You must have heard the term 'Organic' while shopping for daily essentials.
Organic is such a powerful term that even without checking it twice, we would happily choose anything with an Organic label printed. Isn’t it true?
This article gives you a simple answer to what is organic food. And other related questions such as why are certain foods labeled organic? Is organic food more nutritious? Are organic foods safer?
But first, let us find out the necessary details about organic foods and products.
What is Organic Food?
The term organic refers to foods and products if it is grown and processed without synthetic fertilizers and pesticides. Organic food is essentially any food not contaminated by chemicals, pesticides, gasoline, or other dangerous substances. In addition, any produce is organic if it is certified to have grown on soil that has none of these prohibited substances applied for three years before harvest.
The term organic is defined and managed by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA). USDA certified organic foods must meet some requirements, including being grown and processed according to federal guidelines that address soil quality, animal raising practices, pest and weed control, and use of additives. So to carry out the certified organic label, farmers, companies, and food products must undergo an annual inspection by a USDA-authorized agent.
Are Organic Foods Better?
We all want to eat healthier food, but sometimes, we fail to afford it. Organic produce is often more expensive than standard produce. But are organic foods worth the extra money?
Stepping back to look at how produce becomes organic is all it takes. But many people think that organic foods and products are better for you than inorganic ones. That is because organic farming does not use chemical fertilizers in the soil and often uses natural pest control, which means there is no risk of pesticide residue in the final product. But if anything is added, that must be approved by a certification body.
Organic Foods and Conventional Foods
Organic food does not contain artificial fertilizers, pesticides, or herbicides and has a higher nutritional value, fewer pesticides residue, and antibiotic-resistant bacteria. On the other hand, Conventional foods are grown using synthetic fertilizers and sometimes man-made pesticides.
Organic products are produced without using Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs). Instead, these farms use compost and manure to fertilize the soil instead of chemical treatments, resulting in long-term health benefits. Conventional farms can reduce or eliminate most pests by rotating crops and employing other strategies, but they need to spray large quantities of chemical treatments.
Health Benefits of Eating Organic Foods
Most of us relate Organic with being healthier. However, the truth is these foods lessen your exposure to chemicals and are grown using cleaner methods. Good nutrition is the core of well-being, and organic food is a vital part of that. So, make more informed decisions when selecting foods and products.
High Nutritional Value- Organic food is generally richer in vitamins and other beneficial nutrients such as antioxidants than conventionally grown food. Fruits and veggies contain vitamins, minerals, fiber, and calcium. These foods are also GMO-free.
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Contains fewer pesticides- Organic produce also tends to have fewer nitrates than inorganic produce, which may be better for you. However, chemicals like synthetic fungicides, herbicides, and insecticides are widely used in conventional agriculture, and residues remain on (and in) the food we consume.
Often Fresher-Organic foods do not involve preservatives to make them long-lasting. Also, organic produce is sometimes (but not always) produced on smaller farms nearer to where it is sold.
Better for the Environment- Organic farming practices may conserve water, reduce soil erosion, increase soil fertility, restore soil health, and stop harmful chemicals from accumulating into water. It is nature working in balance, and it is better for us, the animals and the planet.
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You might think this is an overly cautious approach to eating all organic produce. However, considering the danger posed by chemical residue on crops will eventually enter the body if consumed, which can lead to problems with the immune system and other serious medical issues, among other things.
It is sometimes challenging to identify whether a specific brand is genuinely organic. However, some organizations do provide labels for such brands of organic food.
In the past decade, there has been an increase in sales of organic foodstuffs worldwide, and it is not just foods and beverages; organic refers to other fields, from beauty to toiletries to medicines. Organic beauty products also pop up everywhere, from your local drug store to e-commerce stores.