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Organic food has become very popular. But navigating the maze of organic food labels, benefits, and claims can be confusing. Is organic food really better for your mental and physical health? Do GMOs and pesticides cause cancer and other diseases? What do all the labels mean? This guide can help you make better choices about shopping organic, including what to focus on and how to make eating organic more affordable.
- What does “organic” mean?
- The biggest advantages of organic food include
- A few more advantages of organic food to support the environment
- Is it pesticide free?
- Organic food buying tips
What does “organic” mean?
The term “organic” refers to the way agricultural products are grown and processed. While the regulations vary from country to country, in the U.S., organic crops must be grown without the use of synthetic pesticides, bioengineered genes (GMOs), petroleum-based fertilizers, and sewage sludge-based fertilizers.
Organic livestock raised for meat, eggs, and dairy products must have access to the outdoors and be given organic feed. They may not be given antibiotics, growth hormones, or any animal by-products.
The biggest advantages of organic food include
1. Nutrient-Denser Food
According to a State of Science Review done in 2008, organic food has more nutritional superiority than its non-organic counterparts.
2. Stronger, More Energetic Body
No pesticides, chemicals, or processed additives bogging down your system means a smaller risk of disease, illness, and disorders in yourself. Nothing leaves you feeling tired and gross like unhealthy junk food.
3. It Tastes Better
True, it may not taste as good if you’re accustomed to the addictive qualities of junk food additives, such as processed sugar and MSG. But after just a short time of your body experiencing truly healthy food, you’ll be craving it. No, really, you will. And all the crap will start having a bad after-taste.
4. Yes, It’s Cheaper
Although some organic food and products are more expensive, you actually WILL save money in several ways:
Whole foods help to prevent major and minor diseases and illnesses, meaning lower health care costs and less likelihood of missing work. One of the hidden advantages of organic food.
Your brain tells your body to eat partially based on the nutrients it receives. Now that we know eating organic means more nutrients, it means your brain won’t tell your body to keep eating as it does with junk food.
Buying organic food from the farmer’s market is incredibly inexpensive. You also have the option of bartering with farmers for good or services.
Growing your own can become free when you get your organic vegetable garden in place!
And this might not be one of the advantages of organic FOOD, but when it comes to non-food products, organic merchandise are generally a higher quality, so you don’t need to buy a new cotton shirt every year when the old one falls apart.
Want some practical tips on making organic food cheaper? Read more about how to make organic food affordable here.
5. Safe from Dangerous Pesticides
Chemical pesticides have been linked to breast, prostate and other cancers, non-Hodgkins lymphoma, leukemia, infertility, convulsions, immune and endocrine disorders, Parkinson’s disease and depression. Just to name a few!
6. Safe from Scary Chemicals
Herbicides and fertilizers have been connected with various cancers, immune disorders, infertility, cardiac disease, hypertension, and numerous other diseases.3,4
7. Safe from Other Crazy Shizz
Things like genetically engineered foods, food fertilized with sewer sludge, appetite enhancers given to animals and synthetic hormones are just a few more advantages of organic food.
8. Peace of Mind
Knowing that you are buying organic food can help you to enjoy what you eat for all the reasons outlined above and below.
A few more advantages of organic food to support the environment
9. Keeps Plants Healthy
No super-insects created by pesticides wiping out farms or wild spaces. Organic plants thrive because they are made stronger with organic practices.
10. Keeps Animals Healthy
No sick birds, dying sea or freshwater life, or infertile wildlife from chemical exposure.8
11. Creates Healthy Conditions
No topsoil erosion, pollution, nutrient depletion, antibiotic-resistant bacteria, or scarred landmarks from clear-cutting and mono-cropping when we work with Nature to provide for our needs.
12. Supports and is Supported By Nature
Let’s face it. We don’t know it all. We may not know all the advantages to organic food (or manufacturing) practices. But we know “organic” has been working for millennia, so why mess with a track record like that when we don’t need to?
Is it pesticide free?
one of the primary benefits of eating organic is lower levels of pesticides. However, despite popular belief, organic farms do use pesticides. The difference is that they only use naturally-derived pesticides, rather than the synthetic pesticides used on conventional commercial farms. Natural pesticides are believed to be less toxic, however, some have been found to have health risks. That said, your exposure to harmful pesticides will be lower when eating organic.
Organic food buying tips
Buy in season – Fruits and vegetables are cheapest and freshest when they are in season. Find out when produce is delivered to your market so you’re buying the freshest food possible.
Shop around – Compare the price of organic items at the grocery store, the farmers’ market and other venues (even the freezer aisle).
Remember that organic doesn’t always equal healthy –Making junk food sound healthy is a common marketing ploy in the food industry but organic baked goods, desserts, and snacks are usually still very high in sugar, salt, fat, or calories. It pays to read food labels carefully.
The reality is that we know for a fact that non-organic items are potentially more harmful to our health and us and have many more side effects than we already know. Eating organic food helps the environment and it can help reduce your risk of cancer and other health effects.
A feminist by thoughts. She would love to have discussions about anything. Always ready to take up new challenges that comes her way. With a Masters degree in Commerce, she is into blogging and is thoroughly enjoying it. As a foodie, she would love to taste various foods. She loves to watch food and travel shows.