By: Izzy Schwarze
Let’s be honest: we all love to eat, but food can be downright overwhelming. With so many products to choose from with different colors, varieties, and versions, it can be hard to know what you are actually putting into your body. We have been told to eat natural and organic foods for health benefits, but even this is still vague. What does eating organic food really mean? As it turns out, eating organically benefits the environment, your local economy, and you. Eating organic decreases your carbon footprint while increasing your chances at living a healthy life. Organic food means any food produced without pesticides, fertilizers, or anything genetically modified. To break it down, organic food is produced as food should be, without toxins and pesticides. Organic meat means that the animals cannot be treated with hormones and can only consume real food.
Environmental benefits of eating organically are astounding. Organic food growth excludes any synthetic chemicals, unnatural pesticides that contaminate soil and water. Unlike conventional farming, organic food growth does not add toxic chemicals; instead, it encourages biodiversity and reduces erosion. Additionally, it enhances the quality of the land that grows your food and the water that nourishes it. Pertaining to global warming, most organic food is distributed among local economies, and cutting down on transportation lessens the carbon emissions that pollute our air. In regards to health, eating organic food means eating meals that are free of anything processed, which means added nutritional benefits for you.
Eating organic for the pizza-dieting student like me is daunting, but it is possible. For one, seek out the local grocery store. Here in Oxford, Moon-CO-OP is an all natural grocery store that is dedicated to healthy and sustainable diets. Their shelves are stocked with hand-selected organic food that embodies the fresh, clean, natural food that we all crave. Also, try to shop at your farmer’s market. Buying food from the farmer’s market is the most transparent way to eat anything, right from the field to your plate. Eating local is fresher, healthier, better for your local economy, and better for the environment.
As a college student (and quite frankly a human being), it can be hard to avoid that macaroni and cheese. If you weigh those pros and cons just once a week and go that extra mile, you will be helping yourself, the planet, and the local economy. Encourage small businesses, be concerned with what you put into your body, and give back to the planet simply by eating organically.
Images via Creative Commons.