How Organic produce can have a positive impact on people’s lives

Roy Mahan - Retail Director at Organic Foods and Café

Organically grown products are rich in nutrients and help minimize public health risks when compared to conventionally grown products. Importantly, the manure and compost used for organic farming to fertilize the soil leads to minimal air, water and soil pollution.  It is a holistic approach to farming that considers the needs of the environment, the economy, and society as a whole. Organic produce can have a positive impact on people's lives in several ways including:

Health benefits: Organic foods are often considered healthier because they are produced without the use of harmful chemical fertilizers and synthetic pesticides. These chemicals can be damaging to human health if ingested in large quantities. Aside from reducing the chemicals we consume, studies have shown that organic produce may also have higher levels of certain nutrients compared to their conventional counterparts. There have been numerous published studies, such as the study of organic tomatoes that found organic tomatoes had higher levels of certain antioxidants and Vitamin C compared to conventionally grown tomatoes. Another study found that organic milk and meat had higher levels of Omega-3 fatty acids when compared to non-organic alternatives. Omega-3 fatty acids for example play a number of important roles in the body, including reducing inflammation and supporting heart health.

Aside from the health benefits, is widely regarded that organic produce (specifically fruits and vegetables) taste better due to the absence of preservatives involved in the farming process. Non- organic items often use preservatives to extend their shelf life which can make them more appealing for grocery stores to stock. Fresher produce contains more enzymes and explodes with vibrant flavours and crisp textures! It also creates a level of ‘conscious consumption’ and makes us evaluate what we fuel our bodies with. Clean fuel equates to clean energy and wellbeing.

Social benefits: Organic farming creates jobs and supports local economies. By not requiring the chemicals and pesticides that are necessary for non-organic farming, a farmer has less dependency on external inputs which makes the entire process more sustainable for them. Organic farming also provides opportunities for small-scale farmers to earn a living and improve their livelihoods.

Environmental benefits: Organic farming practices help to preserve soil health, protect water quality, and reduce greenhouse gas emissions. One type of synthetic fertilizer that is prohibited in organic farming is sewage sludge, which is a byproduct of the treatment of municipal wastewater. Sewage sludge contains a variety of contaminants, including heavy metals and pathogens, and its use as a fertilizer has been controversial due to concerns about potential health and environmental risks.

Similarly, the use of chemical fertilizers can contribute to water pollution and the formation of dead zones in rivers and streams. When chemical pollutants enter a body of water, they can cause an excess of nutrients, such as nitrogen and phosphorus, which can stimulate the growth of algae. When the algae die, they sink to the bottom of the water body and decompose, which consumes oxygen. This can lead to a process called eutrophication.

In severe cases, eutrophication can create "dead zones," where there is not enough oxygen for most aquatic life to survive. This can have serious consequences for the health of the ecosystem and for the humans who depend on it for food, recreation, and other purposes. Furthermore, if you love bees, then you need to love organic! The pollinators thrive in organic agriculture due to the absence of highly toxic synthetic pesticides. Not only are bees our cute friends, they play a vital role in our ecosystem - helping support the growth of flowers, trees and plants (our food!) through pollination.

Organic products are never grown using harmful chemicals and adopt practices that can support biodiversity by providing a habitat for a variety of plant and animal species. Organic produce can have a positive impact on people's lives both now and for future generations by promoting sustainable agriculture and supporting the health and well-being of both individuals and communities.

Organic Foods and Café

Roy Mahan - Retail Director at Organic Foods and Café