Organic food refers to food that meets certain requirements and is not grown using any synthetic products. Such food is widely regarded as safe for consumption. However, the market for organic food is rapidly growing in many countries such as the US and Europe. The reason for this is that people are becoming concerned about what they consume. This is because pollution, pesticides and other chemicals that are commonly used in conventional farming are banned or prohibited, resulting in increased demand for organic food.
DescriptionIn contrast to conventional farming, organic food is food made by systems following strict criteria of organic agriculture. Organic standards vary across the globe, but organic agriculture involves practices that restore ecological balance, cycle natural resources, and protect biodiversity. Organic farming is a process by which crops are grown without using synthetic fertilizers, pesticides, or other chemicals. Pesticides and herbicides are not used on crops in conventional farming, but in organic agriculture they may be used if necessary.
Health Food Stores Many health food stores sell organic foods, but it is a little difficult to find them. Many health food stores sell food that has been grown using pesticides and herbicides, leading to soil erosion and health risks. Organic foods are grown with minimal use of these harmful products. However, since organic foods are expensive, not everyone can regularly purchase them. Also, some local food stores do not offer organic foods because of religious beliefs.
Organic Food Safety & EducationThe FDA does not regulate the sale of organic food. States have largely unregulated sales of organic food. Farmers who grow and handle organic food are required to acquire certification from an organization recognized by the USDA. However, since the lack of regulation makes organic food much more expensive, most farmers do not acquire the certification.
Organic Food Labels USDA does not recognize organic ingredients or produces pesticide and herbicide residues. For most produce, the only way to tell if it was grown organically is to read the label of the product. Organic food labels have to be clearly labeled if the food contains any genetically modified organisms, organic spices, antibiotics or other chemicals. The USDA does not inspect organic ingredients, so buyers should carefully read the produce labels. Buyers should also avoid foods labeled “natural” or “homogenized.”
Organic Food With a USDA seal, products are more expensive than their non-organic equivalents, but they are safer for consumers. Organic food costs more, but it is important to buy organic if one wants to consume foods that have not been sprayed with pesticides and herbicides. Some farmers do not use organic ingredients, so it is important to read the label of the products to determine if the ingredients are organic or not.
Organic Foods and Organic Livestock There are three major categories of organic livestock: cattle, poultry and fish. Cattle and poultry are raised without using drugs, hormones or other artificial growth hormones. Fish are raised in fresh water and eat wild foods as well as other livestock grown for human consumption.
Organic farmers must also provide access for the products that they grow to consumers. Some farmers grow their products organically using cover crops, hedgerows and other methods that create barriers to pests, soil erosion and water runoff. In the United States, organic farmers produce about 25% of the nation’s organic produce.
Organic dairy products include milk, cream, butter and yogurt. Some supermarkets have recently started carrying organic dairy and yogurt products, but many consumers have yet to discover the many healthy choices in organic dairy products. In addition to dairy products, organic shops offer other organic food choices such as organic fruits and vegetables, home-made poultry and fish dishes, home-made wheat and grain breads and even organic eggs.
Organic food prices are generally lower than conventional foods. Because organic farming practices involve a higher level of care, farmers typically farm their products more intensively, which means that they use more natural pesticides and fertilizers and use fewer synthetic substances to increase crop yield. As a result, organic foods can be higher in nutrients, such as calcium and iron. They are also free of dangerous chemicals such as pesticides and herbicides, which can pose health risks.
Organic fruits and vegetables cost more than conventionally grown ones. However, the extra cost is worth it for the health benefits you will enjoy from eating an organic product. Organic farming methods require more time and labor than conventionally grown produce. Because of this, organic products often cost more than conventionally grown produce.