11 Surprising Reasons Organic Is Better For You

Need more convincing to buy organic? This should do it.

November 3, 2016
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Ever find yourself eyeing up the organic label, wondering if it's actually worth it? According to a review study published in the British Journal of Nutrition, it is. With research offering even more proof that organic is the best choice, we wanted to share some of the more intriguing reasons buying organic protects your body (and the planet).

Related: How To Convince Someone That Organic Food Is Better

(Find seasonal recipes, inspiring imagery, and gardening tips every day inside the Rodale’s Organic Life 2017 Calendar!)

blueberries and blackberries
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More Antioxidants

Organic fruits and vegetables contain 20 to 40 percent more disease-fighting antioxidants compared to chemically grown counterparts. In fact, eating only organic food is equivalent to eating an extra serving of fruit or veggies a day, without actually having to eat more food.

breast cancer ribbon
Lower Poisonous Metal Levels

Organic food is up to 48 percent lower in the metal cadmium, a toxic compound found in certain fertilizers that's also linked to breast cancer and kidney stones.

Related: 6 Foods Where Organic Matters Most

pesticide spraying
More Healthy Plant Compounds

Plants exposed to pesticides produce fewer natural pest defenses, including phenols and polyphenols, naturally occurring compounds that can protect your organs and lower anxiety levels. Organic plants boast much higher flavonoid levels, in some cases up to around 70 percent higher levels.

young girl washing fruit
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Fewer Chemicals Inside Of Food

It's not enough to wash your nonorganic veggies. Many chemicals are systemic, meaning they're taken up inside of the plants that we eat. In fact, a Norwegian study found we're actually eating extreme levels of Roundup (here are 5 unexpected places you'll find Roundup).

cows on pasture
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Better Fat

A 2013 study found that organic milk is higher in brain- and heart-healthy omega-3 fatty acids, thanks in part to spending more time out on pasture, a requirement in organics. Not only did nonorganic milk contain lower levels of the good fats, but it also harbored higher levels of dangerous inflammatory fats.

meat at the supermarket
Fewer Superbugs

About 90,000 lives are lost each year to antibiotic-resistant superbug infections. Where are these dangerous germs coming from? Many nonorganic farms feed low-dose antibiotics to their animals daily to speed growth and get the animal to slaughter sooner. The trouble is, germs exposed to drugs regularly are able to outsmart the drugs. You're more than 30 percent less likely to come in contact with superbugs in the meat supply when you choose organic.

sewage water
Food Is Not Grown In Human Sewage

It's perfectly legal for nonorganic farmers to douse nonorganic fields with human sewage sludge taken from municipal water treatment plants as fertilizer for their crops. The sludge could contain whatever morgues, residences, and industrial parks decide to put down the drain. Scientists have detected shampoo chemicals in nonorganic tomatoes and hypothesize that sewage sludge is partly to blame.

beet juice
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Protection From Weird Food Additives

Organic has a clear health advantage when it comes to packaged foods, too. Instead of harmful artificial food dyes linked to brain cell damage and ADHD, organic food processors turn to natural colorings like beet juice to give products a desired color.

Related: 10 Places To Find Free Organic Food

young girl playing in the rain
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Cleaner Rain

Nonorganic farmers use so much glyphosate, the main ingredient in Roundup, that government scientists have now detected it in the rain. Even tiny amounts of America's most popular weedkiller can damage DNA and kill cells, and they've been linked to infertility and certain cancers.

Related: What's The Difference Between Organic And Natural Food Labels?

Better For The Bees

If you want access to healthy food, you need pollinators. But mounting research is pointing to neonicotinoid insecticides as a leading cause of colony collapse disorder. These toxic, brain-damaging insecticides are banished in organics. 

Related: How To Be An Organic Pioneer

farmland soil
A Healthier Climate

According to studies done on soil science, if all the cropland on Earth were treated organically, the soil would sequester 41 percent of all the greenhouse gases in the atmosphere; pastureland could sequester an additional 71 percent. If just half the world's cropland and pastureland were converted, organic soil could pull 55 percent of annual carbon emissions out of the atmosphere.