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

15 Reason to Eat Organic Food


Organic food was the only option for thousands of years. Now, with pesticides, herbicides, fungicides and genetically-modified foods, organic is still the best option. Here are 15 reasons to eat organic food:

1. In study after study, research from independent organizations consistently shows organic food is higher in nutrients than traditional foods. Research shows that organic produce is higher in vitamin C, antioxidants, and the minerals calcium, iron, chromium, and magnesium.

2. They’re free of neurotoxins–toxins that are damaging to brain and nerve cells. A commonly-used class of pesticides called organophosphates was originally developed as a toxic nerve agent during World War I. When there was no longer a need for them in warfare, industry adapted them to kill pests on foods. Many pesticides are still considered neurotoxins.

3. They’re supportive of growing children’s brains and bodies. Children’s growing brains and bodies are far more susceptible to toxins than adults. Choosing organic helps feed their bodies without the exposure to pesticides and genetically-modified organisms, both of which have a relatively short history of use (and therefore safety).                                                        

4. They are real food, not pesticide factories. Eighteen percent of all genetically-modified seeds (and therefore foods that grow from them) are engineered to produce their own pesticides. Research shows that these seeds may continue producing pesticides inside your body once you’ve eaten the food grown from them! Foods that are actually pesticide factories…no thanks.

5. The US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) estimates that pesticides pollute the primary drinking source for half the American population. Organic farming is the best solution to the problem. Buying organic helps reduce pollution in our drinking water.

6. Organic food is earth-supportive (when big business keeps their hands out of it). Organic food production has been around for thousands of years and is the sustainable choice for the future. Compare that to modern agricultural practices that are destructive of the environment through widespread use of herbicides, pesticides, fungicides, and fertilizers and have resulted in drastic environmental damage in many parts of the world.

7. Organic food choices grown on small-scale organic farms help ensure independent family farmers can create a livelihood. Consider it the domestic version of fair trade.

8. Most organic food simply tastes better than the pesticide-grown counterparts.

9. Organic food is not exposed to gas-ripening like some non-organic fruits and vegetables (like bananas).

10. Organic farms are safer for farm workers. Research at the Harvard School of Public Health found a 70 percent increase in Parkinson’s disease among people exposed to pesticides. Choosing organic foods means that more people will be able to work on farms without incurring the higher potential health risk of Parkinson’s or other illnesses.

11. Organic food supports wildlife habitats. Even with commonly used amounts of pesticides, wildlife is being harmed by exposure to pesticides.

12. Eating organic may reduce your cancer risk. The US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) considers 60% of herbicides, 90% of fungicides, and 30 percent of insecticides potentially cancer-causing. It is reasonable to think that the rapidly increasing rates of cancer are at least partly linked to the use of these carcinogenic pesticides.

13. Choosing organic meat lessens your exposure to antibiotics, synthetic hormones, and drugs that find their way into the animals and ultimately into you.

14. Organic food is tried and tested. By some estimates genetically-modified food makes up 80% of the average person’s food consumption. Genetic modification of food is still experimental. Avoid being part of this wide scale and uncontrolled experiment.

15. Organic food supports greater biodiversity. Diversity is fundamental to life on this planet. Genetically-modified and non-organic food is focused on high yield monoculture and is destroying biodiversity.

Michelle Schoffro Cook : Michelle Schoffro Cook, MSc, RNCP, ROHP, DNM, PhD is an international best-selling and 17-time book author and board-certified doctor of natural medicine, whose works include: 60 Seconds to SlimWeekend Wonder DetoxHealing Recipes, The Vitality Diet, Allergy-Proof, Arthritis-Proof, Total Body DetoxThe Life Force Diet, The Ultimate pH Solution, The 4-Week Ultimate Body Detox Plan, and her new book The Probiotic Promise. Subscribe to her free e-magazine World's Healthiest News at to receive monthly health news, tips, recipes and more. Follow her on Twitter @mschoffrocook and Facebook.

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Organic Farming at Adeyemi College

The Green Institute is partnering with the Department of Agriculture, Adeyemi College of Education to improve agricultural and livestock production. The Agricultural farm produces about 10,000 litres of palm oil and 4 tonnes of palm kernel annually. The piggery and poultry units also produce meat and foundation stock for members of the community. The university recently applied for a World Bank Grant to increase production organically. Check out pictures below: