t cannot be a coincidence that in the disease-free longevity hot spots, where people live exceptionally long and healthy lives, all the food is grown without the use of artificial chemicals. When food is farmed organically, it is not ‘propped up’ by artificial fertilisers or pesticides. This means that it must be naturally resilient, and for this it must come from strong soil teeming with nutrients and beneficial micro-organisms. This is good for the plants, good for the land, and good for us.
In the longevity hot spots, and on well-run organic farms, everything which is taken from the land is put back in, so that the nutrients required to keep the soil and the food supply healthy are continually recycled. The food is high in quality rather than quantity, making the diet a naturally health-giving one.
Studies show that organic produce is likely to be better for health than non-organic produce in several ways. There are fewer pesticide residues to ingest, and the evidence also shows that organic produce is ‘substantially’ higher in antioxidant phytochemicals.1 It is also likely to be higher in ‘sirtuin-activators’, phytochemicals which help keep the plant robust against environmental stressors and which can have a powerful anti-ageing impact on our health.2
Organic farming also has the obvious benefit that we – both farmers and consumers – are not exposed to toxic chemicals, such as pesticides, which the evidence suggests may pose serious health hazards.3,4
Sally Beare dip BCNH, CNHC
Sally Beare is a nutritional therapist who has travelled all over the world looking for the ‘secrets’ of some of the healthiest populations. She is the author of The Live-Longer Diet (Piatkus, UK, 2003); 50 Secrets of the World’s Longest-Living People (Perseus, US, 2005) and The Stacking Plan (Peach, UK, 2015). Sally has lectured on anti-ageing at the UK College of Nutrition and Health and is the nutrition columnist for Juno natural parenting magazine. She currently practices in Bristol, UK. www.sallybeare.com | Twitter: @sallybeare
- Baranski et al (2014). Higher antioxidant and lower cadmium concentrations and lower incidence of pesticide residues in organically grown crops: a systematic literature review and meta-analyses. British Journal of Nutrition 112(5):794-811.
- Aidan Goggins and Glen Matten (2016). The Sirt Food Diet. Yellow Kite, UK.