Organic produce has become very popular. Today, more and more grocery shops are keeping organic food products to meet increasing consumer’s demand. People are going organic as organic produce is thought to be good for the health and environment as well. They are grown in a natural way, without the use of any synthetic fertilizers, pesticides, genetically modified organisms and sewage sludge.
The term ‘organic’ means the farming ways through which food or agricultural are grown and processed. Any food is labelled as organic when it meets certain specific criteria. Organic produce must be grown in healthy soil, without any alterations, and must remain separate from other conventional produce. Farmers should not use the chemical fertilizers, pesticides, or other artificial chemicals while producing organic crop.
To grow organic crops, farmers do take several precautions such as, rotate crops regularly to stave off pests, use chemical-free earths and fertilize crops with compost or manure. Even the organic livestock have given access to the outdoors to avoid any disease spread and given organic feed. They may not be given certain medications including antibiotics, growth hormones, or any animal-by-products.
According to Anne Wolf, RD, a registered dietitian and researcher at the University of Virginia School of Medicine, “The decision to choose organic produce and other foods is a personal one, based on your own needs and concerns. Some people just don’t want to eat any food that could contain pesticides and other chemicals”. Organic foods provide a lot of benefits and have more beneficial nutrients, like antioxidants. Some of the advantages of using organic produce are:
Organic produce contains rarer pesticides: Pesticides are chemicals like herbicides, fungicides, and insecticides. These are commonly used in conventional produce and residues of the same remains on the food we consume.
Organic meat and milk are good in some nutrients: Some nutrients, such as omega-3 fatty acid is almost 50% higher in organic meat and milk than in conventional. The reason is that organic meat and milk come from livestock that graze on a natural diet of grass.
Organic produce is always fresh: Fresh food always tastes good. Organic produce is usually fresh as it is free from preservatives, contains disease-fighting antioxidants and generally grown on a smaller area where there is a high demand.
Organic farming is good for the environment: Organic agricultural methods help in reducing pollution (air, water and soil), reduce soil erosion, conserve water, increase soil fecundity, and use very less energy. On the other side, conventional traditional food methods affect our planet and our resources.
Organically raised livestock are not given any growth hormones, antibiotics, or fed animal byproducts: Organic animals are kept in such living conditions that adopt the natural behavior of the animals. The use of antibiotics in conventional food create antibiotic-resilient strains of bacteria. This denotes that when someone gets a health problem, they will be less responsive to the antibiotic treatment. In addition, not feeding animal byproducts to other animals reduces the risk of mad cow disease (BSE).
Organic produce is GMO-free: Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs) produces are those plants or animals whose DNA have been modified in different ways that cannot occur naturally or through normal crossbreeding. This used to be done in order to reduce the production of pesticides.
Organic produce is good for pregnant women and children: Pregnant women and children are more vulnerable to the health effects of pesticides, like nervous system damage and behavioral problems. So for them, organic foods are a good healthy option.
These were the few benefits of eating organic produce. It is must that organic food products must meet the standard set by the United States Department of Agriculture, then only the food products are considered as 100% organic. Once approved, farmers get frequents assessments, must maintain detailed logs of the output and must be ready for the surprise visits to validate the quality of their soil and water. So, once you go to any grocery shop to purchase organic food, always check for the USDA organic label to get the 100% authenticity. Also, do not forget that food product labelled under natural and hormone-free may not be organic.
The process of producing organic food is very costly and time taking. Hence, it is more expensive than the conventional food produce. But, the health and environmental benefits associated with organic produce are worth the price and gives you the best results in long-run. However, you can overcome the expensive cost of organic produce by purchasing it directly from the farmers or in bulk.
The benefits of choosing organic is not only limited to food. Everything from clothes to cosmetic and decorative material to furniture is available in market as certified organic products.
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