I am sure everyone has heard of organic food, but what does it exactly mean and how much better is it for you? Organic farms do not use pesticides and farm in a more natural way by focusing on producing fertile soil with a variety of crops to sustain a more balanced ecosystem. Meat that is considered organic is from animals that are given natural foods without chemicals and are provided good living conditions.
There are multiple benefits of eating local organic food, which is available at several locations around the Tampa Bay area. According to Organic food info website it tastes better and it is better for the environment because of the fewer chemicals used in the soil, which creates less pollution in nearby streams and rivers. Pesticides that leach into the water also have the potential to create dead zones, making it un-inhabitable for wildlife. The dead zone in the Gulf of Mexico is now larger than 22,000 square kilometers due to synthetic fertilizers that drift downstream. In addition, organic farms enable worms and other micro-organisms to survive within the soil because of the lack of pesticides used, which helps support a natural environment.
Furthermore, according to the website DoSomething.org, a study in Europe found that there are 40% more antioxidants in organic food than nonorganic, there are higher levels of zinc and iron in produce, and milk contains more than 90% more antioxidants. It has also been found through research that pesticides may have negative effects on human health, especially pregnant women and children where leukemia was 650% higher in homes where pesticides were used. It has been found that pesticides cause damage to the nervous system, increase cancer, and decrease fertility.
Unfortunately, Living-A Much Better Way.com explains how the Codex Alimentarius Commission (CAC), made up of 171 countries, including the US, is responsible for setting up rules on international trade in food but allows seven out of the twelve most dangerous Persistent Organic Pollutants (POPs) to be used in various types of products such as milk, soy oils, cotton seed, citrus fruits, eggs, poultry, cereal grains, pineapples, leafy vegetables, legumes, as well as others. These twelve POPs were agreed to be eliminated in the Stockholm Convention that was signed by 176 countries, including the United States, in May 2005.
Therefore, it is smart to take advantage of organic food and trust your local organic farmers. It will be better for your health as well as the environment. Here are some places that provide organic products around the Tampa area suggested from Americantowns.com:
- Ruskin Community Market, located in Ruskin, Florida on 1stStreet NE, every Saturday 9am-2pm
- Tampa Downtown Market, located off of Franklin Street, October through May every Friday
- Ybor City Fresh Market, located off the Corner of 8thAvenue and 19thStreet, every Saturday 9am-3pm.