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What makes a product organic?
An organically grown food product was produced using different methods of farming. These methods usually involve crop rotation in orchards or plantations. Crop rotation is a system in which different species of crops are grown according to a schedule. This way the soil gets to recover whatever nutrients it provided the previous crops.
It follows therefore that the crops yielded contain more nutrients. This is because different crops take different minerals from the soil, and rotation allows for recovery. The overall application of sustainable methods of farming is called organic farming.
However, the recent success of the organic market in convincing the consumers about the benefits of eating foods grown organically has been receiving more and more dissension from critics. Some institutes do not agree to the views and findings that organic products are more beneficial over those grown conventionally.
Nonetheless, this issue was finally put to rest when the US Dept. of Agriculture (USDA) came up with the "USDA Organic" label. Foods adhered with this label denotes they have been USDA certified as organically grown and by this, it means sustainable farming methods like natural pesticide,i.e. the presence of pest-eating insects or microbes that feed on plant pathogens were used. This therefore eliminates cancer-causing chemical residues, for which conventionally grown crops have been faulted.
What makes an organic apple better?
As a product of organic farming, the pest control method used for organic apples is all-natural. One example is by introducing the pest’s natural predator into the crops. Hence, the predator can eliminate the pests and the crop grows pest-free with no chemical residue.
Studies show that products grown naturally have fifteen percent more antioxidant content. Apples that were grown organically had more phytochemicals than those that were grown conventionally.
Phytochemicals, also known as phytonutrients are chemicals found in plants that contribute positively to a person’s well-being in as much as they contain antioxidant substances. Antioxidant supplements are now being pushed as a good measure of prevention from the harmful effects of air pollution. The old adage “an apple a day keeps the doctor away” still holds true, during these times when we need to strengthen our immunity system from ordinary ailments such as colds and flu.
Fruits and vegetables that have darker or brighter natural colorings are said to be rich in antioxidants. Anti-oxidants are molecules that promote good health because these molecules are capable of slowing down or stopping the oxidation process of other molecules. This is good because it will slow down the degeneration of our body’s cells.
Since it slows down oxidation, it inhibits the production of free radicals. Free radicals on the other hand, are by-products of the oxidation process. These free radicals start chain reactions that damage cells. Less free radicals in the body means better cell longevity.
With all these points to ponder, organically grown apples as well as other organic produce are deemed better since they can provide us with antioxidants free from pesticides. Regardless of critics who tend to dispute the fact that organically grown products have more nutritional values, over those that were conventionally grown.
For those who wonder if organic apples are better, any fruit or crop that is pesticide free and full of antioxidants are, of course, much better.
Images courtesy of Wikimedia