In this day and age, the quest for a healthy living and decent lifestyle is increasingly becoming much stronger. These popular social attitudes have prompted routine health behaviors among people across the globe.
In the world today, the desire to live longer is pronounced in most ethnic and global cultures with its immediacy on optimum hours of sleep, regular body exercises, eating well- balanced diets just to mention but a few.
Essentially, the old meme” You are what you eat” gives ample evidence to support our biological response to our diet. Do animals also need good food as much as humans do? All living creatures need food and water to survive and undergo all other related life processes.
Farm animals which serve as alternative source of food for humans need good food probably more than humans do.
Apparently, they provide us with rich food supplements and nutrients necessary for adequate growth. It is however surprising that, what is supposed to give life can at some point tend to kill in a split second.
There is no broad consensus on any single cause of poor health or serious health conditions. However, the general causes of sicknesses spread across various aspects of human life.
Contrary to the popular belief that boiling foodstuff, vegetables, meat etc makes it safer for consumption, raw foods and meat could have adverse effects on our health even after they are cooked.
This provides another line of evidence to support the existence of different types of produce from agricultural farms. Agricultural methods of farming can be either organic or non organic and the produce derive their nature from how they are cultivated.
In a world of swift technological changes and scientific breakthroughs, there is constant supply of new methods of plant cultivation to solve global food crisis on short and long term bases.
However, these new ways of doing things cannot be said to have achieved much in the face of its devastating effects on the environment and on human lives.
What is “Organic produce”? This may apply to a variety of different kind of agricultural products; meat, poultry, eggs or diary which are produced in compliance with the globally accepted code of organic cultivation. Even though enforcement of these regulations may vary across different national borders, there is an underlying essence of applicability that all countries do ensure.
At the turn of the millennium, there is widespread awareness on the negative effects of Non Organic produce on human health in many countries.
Agricultural methods that focus on organic production disallow the use of synthetic fertilizers and pesticides, irradiation, antibiotics,growth hormones, genetic engineering and other like practices noted to cause adverse effects on the environment and a blot of human health.
These practices have caused serious economic, social and economic problems worldwide. For instance, In 2008, the chemical- “melamine” was identified to have caused the Chinese Milk Scandal. Of an estimated 300,000 victims in China, six babies died from kidney stones and other kidney damage and an estimated 54,000 babies were hospitalized. Melamine is known to cause renal failure and kidney stones in humans and animals when it reacts with cyanuric acid inside the body.
This and many other health cases from different parts of the world project the negative health implications of non organic food. Non organic foods do not only exact a toll on human health but also affect livestock and poultry life.
Thanks to genetic engineering, hormone-treated meat has long been suspected of contributing to early puberty in children. Growth hormones and some genetic engineering processes could also have negative side- effects on livestock.
More so, the presence of antibiotic-resistance genes in foods could have lethal effects. Therefore, eating these foods could reduce the effectiveness of antibiotics to fight disease when these antibiotics are taken with meals. The resistance genes could be transferred to human or animal pathogens, making them impervious to antibiotics. Although Organic foods are traditionally tagged with expensive costs they have numerous proven health benefits unlike Non Organic foods.
In all ramifications, Organic produce contains fewer pesticides. Chemicals such as fungicides, herbicides, and insecticides are widely used in conventional agriculture and residues remain on (and in) the food we eat. Prolonged consumption of non organic foods could pose serious health risks to an individual since it usually contains pesticide residues.
Children and fetuses are most vulnerable to pesticide exposure because their immune systems, bodies, and brains are still developing. Exposure at an early age may cause developmental delays, behavioral disorders, autism, immune system harm, and motor dysfunction.
Impressively, organic meat and milk are richer in certain nutrients. Results of a 2016 European study show that levels of certain nutrients, including omega-3 fatty acids, were up to 50 percent higher in organic meat and milk than in conventionally raised versions.
In terms of nutrients,organically grown fruits and vegetables on the average appear to contain about 15% high levels of nutrients than conventionally grown foods and vegetables.
In sum, the food we eat may well determine our mental and physical health even as we go about our daily live activities. By this compelling evidence, we can enjoy good and quality lifestyle by choosing right what goes into our body be it food or water.
By: Daniel Offei
(Political Science Student)
University of Ghana