written by: jciotta•edited by: Laurie Patsalides•updated: 6/16/2010
How does organic food affect your body? Learn how genetically modified foods damage the body's defenses and why pesticide and hormone consumption is extremely toxic to your body. We discuss how organic foods provide safe, vitamin-rich nutrients for the body.
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Genetically Modified Foods, Pesticides & Hormones
Genetically modified foods are the opposite of natural and organic. Also called GMO, Genetically Modified Organisms have their DNA purposely changed by genetic engineering. Through this process, the GMOs are exposed to radiation and chemicals. Many farmers and crop producers use GMOs because they increase production, make the food larger and resistant to cold and disease. However, the drawbacks outweigh any potential benefits by far.
Once the GMO is introduced to the body through ingestion, it cannot properly metabolize this substance, since its makeup is foreign to the human body. Many people also cite allergic reactions to genetically modified food. Many countries have actually outlawed any food to be genetically modified because of the damage to the human body. For example, corn is a heavily modified food. Engineers modify it to produce a poison that kills insects, thus crops are able to flourish. Yet these insects build up a tolerance to the poison and pesticide measures may have to be used anyway. Another example of a GMO fruit is the tomato.
Additionally, any food that is sprayed with pesticides is extremely toxic to the body. Pesticides are commonly used to kill insects in farming, yet they also hurt humans. Ingesting pesticides can lead to risks of cancer, nervous system problems and a host of other diseases. In fact, renown medical doctor and naturopath Dr. Andrew Weil says 865 pesticide active ingredients are registered with the Environmental Protection Agency.
As many of us already know, conventional farmers inject hormones into cattle and farm animals. The regular meat and milk in our stores come laced with these hormones. While the hormones are used on the animals to help growth and prevent disease, to humans they pose a toxic threat. Since we have naturally occurring hormones in our bodies, eating food with hormones overloads the human body. This may lead to uterine and breast cancer in women, diabetes and thyroid problems and an early onset of puberty in children.
Therefore, it is always best to eat organic.
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Organic Food in the Body
Healthy food options start with organic food. There are none of the aforementioned potential dangers of genetically modified organisms, pesticides and hormones. Instead, the food is pure, grown in organic soil and fertilizers. Farmers feed animals natural substances such as grass.
All of these natural element increase the quality of the food you're eating. Organic food is full of antioxidants. In fact, organic vegetables and fruits have a lot more antioxidants than conventional veggies and fruits. In fact, Dr. Weil reports, "Data released in 2005 by the Organic Consumers Association showed that on average, the organic crops studied contained about one-third higher antioxidant content than comparable conventional produce" (drweil.com). As the study continued, it also showed that organic fruits and veggies had two or three times as much vitamins, nutrients and flavonoids than regular food.
Antioxidants are important to the human body because they are composed of vitamins, minerals and enzymes. They help the body defend against free radicals. Free radicals are atoms that cause cell damage. When cell damage exists, this harmful situation leads to a lowered immune system, which exposes the body to disease and infection. This is why it is so important to boost antioxidant levels, which organic food does. Flavonoids are organic compounds that function as antioxidants.
When people eat normal food, they could be ingesting toxins (such as pesticides, antibiotics, etc.). The body literally does not know how to digest the toxins. If the body does not eliminate them quickly, toxins will be stored. Your body's defense could be lowered and your immune system compromised. This is when disease can enter the body as well.
However, with organic food, all of the food's ingredients are known to the body. Thus, you can digest it normally. There is no build-up of toxins. Although it is normal for the body to fight off toxins, it is a lot of extra work to defend against unnecessary toxins. It is best to avoid these unnecessary toxins altogether by choosing organic food over conventional food.
Many people also note the other main affect organic food has is on the taste buds. In other words, it tastes different. People notice a fresher and cleaner taste associated with it. Fruits and vegetables are juicier and crisper. Besides taste, you will not notice any wax on produce. It is the pure fruit or vegetable.
To find the best organic food, visit your local farmers' market and buy your favorite produce. After that first taste, you may notice how does organic food affect your body. Be prepared to feel healthier. Once you go organic, you'll never go back.
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"Four Reasons to Eat and Grow Organic" by Dr. Andrew Weil -- drweil.com/drw/u/QAA400386/Four-Reasons-to-Grow-and-Eat-Organic.html
Photos by Simon Howden / FreeDigitalPhotos.net & Admin -- freedigitalphotos.net/images/view_photog.php?photogid=404