The Benefits of Eating Organic Food & Shopping Local

Organic food consumption has increased in popularity over the years and that increase continues to rise at a relatively steady pace.  There is a good chance that you’ve seen an organic food aisle at one of your local grocery stores or driven past a farmer’s market where organic food was sold at one point or another.  You may have noticed these organic food options and chosen to pass them by for conventionally produced foods or you may have wondered about what makes them so great.  Many health conscious individuals swear by organic food and I recommend them when possible as they can help promote lifelong health and happiness.  If you’re uncertain about making the switch to organic foods you may want to consider the benefits of eating organic to make an informed decision about what you’re eating.

Environmental Benefits
Did you know that organic foods can help the environment?  They can because they reduce the amount of chemicals going into food production.  Farmers who put pesticides in their fields and on their foods, are not only putting consumers at risk, but the environment at risk as well.  Depending on which pesticides and other chemicals are used, the soil and other nearby areas can suffer damage.  By eating organic foods, you are providing a small, yet still helping hand to help protect the environment.

Benefits to Farmers
Another unique benefit to eating organic that many individuals do not think of right away is the assistance that is provided to organic farmers and organic food manufacturers.  Right now, the number of organic food manufacturers is quite small and many are small to medium sized businesses.  The same can be said for farmers.  The decision for many farmers and companies to go organic can be difficult and risky.  Therefore, by purchasing organic foods, especially fresh fruits and vegetables, you can take comfort in knowing that you are helping many small to medium sized farmers and organic food companies stay in business.

Improved Quality
When it comes to organic foods, it is important to know that not just anyone can make organic foods.  There are strict standards to ensure what you’re getting is actually organic.  Foods and organic food companies that are certified by the Quality Assurance International group (QAI) must undergo rigorous tests and meet very high standards.  When this is done, all foods should be stamped with a Certified Organic by QAI sticker or label.  This certification helps to give many comfort in knowing that the foods that they eat are truly healthy.

Health Benefits
Organic foods can also help to improve your body and health.  In fact, organic foods may be able to help cleanse or detoxify your body from harmful chemicals.  When you stop eating foods that are tainted with pesticides and other chemicals your body will expel the current and remaining toxins from your body.  This means that your body should be clean, chemical free, and pesticide free after a specific period of time.  If you are a parent, one of the best ways to help ensure that your child has a happy and healthy life is to get them started on eating organic foods as early as possible.
It has also been said that organic foods can help to lower the risk of cancer.  Although some pesticides that farmers use are considered safe by many, there are still a number of risks, including a risk of cancer which is alarming.  Although the EPA does consider many chemicals, including weed killers and insect killers to be dangerous, they are still used on many of the foods, namely fruits and vegetables, that are sold today.  This is not something that you have to worry about when buying organic foods.  That is why many claim that organic foods can reduce your chances of cancer.

Taste Benefits
Another one of the many benefits to eating organic foods is the better quality.  In fact, many individuals claim that organic food tastes much better.  This is mostly due in part because vegetables and fruits are grown without the assistance of pesticides and other potentially harmful chemicals.  Clean soil, which is required when growing organic foods, is likely to produce better results, which should mean better tasting food. One reason why farmers claim to use potentially harmful pesticides and chemicals is to kill bacteria.  While this does sound like a good idea, the bacteria that can be present when fruits and vegetables grow isn’t necessarily bad.  In fact, some say that it helps to foods grow in a certain way.  This, apparently, in turn helps to produce better results, which should better tasting, more natural food.

As you can see, there a number of benefits to eating organic foods.  In fact, the above mentioned benefits are just a few of the many reasons why organic food should be given a close examination.  If you would like more information on organic foods, including the benefits of eating them, consider speaking with a professional healthcare provider, like your doctor.  He or she can help you decide if switching to organic foods is the right decision.
If you decide that eating organic is an option for you and your family you can usually find it locally at your conventional supermarket, farmer’s markets or specialty health food stores.  Otherwise, you can get organic foods from the Internet. 

Shopping Local
If you have local farmers who sell organic foods, you should consider doing your shopping directly through them as buying through the source has several benefits.  One of those benefits is the assistance that you will be providing to local farmers.  It is no secret that many farmers find it difficult to stay afloat financially.  In fact, hundreds of small farms shut down each year.  Instead of shutting down, many farmers are now making the switch to organic foods.

Unfortunately, this decision isn’t always easy.  It can be costly in the beginning, as well as very risky.  Although you may not necessarily think about it at the time, you can provide financial relief and assistance to organic farmers by buying their products directly from them.  When you buy organic fruits and vegetables directly from the farmer or farmers who made them, they are able to receive all profits, not just a portion of them.  In this aspect, you can consider buying organic fruits and vegetables directly from farmers your good deed for the week or month.

As nice as it is to hear that you should purchase some organic foods directly from the farmers who grow them, you may be curious as to how you can go about doing so.  For starters, farmer’s markets should be examined.  Farmer’s markets typically involve the setup of stands and booths.  Many farmer’s markets in the United States allow a large number of farmers to attend and set up booths.  Depending on your local farmer’s markets, its size, and who is present, you may be able to find organic food sold.

In addition to visiting one of your local farmer’s markets to see if organic foods are for sale, you can also visit local farms in person.  To help you decide which farms should be visited look for signs or advertisements in local newspapers.  It is also usually easy to spot farms where organic foods are being sold.  This is because many set up roadside booths or have a storefront building on their property, which is usually easy to see from the road. 


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