Organic Food in Schools Gains Popularity
by Nao Emzed on November 2, 2015 - 5:41pm
Organic food. A simple concept, the most vintage of all, yet ignored and underestimated for a long time by our society of consumers and economic growth at any price. It is only since the nineties and the early 2000's that consumers, tired of overconsumption, had a sudden act of conscience and embraced that movement again. More than a simple trend, it became popular and a whole market has been developed to satisfy a growing demand. Among the consumers, preoccupied parents started to question the quality of food served in cafeterias and the accessibility of junk food in schools has finally become an issue in North America. In fact, more and more institutions have started to offer organic menues and companies, seeing a great buissness opportunity, are nowadays encouraging the movement through partnerships and sponsoring.
The twentieth century was marked by an impressive modernization and the introduction of the globalization concept. The food industry made no exception, as import and export opened the door to a whole new business perspective. Bigger markets, meaning more consumers, justified the use of pesticides. Soon, bigger quantities quickly replaced better quality. Until, one day, the public's eye saw past the advertisement images, when scientific researchers showed the downsides of such an industry.
With the growing demand, the food industry adapted itself and organic products are now available in many mainstream supermarkets. According to the Organic Trade Association, the demand in dairy products and snacks, largely bought for children almost doubled since 2004 in USA. After supermarkets, change has now to occur I another area: schools. The parents efforts are starting to pay off, as many schools and companies across the continent are starting a movement. For instance, since 2004, Horizon Organic, and American company, helped bring organic menues to more than 12 schools in the district of Palo Alto, CA.
Chimically produced food can be dangerous for children because their digesting and assimilating systems are not fully developed, meaning they have a lower capacity to detoxify some chemical residues still in the food. Moreover, children are in constant development and therefore proportionally eat more than adults, might absorb more toxic substances. They are also exposed to higher risks of getting sick since their immunity system is not fully operational, especially against GMO's negative effects. Plus, organic food is more natural and has been also proven to be healthier. A research conducted in 2003 by the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry found that most organic aliments in the US contained 58% more polyphenolics than chemically produced food. These substances act as antioxidants and are an important part of the development of children. The results also showed that organic aliments contained more as ascorbic acid, which is converted by the human body in vitamin C.
To conclude, I believe more schools in Canada should follow this movement. It is obvious that eating organic food has major impacts on one's health and increasing its access to children would it certainty be a smart decision. Plus, I think it would bring awareness to them about the negative effects of chemically produced goods have on our health. It would also be interesting to compare their ecological footprints.
*News Activist does not accept ''copy-paste'' and I can't put my sources here*