Benefits of organic and natural for health

Organic food has been proven to contain higher amounts of vitamins and minerals and cancer fighting antioxidants than non-organic. Only 32 of the 290 approved food additives are permitted for organic use. Eating organic also helps avoid pesticide ingestion. In addition, no GM crops or ingredients are allowed, and organic food should be antibiotic free (the routine use of drugs and antibiotics in livestock and feed is not allowed with organic produce).

It is also worth considering the potentially harmful effects on our health of certain substances which are commonly found in products in the home, including the following:

Volatile organic compounds (VOCs): these are common in such things as paints, solvents, fire retardants, dyes, soaps and deodorants and are often released on first use of the product and throughout its lifetime. They may lead to such things as sick building syndrome, asthma and skin irritations. If possible opt for products that explicitly say no VOCs and in personal hygiene products opt for fragrance free or plant extract based fragrances.

Absorbable synthetic chemicals: Some of the synthetic chemicals used in products such as deodorants and household cleaners as, for example emulsifiers or foaming agents, come into direct contact with our skin and can be absorbed into our bodies. There are concerns that some of these chemicals are associated with cancers but there is no definitive research on this. Given the uncertainty you may wish to avoid them altogether, and purchase natural alternatives.

One way to try and ensure you are not exposing yourself to such harmful substances, or harming the environment with them, is to opt for natural, plant-based, organic or mineral alternatives.