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Manjo Smith
Namibian Organic Association
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14 Reasons to choose organic

Our choices make a huge difference to the quality of our lives. What we eat builds and maintains our body and our mind. By supporting organic, you help to improve the quality of water, soil, and the air. Animals, plants, birds, worms, and other living beings also benefit when we choose organic foods.

1. Organic food is more nutritious.Good nutrition is vital for maintaining health and preventing disease. Organic food contains higher levels of vitamin C, a higher mineral content and more phytonutrients – plant compounds which can be effective against cancer and other diseases.

2. Organic food tastes great.Organic produce has consistently been rated to have better flavour and texture than non-organic produce with the added benefit of longer shelf life. Organic farmers rely on developing a healthy, fertile soil to grow a mixture of crops that are bursting with flavour and life supporting energy.

3. Organic food is safe. Organic food is produced without harmful pesticides (insecticides, herbicides and fungicides) and does not contain any residues of these agro-chemicals. Many insecticides cannot be washed from fresh produce because it is distributed through all the cells of a plant to be effective.

4. Organic food supports the healthy development of babies and children’s brains and bodies. Children’s growing brains and bodies are far more susceptible to toxins than adults. Choosing organic helps feed their bodies without the exposure to pesticides and genetically-modified organisms. Mothers who eat organic and breast-feed, do not pass any poisons to the baby.

5. Organic food is free of harmful additives. Health problems as diverse as heart disease, osteoporosis, migraines and hyperactivity, Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease have been linked to food additives whose use is banned in organic production. For example, tartrazine and other additives have been linked to allergic reactions, headaches, asthma, growth retardation and hyperactivity in children. Other additives not allowed in organic food are monosodium glutamate, aspartame, phosphoric acid and hydrogenated fats, because of evidence that they can be damaging to health. Hydrogenated fats, also known as trans fats, found in some margarines and biscuits, causes heart disease, cancer and skin disease.

6. Organic meat and milk contains higher levels of Omega 3, and is of free of antibiotics and hormones. Choosing organic meat and milk reduces your exposure to antibiotics, synthetic growth hormones and drugs that are fed to the animals and ultimately passed onto you. These products contain higher levels of essential fatty acids, omega 3 and Conjugated Linoleic Acid, as production systems are based on animals with access to forage. The fatty acids play an essential role in metabolism and it reduces the risk of neurological disorders, including depression and hyperactivity in children.

7. Organic food is free of GMO (Genetically Modified Organisms). Organic food comes without untested, unlabeled foreign genetic material such as antibiotic-resistant genes, and other genes that may cause allergenic and immune system reactions. With organic, you know what you eat, and it is not experimental food.

8. Organic farms offer better conditions for farmers and farm workers. By choosing organic food, more people will be able to work on farms without the regular exposure to pesticides and the associated health risks. Exposure to these chemicals has been linked to brain/central nervous system (CNS), breast, colon, lung, ovarian, pancreatic, kidney, testicular, and stomach cancers, as well as Hodgkin and non-Hodgkin lymphoma, multiple myeloma, and soft tissue sarcoma.

9. Organic farms supports greater biodiversity. Biodiversity, the variety of life on earth, is the foundation of all agriculture. Organic systems have the potential to conserve and improve ecosystem biodiversity which is much needed to support life on earth as we know it.

10. Organic farming protects pollinators. Pollinators, such as birds, bees and animals, are critical to fruit and seed production. Yet worldwide, we are facing a pollination crisis, in which pollinators are disappearing at alarming rates as a result of habitat loss, diseases, and pesticide poisoning.

11. Organic farming improves adaptability to climate change by improving drought and flood resistance. Organic agriculture makes farms more resilient to climate change, mainly due to its water efficiency, resilience to extreme weather events and lower risk of complete crop failure. High levels of organic matter and permanent soil cover, improves the soil’s water infiltration and retention capacity.

12. Organic farming mitigates climate change.
Organic agriculture has well established practices that simultaneously mitigate climate change, build resilient farming systems, reduce poverty and improve food security. Organic agriculture emits much lower levels of greenhouse gases, and quickly and effectively sequesters carbon in the soil.

13. Organic production promotes animal welfare. Organic livestock operations aim to optimise the health and welfare of the animals by ensuring a high quality, balanced diet and an environment that meets their behavioural and physiological needs. Animals are given plenty of space and fresh air to thrive and grow naturally, guaranteeing a truly free-range life. This means fewer drugs or antibiotics.

14. Certified organic food carries a guarantee.Food products that bear an organic certification label is your guarantee that it has been grown and handled according to strict organic production standards, and that the farms are inspected to ensure compliance with these standards. Look out for the Namibian Organic Association Mark, and other international marks such as Afrisco, Ecocert and the EU marks.

Organic means Life. Choose Life!

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