Organic diets are becoming more and more popular. But are organic foods truly healthier for you? Are the pesticides and GMOs on non-organic foods really cancer and disease-causing agents? What do the organic labels really mean? The purpose of this guide is to help you make more educated and thorough choices about whether or not organic foods are both better for your health as well as the environment, and ways you can incorporate organic foods into your everyday diet.
So, what exactly is “organic food” and what does the term “organic” really mean?
When you commit to eating healthier, you are taking a step towards better health and wellness. It’s true that consuming more vegetables, fruits, good fats and whole grains is step in the right direction; however, the questions of nutrition, food safety and sustainability still remain. The way that food is grown and/or raised can have an impact on your health as well as the environment. So what is the real difference between organic food and (non-organic) food that’s conventionally grown? How safe/unsafe are GMOs?
“Organic” is basically a term that refers to the way that certain agricultural food products are grown and/or processed. There are specific requirements that have to be both met and maintained for any product to be labeled as an “organic” product.
Organic crops have to be grown in a particular type of soil called “safe soil,” and it cannot have any modifications whatsoever. They must also be kept separate from any other conventionally grown products. Farmers of organic products are not permitted to use any type of synthetic pesticides, GMOs (bioengineered genes), fertilizers that are petroleum-based, or fertilizers that are sewage sludge-based.
All organic livestock have to be given only organic feed and must be allowed to be outdoors. They cannot be given any kind of growth hormones, antibiotics, nor any types of animal byproducts.
The Benefits of Eating Organic Foods
There are a number of benefits to be gained from eating organic foods. There have been studies done that have shown proof that organic food contains more beneficial nutrients than conventionally grown food. Also, individuals who have allergies to certain foods, preservatives and/or chemicals often discover that their symptoms either lessen or completely go away whenever they consume only foods that are organic.
Additionally, organic produce has considerably less pesticides. Pesticides are chemical agents such as insecticides, fungicides and herbicides. They are often utilized in conventional means of agriculture. The residues from the chemical agents linger on as well as in the foods we consume.
Organic foodstuffs are usually fresher than non-organic foodstuffs and fresher foods naturally taste better. The organic foods are fresher because they do not have preservatives added to them in order to make them last longer. Often, organic produce is grown on smaller farms that are close to where it is sold.
The practice of organic farming is much better for our environment than conventional farming. It reduces water, soil and air pollution, conserves water, increases the fertility of the soil, reduces erosion of the soil, and uses less energy. When farming is practiced without the usage of pesticides, it is better for birds and other small animals nearby, and people who either live or work close to or on farms.