth is, many of today’s fruits and vegetables only have a fraction of the nutritional concentration they once had 50 or 100 years ago. This is due largely to the depletion in soil quality worldwide, caused mainly by modern conventional farming methods…”

-All 4 Natural Health

One of the most exciting studies involves the higher levels of antioxidants found in organic produce:

“The Organic Center carried out a State of Science Review (SSR) on the impact of organic farming methods, and organically acceptable food processing techniques, on average antioxidant levels in food. The January 2005 Executive Summary and full report are freely available on the Center’s website. We found that a shift to organic farming methods can increase average antioxidant levels from a few percent to over 200 percent, with the average increase being about 30 percent. We also document that organically acceptable food-processing methods can lessen the percent of antioxidants lost when fruits and vegetables or grains are processed and cooked, sometimes dramatically.” -Growing Healthier Food

This is great news! Antioxidants are one of our best friends in the nutrient world. They protect us from free radicals that cause so many ailments; from skin problems to infections to degenerative diseases such as cancer.

“The biggest and most extensive scientific study and research into the benefits of organic food has found that it is more nutritious than ordinary produce and may in fact lengthen people’s lives. They also contain higher levels of antioxidants and flavonoids which help ward off heart disease and cancer as well as higher levels of beneficial minerals such as iron and zinc. (But you could’ve told them that.)

Newcastle University have been leading this £12m, four-year project, funded by the European Union and their findings show that organic food contains more antioxidants and less unhealthy fatty acids

The studies have indicated that differences between organic and non-organic produce were so marked, eating organic produce is like eating an extra portion of fruit or vegetables everyday. “If you have just 20% more antioxidants and you can’t get your kids to do five a day, then you might just be okay with four a day,” said Leifert.”


Great Benefits For Children

One of the brightest aspects of eating organic produce is the protection and nutrient boost it gives to children. Children’s bodies are yet developing and they need all the nutrition they can get. Organic produce also protects them from the harmful pesticide residues that are in commercially grown fruits and vegetables; their sensitive systems are affected more adversely.

“Children eating primarily organic diets had significantly lower levels organophosphorus (OP) pesticide metabolite concentrations than did children eating conventional diets. In fact, concentrations of dimethyl metabolites, one OP metabolite group, were approximately six times higher for the children eating conventional diets. Other studies indicate that chronic low-level exposure to OP pesticide may affect neurological functioning, neurodevelopment, and growth in children. “Dose estimates suggest that consumption of organic fruits, vegetables, and juice can reduce children’s exposure levels from above to below the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s current guidelines, thereby shifting exposures from a range of uncertain risk to a range of negligible risk,” authors Cynthia L. Curl, Richard A. Fenske, and Kai Elgethun wrote, adding, “Consumption of organic produce appears to provide a relatively simple way for parents to reduce their children’s exposure to OP pesticides.” A previous study by members of the study team had shown that children eating primarily organic diets had significantly lower OP pesticide exposure than did children consuming primarily conventional diets. In fact, an earlier study found no measurable pesticide metabolites in the urine of a child whose family bought exclusively organic produce.” (2)

This is invaluable knowledge and provides an invaluable opportunity for improving children’s health.

Eating organic produce is well worth the extra money it demands. Organic fruits, vegetables, grains, nuts and legumes are packed with true, potent nutrient power. It is part of the real health stimulus to cut down medical bills. You can even cut some economic corners by growing your own organic produce. Just knowing that you are eating (and producing) food produced in the natural ecological cycles, brings you closer to nature. A higher appreciation for the soil, from which the food springs forth, connects you to the source of your being.

Additional Sources:

  1. Agri-Nutrition Bulletin from The Community Agricultural Project
  2. [Original study: Environmental Health Perspectives, Vol. 109, No. 3, March 2001 (pp. 299-303, C. Lu, D.E. Knutson, J. Fisker-Andersen, and R.A. Fenske, “Biological Monitoring Survey of Organophosphorus Pesticide Exposure among Preschool Children in the Seattle Metropolitan area”). Subsequent study: Environmental Health Perspectives, posted online Oct. 31, 2002, C.L. Curl, R.A. Fenske, and K. Elgethun, “Organophosphorus pesticide exposure of urban and suburban pre-school children with organic and conventional diets”]. Source: Environmental Health Perspectives, March 2003.”

Source : Vegan Campus

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