Organic food items have received lots of press in recent years. And, studies are showing that more and more people are insisting on organic fruits and vegetables, as well as hormone free meats. And though organic foods are still a bit more expensive than their counterparts, many people are finding that the price is well worth the peace of mind and health benefits organic eating brings.

Years ago, all foods were organic. Natural methods were used to prevent pests and animals were raised hormone free. However, as demand increased, farmers found that they simply could not meet the demand and the expected price point. So, hormones were used to make farm animals grow faster and pesticides became a simple way to ensure that crop yields were larger.

It is still unclear what long term problems will be found from the ingestion of pesticides and hormones. It is clear, however, that hormone laden meat has contributed to an earlier onset of puberty among today’s children, but we don’t yet know how that will affect their health as they age. There are many benefits to eating organically. some of the most important follow.

1. Organic fruits and vegetables are thought to be higher in nutrients. It is believed that organic fruits and vegetables retain more of their natural nutrients than their pesticide and herbicide treated counterparts. This means that your body gets more benefit from each bite of an organically grown fruit or vegetable.

2. Organic fruits and vegetables have no coloring added. You may find that some organic produce isn’t as pretty as other produce. This is because organic produce cannot be treated with colorings to make it look better. You can much better judge the freshness of organic produce because what you see is what you get. The benefit to your body comes from avoiding un-natural colorings in your foods.

3. Organic fruits and vegetables taste better. When fruits and vegetables are allowed to mature at their own pace, rather than being sped along, they simply taste better. And, if your fruits and vegetables taste good, you’re more likely to eat more of them.

4. Organic fruits and vegetables are higher in anti-oxidants. Anti-oxidants are disease fighting molecules that are believed to help fight many serious ailments, including heart disease and cancer. They occur naturally in all fruits and vegetables, but they are reduced as produce sits on the shelf. When you buy organic fruits and vegetables, you’re much more likely to be purchasing locally grown produce, so it has not been sitting on the shelf as long.

5. Organic meats are hormone free. As mentioned above, non-organic farmers feed steroids to livestock in order to fatten them up for slaughter faster. Just like with fruits and vegetables, when animals are allowed to mature at a slower pace, they will be more flavorful and have more lean meat than their quickly grown counterparts. This means that the meat tastes better and is better for you. In addition, you’re avoiding those unwanted hormones, whose ramifications we have yet to understand.

6. Organic meats are not treated with anti-biotics. Non-organic farmers feed their livestock anti-biotics to prevent diseases caused by close living quarters. We all know that over-exposure to anti-biotics in humans makes it harder for the anti-biotics to do their jobs when we need them. So, by avoiding foods treated with anti-biotics, we may be protecting our own body’s ability to respond to the anti-biotics we really need.

As you can see, eating organically produced fruits, vegetables and meats can help you feel better and protect your health long term. So, go find your local organic produce stand today!