Most crops in Australia are grown with the aid of toxic synthetic chemicals including pesticides, herbicides, fertilizers and fungicides. Toxic residues from these chemicals are found on conventionally grown fruit, herbs, plants and vegetables and even snacks, skin care products and clothing. The reason for the use of these biocides is to ward off weeds, pests and diseases thus allowing for mass crop production.
The same applies for most farm animals - in order to increase production and to treat animal disease, they are being injected with growth hormones and antibiotics. These hormones are found in conventionally produced meat as well as conventionally produced dairy products. Antibiotics are given to livestock to treat certain infections; they are also given chronically to prevent the spread and development of infections that is more likely to occur in an overcrowded space.
Antibiotics are also used on a non-therapeutic level to promote more rapid growth using less feed.1 Given that antibiotic resistance is already a crisis in human medicine, injecting livestock with antibiotics will increase human resistance to antibiotics.1
Organic farming produces crops without the use of any chemicals, and is truly “nature’s way”. Through organic farming, we are able to improve our land and environment. This is done via better soil combination, cleaner waterway and protection of native biodiversity. Organic farming shows a greater compassion towards animal welfare as the animals are allowed to develop in accordance with the natural systems of their environment and are not restricted.
A growing body of sophisticated research has compared the impacts of organic and conventional farming systems on soil and food quality. Enhancement of soil quality in organic apple production systems can lead to measurable improvements in fruit nutritional quality, taste, and storability.2
Antioxidants are beneficial in eradicating free radicals, especially during times of inflammation. A recently published review of scientific research by Dr Charles Benbrook, the Chief Scientist at www.organiccentre.org, reveals that on average organic foods are about one-third higher in antioxidants than comparable conventional produce.
A number of studies show that organic produce is more nutrient dense than conventionally produced food. It also offers us an easy way to eat seasonal produce. However, there is more to organic than the nutrient content. Organic food and farming deliver a range of benefits. Organic food tastes the way food should taste – fresh, crispy and with a distinctive flavor.
A key factor is that organic farming is consistent with sound ethical principles; it benefits the environment, the air and the soil, our children and farmers. It stores more carbon in the soil and there is less wildlife and environmental damage from fertilizer and pesticide run off. Organic farmers are rearing animals with care and attention to their welfare. They are allowed to roam free as animals should and are given the opportunity to grow and develop in the most natural and humane way possible.
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