Top 5 Reasons to Eat Organic Foods

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The organic foods movement goes back decades, but until relatively recently it was difficult to find organic food outside of specialty grocery stores. Now it’s big business, and you can find organic foods almost anywhere food is sold. But why, exactly, is it considered such a good idea to eat organic foods?

5 Eat Meat With Less Guilt

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Commercial agribusiness is notoriously inhumane both to animals and to human workers. Cows, hogs, lambs and chickens raised on factory farms are often crammed together in small enclosures, in an effort to produce as much meat as possible at as low a cost as possible. Humans employed by factory farms are frequently mistreated as well, according to the non-profit Farm Forward. The industry tends to use underage workers and immigrants who are in the country illegally, and requires them to work under unsafe and cruel conditions, Farm Forward reports. For example, many such workers report being denied bathroom breaks and working overtime without pay. When you eat organic, you can be reasonably assured that these inhumane practices won’t occur.

4 Help the Environment

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Organic farmers use sustainable agriculture practices that respect and protect people, animal and plant life, and the land itself. By alternating cash crops with crops that replenish soil and minerals; planting in season and without the use of pesticides, herbicides, or genetically modified seeds; and using water and land wisely, organic farmers achieve their end—producing organic foods—via means that respect organic principles. And when you eat organically produced food, you support those efforts.

3 Save Money at the Back End

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Although organic food is often more pricey than commercially prepared food, the money you save on health care in the long term may far outweigh the cost of the food. The value, both economically and medically, in eating meat and produce that are not genetically modified and have not been treated with insecticides, herbicides, antibiotics, or hormones is incalculable.

2 Eat Fresh

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Unlike commercially prepared foods, which are picked early and shipped vast distances packed in ice to keep them fresh, organic fruits and vegetables are allowed to fully ripen before they head to market. This allows vital nutrients more time to develop and greatly enhances flavor. Also, organic growers do not use pesticides or herbicides; or inject their livestock with antibiotics and hormones; or add animal byproducts to their feed. Commercial preparers do all of these things to enhance the texture and tenderness of foods.

1 Avoid Potential Risks

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Eating only or mostly organic food can help you avoid potential risks posed by genetically modified food. Opponents of genetically modified foods say they can put you at risk for long-term health problems, such as allergic reactions or cancer. And although three federal agencies monitor genetically modified organisms, or GMOs, for possible problems, the body of research on GMOs and genetically modified food is relatively small—and much of the research available is industry-funded. If you would prefer to avoid these largely unknown dangers, choosing organic food is a good way to go.

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