A Healthy Stand: Junk or Organic Food?


I had to struggle with myself before finally writing on this topic because I consumed - often happily and frequently -  a lot of junks food ranging from sugary liquids to fried and fatty solids. To me, writing this piece was synonymous to the metaphor of a person with a log in his own eye criticizing someone for a speck of sawdust in their own eye. However, the 'self-struggle' ended when I considerably reduced my junk food intake - it is a gradual process, after all!

Many scholarly and scientific definitions of junk or junk food exist, but more simply, it is a disapproving term used for food that has high concentrations of calories, salt, and fat, with inadequate nutrients. Over the years, unfortunately, children have been known to consume junk food at higher rates than adults, usually because of how appealing junk food looks to young undiscerning minds.

Some examples of junk food include salted snack foods, gum, candy, sweet dessert, fried fast food, sugary carbonated beverages, fruit-flavoured liquids, sport drinks, margarine, white flour, and sugary breakfast cereals. Though this food does not pose any immediate health threat when taken alone or with a well-balanced diet, after an extended period of excessive intake, adverse health effects occur such as chronic diseases.

These adverse health effects include obesity, diabetes, depression, nutrient deficiencies, and increased sodium levels in the body. Slowly but ultimately, these choices of food harm the human health and body. Hence considerably cutting down consumption of junk food is beneficial.

On the other side of the divide are organic foods that are grown in line with accepted organic methods of farming. The methods have been known to promote ecological balance, resource cycling, and conserve biodiversity. Organic produce is free from artificial or chemical pesticides and herbicides. Exposure to chemical pesticides has presented some levels of health risks such as the possibility of leukemia, breast, and prostate cancer. In pregnant women and children, the effects range from behavioural disorders, immune system harm, autism to developmental delays.

Organic food is usually fresher because they do not contain preservatives that make them last longer. This means that consumers do no get to eat chemical residues that remain on (and in) the food, as a result of the non-usage of chemical pesticides when growing the food. Organic foods also have very high nutritional values, they make the body stronger, tastes better, and of course, very affordable.

Making a commitment to healthy eating is a great start towards a healthier life.

Christopher Oghenekevwe Oghenechovwen , a B.Tech student of Meteorology and Climate Science (FUTA), is a decolonized African, environmentalist and ready volunteer. He is 2013 Citizenship and Leadership Certified by CLTC, Nigerian Federal Ministry of Youth Development, a 2015 UNESCO & Athabasca University student on Media and Information Literacy and Intercultural Dialogue, 2015 Senior Category Gold Winner of The Queen's Commonwealth Essay Competition, and youth correspondent at . His growing passions lie within the circle of Climate Action, Media and Information, IT, Youth Education and Leadership. Apart from volunteering with Earthplus, The Green Campus Initiative, and doing creative writing, Oghenekevwe loves to connect with people. Invite him for a healthy conversation via