Thursday, July 12, 2018 by Michelle Simmons
Organic food is not only better and healthier for human health, but for the environment as well, according to a French study.
Reducing the consumption of animal products is important because these products are more harmful to the environment than plant-based ones. This is because livestock farming needs high energy and greatly contributes to greenhouse gas emissions. In addition, intensive livestock production significantly adds to biodiversity loss because natural habitats are being turned into grass and feed crops.
The way food is produced may also affect sustainable diets, and one of the more eco-friendly food production methods is organic agriculture.
As a result, the research team aimed to investigate how various diets, particularly plant-based and organic foods, affect the environment. The research team looked at the environmental effects of both dietary patterns and farm production systems as well as the environmental impact of organic food consumption through an observational study. The team analyzed the food consumption and organic food consumption of more than 34,000 French adults. In order to identify the participants’ preferences for plant-based or animal-based products, they used a pro-vegetarian score. Moreover, they conducted production life cycle environmental impact assessments at farm level against three environmental indicators – greenhouse gas emissions, cumulative energy demand, and land occupation.
The team found that a plant-based diet lessened diet-related environmental impacts, particularly greenhouse gas emissions. Meanwhile, they also warned that the environmental effects of production systems are all different and can be affected by climate, soil types, and farm management.
The findings of the study, which were published in the journal Frontiers in Nutrition, suggest that a diet rich in fruit and vegetables, especially organic ones, is better for both human health and the environment in comparison to animal-based products. (Related: Organic Foods Provide More than Health Benefits.)
Organic is the term used to define the method agricultural products are grown and processed. In the U.S., organic produce must be grown without using synthetic pesticides, bio-engineered genes, petroleum-based fertilizers, and sewage sludge-based fertilizers. For organic livestock raised for meat, eggs, and dairy products, they must have access to the outdoors and be given organic fee, while antibiotics, growth hormones, or any animal byproducts must not be given to them.
Here are some benefits of organic food:
If you’d like to read more news stories and studies on the benefits of organics, go to Organics.news.