A European study, that received widespread media attention, showcased a family who never ate organic food, testing the pesticide residues in their urine at the beginning of the study. The urine samples contained multiple harmful pesticides in each of their bodies. After switching to an organic diet for a two-week period, the families took another urine test and the results showed that all of the pesticide levels lowered drastically or disappeared entirely!1
Genetically engineered products (GMOs) are prohibited in organic production. They are dangerous to the health of the earth and life. Some consequences of using GMOs in agricultural production includes altering the DNA of the soil and plants, wiping out beneficial crops due to mono-cropping, creating harm to insects and pollinators and therefore creating a risk of decreased biodiversity.2 Organic agriculture addresses all of this as GMOs are banned in organic production for the very reasons listed above.
Healthy soil is important. With healthy organic soil, plants and microbial life can thrive, more water is retained nourishing the plants, and soil organisms can grow which prevents pests, and reducing run-off. Weak soil matter, often made less fertile by pumping it with chemicals for short term growth spurts, will become depleted of core nutrients needed for long term fertility. Soil will become dirt if soil health is not respected.3
Pollinators act as natural predators and can help organic farmers reduce their need for sprays or other inputs! Researchers compared bean pod plants on conventional farms and organic farms, surrounded by different habitats. Pots of beans were placed all over the fields and monitored for indicators of successful pollination. Organic farms had more pods per plant than the non-organic field! This means that pollination was more successful using organic techniques that respects pollinator health at the same time.4
Farm workers deserve to be protected from chemical spray as well as the farm animals and surrounding wildlife. There many health benefits of organic including safer pregnancies and child health as organic does not use chemical pesticides and GMOs5, avoids the routine use of antibiotics and growth hormones in livestock6 and organic has also been linked to preventing cancers like thyroid cancer. With these reasons and more, it is hard to understand why someone wouldn’t want to consume an all-organic diet!7
There are so many studies available on how organic foods contain more antioxidants! Organic cranberries, organic milk, and even organic meats have all been proven to show higher levels of antioxidants, polyphenols and flavonoids!8 #healthiswealth
Monocropping is a farming technique that is harmful towards the environment as it involves planting the same crop year after year without rotating the fields. This process makes the soil less fertile and due to this, farmers often turn to using chemical fertilizers and inputs to help their plants grow. Creating a quick fix agricultural system is at the detriment to our earth and health.9
Farming is hard work. Organic doesn’t cost taxpayers millions of dollars for clean-up from nitrogen run-off and algae blooms and dead-zones in the oceans that cost governments to clean up. Loss of productive land and clean water costs everyone!11
Studies have shown that organic agriculture results in less water pollution! Common organic production methods such as crop rotation, use of composted animal manure, foraging green legumes and use of green manures result in cleaner water due to less run off!10
Organic agriculture has strict standards farmers and ranchers must abide by, many of them are in the interest of animal welfare! A study by Emory University and The Organic Center, reports findings of banned antibiotics, growth hormones, and controversial pesticides in non-organic milk! These residues were not found in organic milk. Organic cows eat non-GMO feed and must have mandatory grazing time outdoors! There is no need to inject animals to force them to produce milk and grow larger.15 Organic lets nature take its course all the while ensuring the animals have a peaceful life without stress. A study has shown the connection between stress and taste. Conventional animals and plants are under more stress due to the conditions and use of GMOs, chemical pesticides, and contaminated waterways and grasses/plants on which they depend. This stress can cause a different taste. Therefore, organic foods literally taste12 different due to decreased stress and is often said to be more flavourful! Many people find organic foods to be more flavourful. It turns out that a healthy amount of natural stress that plants experience strengthens them (wind, insects, diseases and weed competition). The defence mechanisms they use create antioxidants, polyphenols, and flavonoids, which strengthens the immune systems of humans that eat these plants. Plants that are prevented from developing their own responses to these natural stressors do not develop as much innate immunity and this is also not passed on to the people eating these foods.
Organic farming supports biodiversity! Having a mix of animals, plants, microorganisms and pollinators, allows for a healthy ecosystem and soil. A strong agricultural system is able to naturally prevent pests rather than using harmful chemicals to do so. By ensuring there are no synthetic chemicals used, plants, animals, and insects can flourish in organic agriculture and result in a biodiverse system.13
That’s right, you read that correctly! Organic systems can actually mitigate climate change. Since organic makes soil health a priority, farmers produce cover crops to add more nitrogen into their soils, rotate their crops in order to avoid soil erosion, sequester more carbon, use less energy intensive inputs and release less carbon emissions!14 As climate change has reached its tipping point, choosing organic is a fantastic way to do your part on reducing your impact on the planet. Organic systems help reverse climate change since organic makes soil health a priority. Healthy soils equals soils rich in carbon. Organic farmers grow cover crops to add more nitrogen into their soils, rotate their crops in order to increase biodiversity, while sequestering more carbon. Also, organic uses less energy intensive inputs and release less carbon emissions!
Organic agriculture makes animals welfare a priority! This involves having truly-free range animals that are encouraged to roam with lots of space, fresh air, and an environment that enables the animals to express their natural behaviours!17
Health, Ecology, Care, and Fairness! Organic is a holistic way of producing healthy food for all, protecting the earth by caring for the soil, water and air as well as the growers, consumers, and wildlife that are part of the organic ecosphere.16 Organic cares about all actors in the system are treated fairly. Who wouldn’t want to support something with these four tenets as the foundation of your food system?
Organic agriculture has strict standards farmers and ranchers must abide by, many of them are in the interest of animal welfare! A study by Emory University and The Organic Center, reports findings of banned antibiotics, growth hormones, and controversial pesticides in non-organic milk! These residues were not found in organic milk. Organic cows eat non-GMO feed and must have mandatory grazing time outdoors! There is no need to inject animals to force them to produce milk and grow larger.15 Organic lets nature take its course all the while ensuring the animals have a peaceful life without stress.
Researchers have found that spraying synthetic chemicals to get rid of pests are actually making the pests stronger! IA fungi has become resistant to the harmful chemicals and are not dying. They have adapted and are slowly spreading around the globe becoming superweeds. Organic agriculture does not use synthetic chemicals to kill weeds. Instead, it promotes biodiversity, and lets the ecology regulate itself! This way, organic doesn’t help dangerous superweeds to develop. This way, organic doesn’t help dangerous pests evolve into resisting super strains!18
Organic reduces the amounts of chemical pesticides our children absorb, which can prevent major health issues, like mental agility, from starting at a young age. It is also healthier for newborns. When a pregnant mom eats conventional food, there are traces of harmful pesticides that get into the embryo, which they cannot properly digest or protect against.20
By reducing the need to ship and transport food from long distances, you are helping reduce the global CO emissions and ensuring that ou rCanadian waters and lands are benefitting from your organic purchases.21 Organic rewards the additional labour needed to produce organic with a premium, building vibrant rural communities and employing twice the labour pool of conventional farms due to the different agricultural methods. Let’s continue to build a strong economy that supports excellent environmental practices by buying Canada’s organic local products.
The Canada Organic claim and logo is your assurance that the prod- uct bearing it has met the Canadian government’s standards for organic. The standards are rigorous and inspections must occur to ensure that products are compliant on an annual basis. Only products containing 95-100% organic ingre- dients may use the logo. Products containing 70-95% organic ingredients may claim “Made with Organic Ingredients”. Those with fewer than 70% may only identify organic ingredients in the ingredient list, but not make an organic claim on the rest of the packaging in order to not mislead consumers that the entire product contains organic ingredients.18
From food to clothing to soap and natural health care products, organic products are available across Canada at hundreds of different stores across the country! Find products in your location using our locator: organicweek.ca/where-to-buy
There are many ways you can make organic affordable on a tighter budget! Some suggestions include planting a garden, buying frozen, looking out for coupons, buying in bulk or in season and preserving, and planning your meals ahead of time.19 Another way to make organic affordable is through our 21 Days to organic packs!
Learn more about 21 days to organic packs here.