The Health Benefits Of Going Organic
Better Nutrition|April 2019

Removing GMOs and pesticides from your diet can seriously reduce your body’s toxic burden

Melissa Diane Smith

Q: Not counting benefits to the environment, is there any evidence of benefits to health from eating an organic diet?

—Jenny T., Las Vegas

a: Yes, there certainly is. First, you need to understand the differences between organic farming and conventional farming. Certified organic farmers may not use synthetic chemical pesticides, artificial fertilizers, genetically modified organisms (GMOs), and unnecessary hormones or antibiotics. Instead of these toxic substances, they use practices that restore, maintain, and enhance the health of the soil and ecosystem.

This type of farming translates to more nutritious foods. Organic foods have 18–69 percent higher concentrations of health-protective antioxidants—along with lower levels of toxic heavy metals and pesticides—than conventionally grown foods, according to a 2014 meta-analysis examining 343 peer-reviewed publications in the British Journal of Nutrition.

Organic farmers don’t use synthetic chemical pesticides, while conventional farmers apply, on average, 2–12 synthetic pesticides to their crops. According to a study published earlier this year in the peer-reviewed journal Environmental Research, families who switched to an organic diet rapidly and dramatically reduced their exposure to four classes of pesticides—by an average of 60 percent after just six days of eating organic.

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