There is a growing demand for all things organic. Yet do we grasp the meaning of this beyond the definition of organic? Do we choose organic because we are aware of its benefits, or because it is popular? Here we give you the lowdown on organic food. You’ll learn why it’s the best option and why you must make the switch!
Organic Definition And Other FAQs
What Is Organic?
The correct organic definition, when it comes to our food, is about how it is produced. Organic means no chemicals are used to grow fruits and vegetables. Poultry and livestock are well-treated and fed only fresh food, with no additives. It is also an accepted belief that organic food is better for consumers. In fact, the demand for organic is rooted in these grounds. Organic products are healthier, better-tasting and chemical-free.
Are Organic Eggs Better?
Many consumers agree that organic eggs are better, based on how the eggs are produced. When it comes to nutrient content, though, organic and conventional eggs are no different. In fact, the levels of nutrients are the same across the board (except that organic eggs have higher omega-3 fatty acids content). This small difference from conventional eggs has no significant effect on consumers.
It all comes down to how the hens are raised. Chickens that produce organic eggs are treated better. They roam free in a favorable environment. They are also fed naturally. As a result, lower levels of harmful chemicals are found in organic eggs.
Are Organic Foods More Nutritious?
Only recently, studies have shown organic food to be more nutritious. Both dairy and livestock present a higher omega-3 fatty acid content. This is a compound responsible for better heart and immune system health. Organic crops also contain a higher percentage of antioxidants — up to 70%. Flavonol compounds are also higher, at 50%, in organic fruits and veggies. This compound protects cells from damage. According to the research, consuming organic foods creates health benefits like anti-inflammatory effects.
How Organic Is USDA Organic?
A level of guarantee is added when federal regulations are set. It’s easy to claim anything is organic, but the USDA sets guidelines. Farmers must meet USDA organic requirements for their produce to be certified as organic. There will be strict monitoring from the start to the end of the food production process. This includes, but is not limited to, soil condition, seed sources, and weed and pest management.
How Does Organic Food Help The Environment?
The sustainable practices involved in raising and growing organic food help reduce pollution. The production of organic products avoids chemicals at all costs. This saves soil and water from contamination. Reducing toxins in the environment is one of the goals behind growing and raising organic foods. In addition, less energy is required to raise and transport organic products.
How Does Organic Farming Work?
Producing more food in a short period of time is the goal of conventional farming methods. This is why such methods make use of chemicals — to achieve this goal in a more cost-effective fashion. Organic farming follows the traditional style of growing crops or raising livestock. Organic fertilizers like compost and green manure improve the soil. When it comes to pests and insects, companion planting and crop rotation take care of the problem. The ultimate goal is to avoid the use of harmful chemicals in food production.
Why Is Organic Better?
You know why chefs and cooks maintain herb gardens? Or why they prefer organic produce in their cooking? Because organic vegetables and fruits are simply the best. They aren’t only better-tasting, they’re also healthier. Most of all, raising organic food is good for the environment, which makes your consumption even more guilt-free.
Why Is Organic Food Expensive?
In nutrition, health and environmental safety, organic foods are the champions. It takes time to raise organic foods, and time is money. Attention is paid to details in the process. The demands are also high while the production is low. For these reasons, we pay some extra money for it.
Organic foods will not always cost more. With the increasing demand, more farmers are turning to organic farming.
What Organic Food Should I Buy?
Organic foods will definitely take up a large portion of your grocery budget. It’s a good thing we can make smart purchases. Pick items you need to buy organic, like baby food, milk, meat, poultry, and certain fruits and veggies. Vegetables and fruits with peels you can’t eat are okay. These are crops like watermelon, avocado, corn and sweet potatoes. Wash and clean these crops well and they’re good to go. On the other hand, there’s the dirty dozen, which you need to buy organic.
- Bell peppers
Who Regulates Organic Food?
The National Organic Program (NOP) of the USDA regulates organic food. Under the OFPA of 1990, farmers use only USDA-approved fertilizers. NOP also requires farmers to use natural ways of dealing with bugs and weeds. In addition, NOP regulates the handling and labeling of organic foods.
Who Certifies Organic Food?
Agents authorized by the USDA will certify farms and businesses that follow USDA regulations. These accredited agents are authorized to certify farms anywhere. You can find Organic Certifying Agents in this organic certifiers locator from the USDA. They are allowed to certify organic produce, processed organic foods and non-GMO seeds.
Can Organic Food Be Processed?
Have you seen mac and cheese or pancakes marked as organic at the grocery store? Organic foods can be processed, but only minimally. The USDA draws up and enforces rules to maintain the product’s integrity. To be marked as organic, these requirements must be met:
- Non-GMO (genetically-engineered organisms) ingredients added.
- No chemicals used to kill bugs and weeds.
- No human waste used to fertilize the soil.
- Only natural fertilizers used to grow crops.
- No chemical additives used to prolong shelf life.
- No antibiotics or hormones used on livestock.
Follow this inspiring video from Happen Films about organic sustainable farming:
Choosing organic comes down to preference, but knowing all about it will help you make informed choices. Next time you walk down the grocery aisle, you will know what to pick. Perhaps you can try raising some of your own organic foods, too. Check out these organic gardening tips for more ideas!
What do you think about organic food? Share your thoughts in the comments section below!