We have been asked these questions many times.
Why shall I bother buying organic products?
And why on earth shall I pay so much for an organic food or organic fruit juice?
Is it worth the extra money spent on organic products?
Well, for us the answer has always been quite simple and very clear.
Because it is better for human health and also better for the health of our planet. That’s why here at Hebe Kombucha only certified organic ingredients, herbs, fruits, and fruit juices go into our products.
But allow us to explain things here in more detail. You are probably aware by now. The market for organic food products has been growing rapidly worldwide. We also have been seeing a steadily increasing interest in organic agriculture and food in the United States for quite a while now.
So what is organic food?
Organic foods have to meet certified organic standards for production, handling, processing, and even marketing. Most notably, organic foods have to be produced without the use of synthetic fertilizers, pesticides, antibiotics and without genetic modification of the organisms used to make the food. For most people key reasons to turn to organic food are, a) the increased awareness of pesticide and herbicide residues in their food and, b) the assumption that consumption of organic food is better for their health. According to the outcome of a study conducted in Germany (designed to evaluate consumer perception about the risks and benefits of pesticide use and food) revealed that 70% of organic consumers rated the risks of having pesticides in their food greater than the benefits, compared with 53% amongst conventional food consumers. But is it true that pesticide residues in food pose a health risk to us?
Why organic food?
To give a good answer to this question, it is a good idea to have a look at the science. To begin with. While one can’t tell a difference when looking at an apple grown organically or grown conventionally, i.e. with the use of synthetic pesticides or herbicides, things become quite different when doing a bit of chemical analysis. Several scientific studies clearly indicate significant differences between conventional food and organic food products. Differences which turn out to be in favor of organic food, especially with respect to levels of certain health beneficial phyto-compounds and levels of pesticide, herbicide and heavy metals residues.
Even though detailed knowledge about the differences in the composition of organic and conventional crops is still limited, several scientific studies have shown that fruits grown organically have higher levels of polyphenolics, a type of plant chemicals with known anti-cancer effects and numerous other health beneficial properties. In addition, organic foods consistently show lower pesticide residues than conventionally produced foods. Other studies which looked at the levels of heavy metals in food revealed that crops grown conventionally, i.e. with the use of pesticides, show higher amounts of heavy metals, e.g. cadmium, compared to organic ones. The toxic effects of heavy metals, such as mercury or cadmium, on the human brain and cognitive function are well documented in science.
But what about organic food and proven benefits to human health?
Animal studies as well as in vitro studies clearly indicate several benefits of organic food consumption compared to consumption of food derived from conventional agriculture. For example, scientific evidence hints that consumption of organic food may reduce the risk of allergic disease and of overweight and obesity.
Animal experiments suggest that identically composed feed from organic or conventional production impacts growth and development in different ways. Epidemiological studies have reported adverse effects of certain pesticides on children’s cognitive development at current levels of exposure, but solid data for individual pesticides are still lacking. A case-control study conducted in 2018 on 93 children with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and 112 control children in Taiwan revealed a concerning association between levels of certain organophosphate pesticides and ADHD. Samples collected from children diagnosed with ADHD had significantly higher levels of the pesticides dimethylphosphate and 4-hydroxy-2-nonenal-mercapturic acid. The science team conducting the study suspects the presence of those pesticides in the children’s body to be responsible for the increased oxidative stress and lipid peroxidation parameters observed in those children.
Today many other synthetic chemicals (with not well studied longterm effects on the human body), such as polybrominated diphenyl ethers (a chemical used worldwide as a flame retardant additive), can be traced in numerous conventional foods. Animal studies have shown toxic effects of polybrominated diphenyl ethers on the thyroid system and on neurodevelopment.
Lastly, science is becoming more aware about the importance of our commensal bacteria (the “good bacteria”) in our gut on many aspects of human health. In recent years it became increasingly clear to science that the prevalent use of antibiotics in conventional animal and food production may has to be seen as one of the key drivers of the spreading of antibiotic resistance in our society. Since antibiotic use is non-existing or less intensive in organic food production, it is quite feasible that consumption of organic food may impose less “antibiotic stress” and damage on the “good bacteria” (normal microbiota as the scientists call it) in our gastrointestinal system. In this sense, eating organic food may be good for us in a more indirect way by simply being “good to the good ones”.
Overall, here at Hebe Kombucha we are more than convinced that human health and wellbeing benefits in more than one way if one commits to a nutrition rich in organic foods.
We are therefore more than happy to offer you our line of organic, pure pressed premium fruit juices. Cheers to Wellbeing!