Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Is Organic Food Really Better?

Is Organic Food Really Better?
In the late 2000s, products with the label ‘organic’ started showing up more and more in commercial supermarkets, and farmers markets all of a sudden became popular again. You can almost assuredly credit the organic movement to public awareness through media stories and popular documentaries which blew the cover on toxic and non-organic food.

What Does Organic Mean?

Organic is a blanket term that means something is “pure.”  Products that fall under the organic label are made or grown without the use of any type of pesticide, synthetic fertilizer, sewage sludge, genetically modified organisms (GMO), or ionizing radiation. Produce labeled organic must be grown from organic soil and must be free of chemicals. Organic meat and byproducts must come from animals raised in an ‘organic’ way - meaning they are fed organic feed and are allowed to roam freely amongst the lot (meaning no concentrated animal feeding operations). For a fully detailed definition of organic qualifications, visit the FDA website.

Why Would Farmers and Manufactures Object to Organics?
You are probably wondering now why anyone would be using the mentioned chemicals or processes, but the truth is both simple a complicated. As the world population grows, so does the demand for food, especially cheap food. What we know as being organic food today was just plain wholesome food without special distinction decades ago. Using chemicals enables farmers to mass grow crops with very little maintenance or supervision.

Labeling Causes Confusion

The label of being organic is not to be confused with the natural label; organic and natural are very different standards. Most people think that a product labeled as natural is essentially the same thing (if not better!) than organic. Natural is actually a very broad term and you may be surprised about what you are really paying for when paying a premium for products labeled this way. One of the most destructive ‘foods’, high fructose corn syrup, is actually eligible for natural labeling by the FDA in many circumstances. The bottom line is, organic and natural do not mean the same thing.

In The Long Run, Organic is Cheaper

Maybe you are in full support of buying organic food and products but you do not think you can afford to use organic products; the reality is that you can’t afford to not to go organic. Most chemicals used in produce are known carcinogenic substances – meaning they are known to cause cancer in humans. Hormones and antibiotics found in meats and animal byproducts such as cheese and milk are also known to cause many various health issues. A slight increase in your grocery bill is nothing compared to the medical issues on down the road which will lead to expensive hospital bills, possible loss of income, and even death. Eating organic is a part of a wholesome diet and well-rounded health and wellness plan.

If you don’t feel you can commit to strictly eating organics, there are a few items you should avoid at all costs – these are commonly called the dirty dozen
·         Apples
·         Celery
·         Strawberries
·         Peaches
·         Spinach
·         Imported Nectarines
·         Imported Grapes
·         Sweet Bell Peppers
·         Potatoes
·         Blueberries
·         Lettuce
·         Kale


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