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You may have heard advocates praising the multiple benefits of consuming organic products like food, clothing and beauty products and making a lifestyle out of it. The million-dollar question: Do organic products equate to better health, fair trade practices and eco-friendly? Why are organic products always more expensive than regular products? Most importantly, should you be jumping on the organic bandwagon for the purported health and environmental benefits?
What does organic mean
Let’s begin with understanding organic foods. According to the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA): “Organic meat, poultry, eggs, and dairy products come from animals that are given no antibiotics or growth hormones. Organic food is produced without using most conventional pesticides; fertilizers made with synthetic ingredients or sewage sludge; bioengineering; or ionizing radiation.” Food produced in this way can be labelled with the USDA symbol and sold as ‘organic.’
Did you know? Conventional pesticides, also known as endocrine disruptors, disrupt the body’s natural hormones, particularly oestrogens and androgens. It binds to hormone receptor sites by artificially mimicking hormone action or blocking natural hormones, causing an imbalance in our body’s hormone levels.
Apart from contributing to healthy soil, thereby encouraging biodiversity, organic farming also combats soil erosion, aids in water conservation, water health, on top of reducing global warming.
If the above is not enough to swing you towards Team Organic, perhaps this will! Organic foods may not necessarily mean healthier food, but studies have shown that they do promote weight loss. How? Reduce your exposure to chemical pesticides that bind to fat upon absorption. These toxins remain in the body for a lifetime.
But why are organic products so much more expensive? Are they worth it?
Organic farming and production methods are usually more labour intensive, with a lower crop yield than conventional farming. The more pressing issue should be the depleted soils, polluted waters and lost biodiversity happening worldwide.
If you do not already have an organic stash in your pantry, but keen to give organic foods a go, start small. Try mixing up your usual go-to's in your pantry with a few items from the organic section. Here are our top picks from iHerb.
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Make the switch to organic feminine hygiene products
And now to understand more about non-food related organic products. The U.S. Department of Agriculture National Organic Standards Board defines the term as this: "Organic" is a labeling term that denotes products produced under the authority of the Organic Foods Production Act. The principal guidelines for organic production are to use materials and practices that enhance the ecological balance of natural systems and that integrate the parts of the farming system into an ecological whole.”
Now that we know organic beauty products are more earth-friendly and better for the skin because they use natural ingredients instead of harsh chemicals, is it time to make the switch?
This is even more pressing for products that come into direct contact with the skin, like our sanitary pads. Did you know that most feminine hygiene products are made from cotton, which may be exposed to pesticides or other additives in the growing and harvesting process? In order to achieve a pure white clean look and ensure they are sanitary, most feminine hygiene products are bleached. Judging from the continual high usage of feminine hygiene products over a person’s lifetime, turning to organic options may be the right step towards minimizing our exposure to these toxins.
Make the switch today.
Organic pet foods. What’s the fuss?
Akin to human beings taking multivitamins, natural and organic foods are noted to provide easier digestion, enhanced overall nutrition, fewer allergies and ailments, and better quality of life for your beloved pets. As a result, pet owners have reported shinier skin and coat, as well as brighter eyes on their pets—no harm giving it a try.
Planning to include more organic products into your life? Go slow and steady. Replace one or two items, be it food, beauty or lifestyle products, to organic ones. Your future self will probably thank you for it.
This content was produced in partnership with iHerb.