Six Awesome Reasons to Choose an Organic Lifestyle
It almost goes without saying that we’re big believers in an organic lifestyle at World Organic. And although – like everyone else – we occasionally ‘wander’ from the straight and narrow in adhering to organic principles, we do our best to live our lives naturally and well. At the same time, we’re conscious that organic can be expensive (it’s one of the reasons we work hard to keep our prices as low as possible) and we understand that an almost endless supply of cheap, processed alternatives can make it hard for us to stick to our guns when it comes to buying organic.
At times like these, it’s worth remembering the benefits an organic lifestyle can bring you. You’ll undoubtedly have your own list, but here’s six awesome reasons to live an organic life:
1. An organic lifestyle is good for the planet. Organic farming methods help regulate the amounts of pesticides, herbicides and fertilizers used in agriculture. This reduces the amounts of toxic chemicals in the environment and preserves top soil, both of which are important for the health of the planet. We’ve seen the results for ourselves in India, where our partner community farms are helping to restore vitality to an Indian landscape that has been decimated by the overuse of harmful chemicals.
It’s important to remember too, that synthetic fertilizers not only disrupt the balance of nutrients in the soil, they can also create chemical runoffs that pollute local water supplies and create dead zones in large bodies of water. Because organic farming methods are based around the use of composted manure and other natural materials, this is much less likely to happen.
2. An organic lifestyle exposes you to fewer toxins. One of the key reasons for the modern health crisis is the number of toxins we are exposed to every day. Toxins are in our skincare, in our food, in our clothes, in the technology we use and the air that we breathe.
Examples of just how prevalent these toxins are can be found everywhere and we’ve discussed on numerous occasions the number of toxic synthetic chemicals that are in everyday cosmetics. Another, recent study, published in the journal ‘Food Additives and Contaminants’ has also highlighted how hazardous chemicals linked to cancer and fertility can be found in food packaging; the kind of packaging generally associated with pre-made, heavily processed foods. In total, the study found an astonishing 175 chemicals of concern in different packages. More worrying still, these chemicals were sometimes being released into food at low levels and were being ingested by people on a daily basis.
How then, can we escape this toxic soup? Sadly, we can’t altogether, but we can certainly reduce our exposure by choosing organic. Certified organic cosmetics will be free of chemical nasties, as will most organic and natural foods. If you’re worried about your exposure to too many toxins, it makes sense to buy these products.
3. You will be less likely to suffer from allergies. We’ve talked before about the allergy explosion in the western world – http://myworldorganic.com/the-allergy-pandemic/. Whilst there are numerous reasons for this pandemic, one of the most significant factors is our modern diet. We consume too many trans fats, and eat too much sugar and refined wheat.
The result has been a massive increase in the type and rate of allergies. By way of example, a recent research project, conducted by the Swiss National Science Foundation (SNSF), pinpointed the alarming rise in allergic asthma over the last fifty years. Significantly, this is the period of time in which the western diet has undergone a massive change and the study has demonstrated that the two are causally linked. In particular, the problem appears to be a lack of fermentable fibres in our diet and the impact this has not only on our gut, but also our lungs. Without sufficient consumption of these fibres (which can be found in fruit and vegetables), many of us are beginning to suffer from asthma and other inflammatory allergic reactions.
By adopting a healthy organic lifestyle and eating organic foods, with a focus on fresh fruit and vegetables, we will get the fibre we need to keep our gut healthy and our immune response strong, thus reducing our chances of suffering from a host of allergies (not to mention obesity, cancer and coronary disease).
4. An organic lifestyle will make you happier. Choose an organic lifestyle and you know you are doing the right thing by yourself and the world around you. And this will make you happier. The reasons for this are two-fold. In the first place, there is plenty of evidence that we are happier when we are healthy. We feel better, we’re more optimistic and we relate better to the world around us. An organic lifestyle is a healthy lifestyle. Embrace it and be happy.
As if that wasn’t reason enough, a recent study conduct by John F. Helliwell and published in the Journal of Happiness Studies has found a clear causal link between our levels of happiness and whether we are doing the right thing by others and by ourselves. No matter their wealth or background, people who volunteered for community work or who helped out in some way reported higher levels of happiness than those who did not. By adopting an organic lifestyle we are helping not only the planet, but also ourselves and our families. Inevitably, this can only have a positive impact on the way we feel.
Of course, there are sceptics – many of them with vested interests – who are keen to argue otherwise. But a study conducted in April 2013 has given them serious pause. This study was the brainchild of a young American student, 16 year old Ria Chhabra, who won top honours in a US national science competition for her research, titled “Organically Grown Food Provides Health Benefits to Drosophila Melanogaster”. The results of her research, which tracked the effects of organic and conventional diets on the health of fruit flies, were astounding.
In brief, the study consistently and conclusively showed that flies fed on a diet of organic bananas and potatoes did better than those who dined on conventionally raised produce. This was particularly so in terms of fertility levels, stress resistance and longevity, all key indicators as to general health and well-being.
Respected Southern Methodist University biologist, Johannes Bauer, whose lab Chhabra used to conduct her study, had this to say about the results of his young protege’s research.
“To our surprise, in the majority of our tests of flies on organic foods, the flies fed organic diets did much better on our health tests than the flies fed conventional food. Longevity and fertility are the two most important aspects of fly life. On both of these tests, flies fed organic diets performed much better than flies fed conventional diets. They lived longer, had higher fertility, and had a much higher lifetime reproductive output.”
Whilst a similar, long-term study has yet to done examining the effects of living an organic lifestyle on the overall health and longevity of humans, Chhabra’s findings are to be celebrated. They provide the clearest indication yet of something we all understand instinctively – organic is good for us!
Your skin will be in better shape, you’ll be healthier and happier, and you’ll be doing the right thing by yourself and the planet.
And as a result? You’ll feel better about yourself, you’ll be more likely to exercise, your quality of sleep will improve, and you’ll deal better with stress.
A healthy, happy, confident, glowing you? Sounds pretty damn sexy, doesn’t it?