The long-term effects of organic food are still unclear. Some believe that organic foods increase living organisms’ resilience. However, more studies are needed to confirm this. There are many potential adverse effects of organic food, including increased greenhouse gases. Another possible effect of organic food is eczema.
Impacts of organic food on human health
There are many benefits associated with organic foods, and consumers worldwide are increasingly switching to organic foods in search of improved health. Recent research has found associations between organic food consumption and various health outcomes, including lower rates of congenital disabilities, allergies, and middle ear infections in children. Furthermore, organic food consumption has been linked to lower incidences of metabolic syndrome and non-Hodgkin lymphoma. However, further research is needed to understand an organic diet’s long-term benefits.
One study found that organic food consumers have a higher plant-based diet than non-organic consumers, and their diets were more balanced and varied than those of conventional food consumers. In addition, organic food consumers had lower levels of iron, copper, and ferritin. Organic food consumers also had higher concentrations of a-carotene, b-cryptoxanthin, and magnesium. Organic food consumers also had lower levels of docosapentaenoic acid and linoleic acid.
The current systematic review evaluated the available evidence on the impact of an organic diet on human health. It was conducted by searching relevant databases for articles published between January 2016 and January 2019. The studies included clinical trials and observational studies. The majority of the studies focused on health outcomes in comparison with a control diet. Unfortunately, the study sample size was too small to determine the actual effects of organic diets on human health.
One study concluded that higher organic food consumption is associated with lower rates of childhood allergies. It also found that those who consume more organic food follow a healthier diet, incorporating more fruit, vegetables, whole grains, and less meat. Furthermore, people who eat more organic food tend to have a smaller carbon footprint and are less likely to develop chronic diseases.
Organic food consumption reduces exposure to pesticides. Foods with organic content have lower pesticide residue levels, which benefits consumers concerned about pesticide exposure risks. The EPA and EFSA report that organic foods contain lower pesticide residue levels than conventional foods. Moreover, European studies have revealed that the MRL (Maximum Residue Level) for pesticide residues was not exceeded in 43.7% of all food samples, including organic ones.
Effects of organic food on animal health
Organic foods and livestock have several health benefits. The use of antibiotics in conventional livestock production is a significant driver of antibiotic resistance, and organic production uses fewer antibiotics. In addition to animal health benefits, organic food production is likely to impact human health positively. Choosing the proper diet for your family, both for the animals and yourself, is essential.
Organic livestock feed contains higher amounts of roughage than conventional feed. In addition, organic farms have fewer ectoparasites than non-organic farms. The higher roughage in organic diets may result in lower cattle lameness. Organic farmers may use fewer antibiotics in their feed, but some risks are associated with organic feeding. Organic food may also result in an increased risk of metabolic diseases.
One concern about non-organic farming is the lack of veterinarian input. This lack of veterinary information can compromise animal welfare and health. It is important to note that non-organic farmers must acknowledge these issues. To protect animal health, non-organic farmers should use alternative treatments for sick animals. This can include frequent milking to reduce mastitis and using heat liniments or herbal remedies.
While there are many benefits to organic farming, it is essential to note that it will cost more. In many cases, the benefits will outweigh the cost. For example, anthelmintic treatment is necessary for most livestock-producing regions. It is also a therapeutic drug that can reduce parasite burden. However, in some organic systems, anthelmintic therapies are not recommended. Cabaret et al. found organically-grown sheep more susceptible to GIN infection than conventionally-grown sheep.
However, the benefits of organic food consumption are not fully understood. A Stanford University study in the US concluded that organic food consumption does not increase the risk of developing chronic diseases and cancer. It also noted that organic food consumers tend to lead healthier lifestyles. Despite this evidence, long-term studies are still necessary to confirm whether organic food is beneficial.
Organic farming is also essential for animal welfare. A holistic approach to animal welfare means treating animals as part of the ecosystem. They have access to natural outdoor habitats and the freedom to roam. This approach is based on the IFOAM’s four principles.
Effects of organic food on greenhouse gas emissions
The effects of organic food on greenhouse gas emissions are complex, and they don’t simply depend on a single metric. Instead, they rely on the types of food produced. Some organic foods have significantly lower emissions than their conventional counterparts. In Sweden, for example, organic peas are nearly half as effective at reducing climate change than conventional ones. Meanwhile, conventional farms require 1.5 times as much land to grow the same amount of food. However, both types of food can help the planet’s environment.
Organic food has grown in popularity recently as societal interest in environmental protection, and healthy eating has increased. It is more efficient than conventional farming methods and has fewer adverse effects on the soil, biodiversity, and water quality. However, studies on the impact of organic farming on greenhouse gas emissions have been mixed. While organic agriculture produces significantly fewer greenhouse gas emissions per unit product, life cycle assessments have shown a measurable increase in emissions from animal agriculture.
Although animal products account for the most significant percentage of total GHG emissions, the proportion of emissions from these products is more minor. Organic milk and meat production also requires more land than conventional systems. However, the relevant findings to plant-based foods also apply to animal products. For example, switching from a traditional approach to a 50% organic one reduces 44 kg CO2-eq per capita emissions.
Organic farming can help mitigate climate change by reducing the use of chemicals. Chemical inputs, such as fertilizers and pesticides, require energy. Since organic systems don’t use synthetic chemicals, they are more efficient. Organic farming also supports healthier soil and allows the soil to absorb more carbon.
Although there is still a long way to go before farmers can significantly reduce their emissions, they are achieving significant results. General Mills, for example, has committed to regenerating one million acres of farmland by 2030. In addition, the company has launched a scorecard for farmers to help them improve their regenerative farming practices. The company’s partner pastures have reduced greenhouse gas emissions by 68 percent, indicating that regenerative practices are effective for farmers.
Effects of organic food on eczema
In an exploratory study, the effects of organic food consumption on eczema were examined in an infant cohort. Children who ate a diet high in organic dairy products had lower disease rates than those who did not. However, there was no statistically significant relationship between the proportion of organic food and the development of eczema. Further studies are needed to confirm these results.
Avoiding foods high in sugar or gluten may help improve the condition. In one study of 169 eczema patients, half reported improving their symptoms after cutting out these foods. However, the benefits of this approach varied between individuals. This may be because sugar causes the blood sugar level to spike, resulting in inflammation.
Foods high in vitamins A, C, and D may help improve the condition. These vitamins can help improve the skin’s barrier function, a crucial component in preventing allergic reactions. By limiting food that contains chemicals, people with eczema can reduce their use of creams and other products.
Organic foods that contain omega-3 fatty acids may also help reduce eczema. Probiotics may help strengthen the immune system. They contain specific strains of Bifidobacteria and Lactobacillus species that promote healthy digestion. In one clinical trial, pregnant women who took probiotics found that their babies had fewer eczema and allergies.
Organic foods may also reduce the incidence of atopic dermatitis. Research has shown that high conjugated linoleic acid levels protect against eczema and atopy. High levels of n-3 fatty acids may also protect against atopic dermatitis.
Studies have shown that organic food consumption reduces exposure to chemicals. Pesticide residues are present in different amounts across different foods, with a higher level in grain products, dairy products, and the liver. Organic food consumption may also help reduce exposure to antibiotic-resistant bacteria.
Organic dairy products also contain higher levels of n-3 fatty acids, which are anti-inflammatory and contribute to maintaining the skin barrier. Therefore, organic milk from cows fed a diet rich in n-3 fatty acids may help reduce the incidence of atopic dermatitis in children.