What exactly is “organic food”? Organic food refers to food that is grown in its natural state with as few pesticides, fertilizers, or other chemicals as possible. In its natural state it is not altered in any way; it is what it is. Organic food is produced using methods conforming to the guidelines of organic agriculture. Standards differ worldwide, but organic agriculture involves practices that balance biodiversity, promote environmental balance, and maintain ecological health.
Before purchasing organic food from a supermarket, be sure to check for the USDA seal of approval. The USDA seal ensures that the farmer was able to practice high quality agriculture without using synthetic pesticides and insecticides. It’s the only way that you can be sure the farmer followed all safety procedures and didn’t introduce synthetic pesticides or other harmful chemicals into the soil. When shopping for organically grown foods you should also inquire about the farmer’s certification, which allows the farmer to demonstrate that they have implemented sustainable agricultural practices on their farm.
Many people are concerned about the rising cost of organic foods. The truth is that organic foods can be just as high in taste and variety as regular food purchased at the grocery store. You will notice that organic foods tend to taste more fresh and that they contain less artificial color and flavorings, as well as many of the artificial preservatives present in regular produce. Organic foods also contain fewer calories, fewer fat grams, fewer sodium grams, and fewer trans fats. With these benefits of organic foods, it is no wonder that more people are buying them.
Because organically produced ingredients are so much healthier than their non-organic counterparts, they often cost more. This is one of the reasons why it is important to read the labels on food products when you are shopping at the store. Look for the words “organic” and “non-organic” to compare the percentage of these substances in the product. If the label additionally states “ultraviolet radiation treated” or “chemical free,” then you are assured that these substances have been treated with very high temperatures in a controlled environment. These products will not have chemicals added that could harm you.
However, some experts believe that there is not enough scientific evidence proving that there are any real, serious health benefits to an organic diet. For instance, many researchers feel that we do not know enough about the long term effect of eating small amounts of the chemicals that are found in organically produced foods. These chemicals, called ‘byproducts’, may actually build up in our bodies over time, causing damage to our organs. We do know that organically grown foods contain slightly higher levels of nutrients like iron, magnesium, and potassium, compared to those found in regular food. But, it is unclear whether the levels of these nutrients are particularly balanced. And, even though the minerals and other substances may be slightly higher levels, it is unclear whether this makes organically grown foods healthier for us.
One of the largest concerns about organic meat and dairy comes from the use of antibiotics in raising them. Antibiotics are commonly used to promote growth in animals, including cows, and to prevent disease. It is believed that these chemicals can cause antibiotic resistance in future generations, making it harder for us to fight off illnesses that might come along. However, a recent study did find that antibiotic residue found in organic meat was not significantly different than the amount found in non-organic meat.
There have also been some recent studies finding that it may be slightly higher in vitamin D. Vitamin D is necessary for healthy bones, teeth, skin, and blood vessels. But, organic dairy products lack this particular nutrient, which makes it difficult for people to absorb. Vitamin D has a number of benefits, but it is mostly associated with strong bones and teeth. Many studies found that dairy products had lower mineral and bone density than non-organic dairy. Organic foods also had a slightly higher concentration of fat, although non-organic foods had a slightly higher concentration of cholesterol and fat.
While there are many health benefits associated with organic foods, there are some risks associated with them as well. For example, pesticides used in organic farms may lead to increased risk of certain types of cancer. While there has not been enough studies to confirm this, many doctors believe that exposure to pesticides can increase the risk of certain types of cancer. More studies of organic foods may help resolve this issue.