For the last few years we have been noticing that more and more organic food options are available to us in our local markets, supermarkets and restaurants. The bio-trend is clear and in some places it is even perceived as more fashionable to choose organic labeled products over conventional products. This trend states a clear link between eating organic and living a healthy lifestyle. But is this link between bio and health real? or just a marketing trick to sell more organic product?
This funny and informative animated video educates about what organic food really is and questions the myth between organic food and healthy food. Showing that this links is not as obvious as some might think it is. After seeing this video it becomes clear that eating organic products don’t necessary mean that we are eating a healthier diet, so what is it with bio-food that makes it the “healthier” option.
As the video states, organic produced food does not use synthetic pesticides to protect their crop, and instead makes use of natural methods like insect traps, predator insects, natural selection, and beneficial microorganisms. Minimizing the use of pesticides will protect the natural habitat of the area as well as the quality of the soil and the water. At the end of the food chain it will also minimize the amount of chemicals that end up accumulating in our own bodies.
Organic farming is a big part of the global environmental movement and claims that it protects the environment by protecting soil quality, water supply and reduces pollution. The basic thought is that keeping our surroundings healthy, means that indirectly we keep ourselves healthy.
Organic products are also free from genetically modified ingredients, how the GMO´s affect our health in the long run is still unknown but what is clear is that GMO crops have not been adapted to thrive in it´s surroundings by thousands of years of selective evolution, as a result it is not a natural part of the ecosystem in the way conventional crops are. With this in mind we fall back to the previous argument; by keeping our surroundings healthy we keep ourselves healthy.
As the food trend is turning away from anything artificial, eating organic seems like the obvious option. Organic products are not allowed to use of preservatives, artificial sweeteners, colorings, flavoring agents, and MSG. But one common misperception of organic food is that it is more nutritious, this theory has very little, if any, evidence support. For example, an organic carrot is very similar in nutritional value to a conventionally grown carrot.
The Swedish Environmental Research Institute (IVL) was commissioned by Coop, Sweden’s largest grocery store cooperative, to find out if switching to an all-organic diet would reduce the level of pesticides found in people’s bodies. The results where astonishing, especially in the children, in the two weeks of all organic food consumption the pesticide loads in the family’s bodies dropped drastically. In some cases, undetectable levels of some of the chemicals occurred after just a day or so. IVL tried to control the experiment as much as possible by having the family use only organic personal hygiene products and detergents. The family was also asked not to buy any new textiles during the two weeks of organic consumption. Learn more about the final results of this organic food experiment in this video.
Today we don’t know much about how the exposure of these chemicals and GMO´s affects our general health and IVL is carful to clarify is that we know even less about the long term effects of the “combination” or “cocktail” of all this elements accumulated together in our bodies. The possibility that all the different chemical pesticides reacting together can give a stronger or weaker, negative or positive effect has yet not been sufficiently explored in scientific testing. And even if it´s still hard to design tests that study the effect of these cocktails and especially their impact over time, we hope that governments and industries will continue to investigate this as a general health concern.
At the end of the day what the families mother Anette Palmberg, says after the experiment, resonates within us.
“Overall, you think about the kids. There were a whole number of chemicals removed from my kids’ bodies. And I don’t want them back.”