• Remana Jamal

Are Organic Foods Healthier?



We have heard a lot about organic foods and their health benefits recently. Therefore, many of us have replaced traditional products with organic and it is expected that this sector will continue to grow in the near future, as the number of consumers looking for an alternative to mass-produced foods increases.

Previously, organic products were only available in health food centers, but now it's easy to find them in all major supermarkets. In this research, we will explain what organic foods are and how they are different from non-organic foods.


What is organic food?

Organic food is the product of an agricultural system that places great emphasis on environmental protection and animal welfare. Its main goal is to conserve natural resources: soil, water and biodiversity. Natural fertilizers are used made from recycled plant or animal materials, including farm manure. Organic material is composted before use to reduce levels of harmful bacteria.

While organic and inorganic foods may look very similar, the farming systems involved in their production can be very different. Foods can only be classified and marketed as organic when produced on a farm certified as organic and inspected by an official certification.

Organic farming practices are designed with the following goals:

  • improving soil and water quality

  • Reduce pollution

  • Provide safe and healthy environments for livestock

  • Enable cattle to follow normal behavior

  • Promote a self-sustainable cycle of resources on the farm


What is the effect of organic food on human health?

We conclude when comparing the production of organic versus conventional food with regard to important criteria for human health and the potential impact of organic management practices with an emphasis on EU requirements:

  • Consuming organic food may reduce the risk of allergies, weight gain and obesity, but the evidence is not conclusive, as consumers of organic foods tend to adopt healthy lifestyles in general.

  • With regard to chronic diseases, the number of studies is limited. Consumers of organic foods compared to non-consumers showed lower incidence of high blood pressure, type 2 diabetes, increased blood cholesterol (in both males and females), and cardiovascular disease (in men).

  • In organic agriculture, the use of pesticides is restricted, while in conventional agriculture the residues in fruits and vegetables are the main source of human exposure to pesticides.

  • Epidemiological studies have reported harmful effects of some pesticides on children's cognitive development at current exposure levels.

  • The differences in composition between organic and conventional crops are limited, as is the slightly higher content of phenolic compounds in organic fruits and vegetables, and it is also possible that the cadmium content of organic cereal crops is low.

  • Organic dairy products, and possibly meat as well, contain a higher percentage of omega-3 fatty acids than conventional products.

  • Of even greater concern is the predominant use of antibiotics in traditional livestock production as a major driver of antibiotic resistance in society; While the use of antibiotics in organic production is less intense.



Summary:

Organic food differs from the traditional in terms of method of agriculture, this helps to preserve the vitamins and minerals in the food more than traditional agriculture. It also helps reduce pollution and protect the environment and humans from the risks of pesticides used with traditional fertilizers. It also has long-term benefits for human health, as it helps prevent heart disease, diabetes, cholesterol, stress and allergies. But this does not mean that we overdo it and believe that it does not lead to weight gain because it is organic, this is a misconception, as it may help in weight loss when consumed according to our needs and our goal. Also, it should be purchased from approved and authorized centers.

























Sources:

https://www.mewa.gov.sa/ar/Ministry/Agencies/AgencyofAgriculture/OrganicCompain/PublicationsDocs/KSA-Studiefor%20English.pdf


https://ehjournal.biomedcentral.com/articles/10.1186/s12940-017-0315-4#Ack1


https://www.mewa.gov.sa/ar/Ministry/Agencies/AgencyofAgriculture/OrganicCompain/PublicationsDocs/KSA-Studiefor%20English.pdf

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