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Lifelong Health, Organic Farming, and Sustainability

With so many buzzwords out there, it can be difficult to determine which ones to pay attention to. But when it comes to your health, “organic” and “sustainable” are two words you may want to integrate into your life. Organic, sustainably grown foods may become a big part of your diet as well.

Depending on the context, the meaning of "sustainable" can differ considerably. When it comes to food and farming, however, the word primarily refers to the practice of maintaining an ecological balance while preserving natural resources. It's important to note that foods grown organically are most likely to be sustainable, but that's not necessarily the case. After all, "organic" farming means that a plant was grown without the use of harmful chemical-based pesticides in soil that is also free of harsh chemicals.

As we age, preserving our physical health becomes a high priority, especially in our current political era, where health coverage isn't considered a right. In fact, an estimated 80% of America's senior citizens have some type of chronic health condition. So what can you do to age as gracefully as possible? And how does sustainable food production relate to your lifelong health?

Maintaining Physical Health as we Age

Aging and elderly Americans are inevitably more susceptible to health problems. Once you reach the age of 65, health risks are likely to compound. Among the most common health problems facing senior citizens in the U.S. are arthritis, heart disease, respiratory diseases, and diabetes.

And while there's little you can do to stave off hereditary conditions, you at least have the power to take control of your diet. To promote wellness as you age, your healthcare provider is likely to recommend that you eat a well-balanced diet. Balanced diets include a wide variety of healthy foods in the right proportions, to provide the right amount of all essential nutrients. It's important to note, however, that dietary needs can differ drastically on an individual basis, and your personal balanced diet may look very different from that of others.

What is clear is that sustainability is an important aspect of a modern well-balanced diet. A diet that incorporates less meat and more organically grown fruits and vegetables, for example, is going to be more nutritious and sustainable in the long run. A plant-based diet may also promote heart health and reduce your risk of many age-related health conditions, such as diabetes, obesity, and certain types of cancer.

But not all fruits, vegetables, and grains are created equal.

Agriculture's Effects on the Natural Environment

When we picture farmland, where lush, green plants seem to stretch for miles, it's easy to view the scene as sustainable and eco-friendly. Yet that's not always the case.

In truth, the agricultural industry itself is actually a major cause of environmental damage. Food production takes up nearly 40% of land worldwide, according to the Harvard School of Public Health. In addition, 70% of freshwater usage is attributed to food production, and the industry is responsible for about 30% of global greenhouse gas emissions.

These sobering facts are a glaring indicator of the importance of sustainability. It's clear that the food industry needs a major overhaul, and the concepts of organic and sustainable farming are key factors towards change. By promoting organic farming practices, we may just see a healthier global population overall.

Growing organic means that no toxic chemicals can leach into the soil or pollute groundwater, and our grandkids won't be eating weedkiller with their cereal. The unfortunate truth is that glyphosate, a common herbicide used on American grain crops, is found in a large number of popular children's cereals. Glyphosate is also a carcinogen, which means that it poses a cancer risk. Switching out foods that contain glyphosate for organic versions, therefore, can keep you and your family healthier.

Spreading the Message of Sustainability

There are several steps you can take to begin incorporating sustainability into your life and eating habits. Your wallet is a major source of sustainable change: Buy locally sourced, in-season foods as often as possible, and encourage your local grocery stores to stock local items.

You can also support sustainable farming by spreading the word. Start with your neighbors, friends, and family. Let them know the reasons why you have decided to alter your eating habits, and consider serving locally sourced, organic food to your guests.

Perhaps you want to have concrete facts to back up your claims about nutrition and ethical food production. If that's the case, you're essentially serving as a de facto community health educator. In this way, you can encourage your friends and family to change their unhealthy dietary habits and help them set goals to better maintain wellness.

Quality of life is essential to the aging process, and it's abundantly clear that our dietary choices can make a big impact on our health. Incorporating sustainably sourced food into your diet is a surefire way to ensure that you sustain your physical health throughout your golden years. It can also help you reduce your healthcare costs in an increasingly complex system, as well as improve the health of the planet.

Posted by Magnolia at December 5, 2019 10:57 AM
Comments
Comment #451384

This article is way too smart for the three guys/gals/creatures who spend the most time.

Posted by: orteil at December 5, 2019 1:48 PM
Comment #451385

“Organic” is perhaps the most overused word today in the food industry. It has little meaning, and is an easy label to procure by unscrupulous marketers.

This writer would have us believe that a complete overhaul of farming practices would benefit us all. What it means is that many of us would simply die of starvation. It is much the same gibberish the Left uses to diminish the need for fossil fuels.

Sustainable farming, sufficient to feed the people on this planet, is only possible with the use of fossil fuel, chemicals, and genetic plant manipulation.

Posted by: Royal Flush at December 5, 2019 3:54 PM
Comment #451404

All of the grocery stores around me have “Organic” sections. I sometimes buy from that section when the items are sold-out in the other sections in the grocery store.

The major problem I have noticed all along is that produce in the “organic” section are more expensive, and don’t look too good (i.e. with regard to quality).

Regardless, if you get food from the “organic” or other sections, it would be wise to wash it good to eliminate pesticides, and other potential contaminants.

Also, how can I be certain that no pesticides were used on the “organic” produce?

Regarding “sustainability”, it would be great if Democrats and others on the left would stop with the massive illegal immigration, which makes “sustainability” impossible.

Also, regarding how to “reduce your healthcare costs”, here’s a suggestion to save hundred$ of billions per year (maybe trillion$), and also help prevent 2,000 homicides per year.

Posted by: d.a.n at December 6, 2019 9:04 AM
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Comment #453216

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