Human Health Benefits of Eating Organic Foods

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The organic food industry has consistently seen sales increase, rising from $1 billion in 1990 to $26.7 billion in 2010. According to the Organic Trade Association, 78 percent of American families purchase organic foods. This percentage is steadily increasing as more consumers are becoming aware of the many health benefits conferred by organic foods .Greater Antioxidant Value Antioxidants are important nutrients found in fresh fruits and vegetables and have been shown to impart multiple health benefits, including the prevention of many cancers. Some studies show that organic foods may have more antioxidants compared to commercial varieties. A 2012 study in the "Journal of the Science of Food and Agriculture" discovered higher antioxidants, including vitamin C, in organic broccoli compared to conventional. ***Reduced Pesticide Exposure Many consumers choose organic produce because they desire to lower their exposure to the pesticides found on commercial produce. Certified organic produce is free from pesticide residues. A 2008 study published in "Environmental Health Perspectives" revealed a majority of organophosphorus (OP) pesticide exposure in humans comes from dietary intake. When commercial produce was replaced with organic produce, pesticide exposure was reduced significantly. Among other concerns, OP pesticide exposure has been shown to contribute to deficiencies in neurodevelopment, becoming a factor in autism, ADHD and other neurological impairments in developing children. ***Reduced Antiobiotic Exposure With the increasing usage of antibiotics among dairy farms and feed lots, antibiotic resistance is becoming a concern for many Americans. Organically raised animals are not given antibiotic additives; therefore, organic diary and meats products do not contain these residues. Consistent exposure to low doses of antibiotic residues can also disrupt the normal flora of the human gut, reducing the number of healthful bacteria and leaving humans more vulnerable to harmful bacteria and illness. ***Genetically Modified Foods More recently, an increase in production of genetically modified foods and the lack of labeling of these foods is causing many concerned Americans to choose organic foods. The health implications of GM foods is still being studied, but preliminary results do not look good. Rat studies show depressed immune systems, reproductive dysfunction, cancer, allergies, toxicity and more. In one 2005 study, conducted at the Russian Academy of Sciences, a 55 percent death rate of rat pups born to rats fed a GM soy diet was discovered, compared to a 9 percent death rate of rat pups born to rats fed a non-GM soy diet. Nearly 70 percent of all processed foods contain GM ingredients, and choosing organic is the only guarantee that food is free of genetic modification. >>>Source :