By Taj Nabi Khan
ISLAMABAD, Feb 23 (APP):It was not long ago when the consumption of organic food was common in Pakistan but with growing population a paradigm shift was witnessed in food choices from organic to inorganic foodstuff which causes health complications among people.
The organic food is produced through natural farming practices with the help of methods that comply with the standards of organic farming that cycle resources, promote ecological balance, and conserve biodiversity.
However, since the beginning of industrialization and population explosion, mass production of goods and different varieties of foods has increased. Likewise, due to globalization, the agricultural sector was opened to scientific techniques to enable farmers to produce more food in short span of time. The scientific farming can help produce more and faster food to meet its growing demand. But its side-effects slowly become visible in terms of different health complications in the long run.
The excessive use of fertilization, overproduction, pesticides, insecticides, roundup herbicides, hexane, sewage sludge or growth promoting antibiotics had affected the ecosystems, biodiversity, groundwater and drinking water adversely.
Thus the modern inputs had made the agricultural produces poisonous from both the environment and health perspectives.
Moreover, the inorganic food had adverse effects on health which cause diseases such as cancer, diabetes, fetal failure, brain damage, hypertension, heart disease, high blood pressure, obesity, sluggishness, and slowing central nervous system.
Likewise, pesticides and chemicals slow down cognitive function which means mental strength, effective judgment, and critical thinking of the consumers.
No doubt, the processed food is getting popularity through out the world but fully depending on it had serious risk factors for health as its nutrition level is low and ingredients are not healthy. It also contains higher amount of salt, sugar, sodium, oil and spice which are injurious to health.
However, one wonders to see the inorganic foodstuff in agricultural country like Pakistan where it was easy to produce organic food in kitchen gardens and open spaces for domestic consumption of the household.
According to a recent study the inorganic food was solely responsible for heart disease, diabetes and hypertension. Therefore, time and again, the medical experts suggest people to avoid unhealthy foodstuff for maintaining good health. The study showed that due to use of in-organic food, people are being faced with complicated health problems as accumulation of toxins and harmful chemicals are not good for human body.
According to World Health Organization (WHO), about three million people around the world are suffering from pesticides of inorganic food while 2,20,000 people die annually due to the consumption of it.
To ensure quality of organic foodstuff, the European Union, the United States, Canada, Mexico, Japan and several other countries now require special certification from the producers to obtain it for their organic food.
Likewise, for selling food with organic label is regulated by food safety authorities so that the sellers feel the sense of responsibility.
In Pakistan, once again the demand for organic food has increased in the markets and urbanized hubs due its quality of taste, nutrition and antioxidants. Moreover, it was also due to personal health and environment concerns of the consumers that they wanted to opt for organic food.
Taking to APP, General Surgeon, Nowshera Medical Complex, Dr Fazal Ghani said inorganic and junk food such as soft drinks, cookies, ice-creams, chips, and candies etc. are unhealthy which had serious health repercussions for children.
He said, “The consumption of such foods develop complications amongst children as for as mental, bones, muscles and physical health is concerned”. It makes children prone to different diseases such hormonal imbalance, malnutrition, skin and digestion problems.
Dr Fazal Ghani said except taste junk foods has nothing to offer in terms of vitamin, carbohydrates, and proteins. “The use of such foods is waste of money as well as the waste of health”, he added.
Another health expert, Dr. Noorul Karim said the immune system can only be strengthened when a healthy lifestyle is adopted. “The healthy lifestyle had the components of sound sleep, organic food, balanced and nutritious diet, in take of plenty of liquids and physical exercise ,” he added.