• Organic Foods: Essential Information


    Is food that is organic actually healthier? Is the cost justified? Learn the meaning of the labels and which foods are the best value for your money.

    What is meant by “organic”?

    The cultivation and processing methods used to produce agricultural goods are referred to as “organic.” While international standards differ, in the United States, bioengineered genes (GMOs) and synthetic insecticides, fertilizers, and herbicides are not permitted in the cultivation of organic crops.

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    Raised for meat, eggs, and dairy products, organic livestock must be fed organic feed and forage and must live in environments that support their natural habits, such as pasture grazing. Antibiotics, growth hormones, and animal byproducts are not permitted to be administered to them.

    Applications of organic food

    Both the environment and your mental and emotional well-being can be significantly impacted by the farming or raising practices of the food you eat. People who have allergies to foods, chemicals, or preservatives may discover that their symptoms reduce or disappear when they eat solely organic foods. Organic foods also frequently contain more beneficial components, such as antioxidants, than their conventionally cultivated counterparts.

    Produce that is organic has less pesticides in it. In traditional agriculture, chemicals like synthetic fungicides, herbicides, and insecticides are frequently utilized, and their residues end up on and in our food.

    Because organic food doesn’t include preservatives to extend its shelf life, it is frequently fresher. Sometimes (but not always, so be careful where you buy it) smaller farms are the source of organic produce, which is grown closer to the point of sale.

    Environmental benefits are often greater with organic farming. Organic agricultural methods have the potential to decrease pollution, preserve water, lessen soil erosion, improve soil fertility, and consume less energy. Growing food without using artificial pesticides benefits the surrounding wildlife, birds, and residential areas. To produce the same quantity of food as conventional agriculture, organic farming frequently needs additional land, which can raise atmospheric carbon dioxide levels.

    Animals kept organically are NOT fed animal byproducts, growth hormones, or antibiotics. Antibiotic usage can result in the emergence of bacterial strains that are resistant to antibiotics, and feeding animals animal byproducts raises the risk of mad cow disease (BSE). Animals grown organically typically have greater room to roam about and have access to the outdoors, which promotes their health.

    Certain nutrients may be more abundant in organic milk and meat. According to the findings of a 2016 European study, organic meat and milk had up to 50% more omega-3 fatty acid content than their conventionally grown counterparts.

    GMO-free food is organic. Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs) or genetically engineered (GE) foods are plants whose DNA has been changed in ways not possible through conventional crossbreeding or natural selection, usually to create an insecticide or to make them resistant to pesticides.

    Locally farmed food versus organic food

    “Local food” has no set definition, unlike organic standards. It could be cultivated in your nation, state, area, or neighborhood. You can typically find locally grown food at locations like a farmer’s market for a significant amount of the year.

    The advantages of eating food produced nearby

    Financial: Funds remain in the community’s economy. A larger portion of the proceeds goes straight to the farmer rather than to marketing and distribution.

    Transportation: A meal often travels more than 1,500 miles in the United States, for instance, from the farm to the dinner plate. Harvested produce has to be gassed to “ripen” it during transportation. Alternatively, to keep the food stable for transportation, it is heavily treated in facilities using radiation, preservatives, and other techniques.

    Freshness: Local food is picked at its peak flavor, when it is still ripe.

    Small-scale local farmers that employ organic practices might not have the financial means to obtain certification as organic. Talk to the farmers at a farmer’s market to learn about their techniques.

    Is pesticide-free synonymous with organic?

    Reduced pesticide levels are one of the main advantages of eating organic, as was already established. Contrary to common assumption, pesticides are indeed used on organic farms. They vary from normal commercial farms in that they exclusively utilize naturally-derived pesticides, as opposed to synthetic ones. Although natural insecticides are thought to be less harmful, some have been linked to health hazards. Nevertheless, eating organic food will probably reduce your exposure to dangerous pesticides.

    What dangers may pesticides pose?

    Due to years of exposure, the majority of us have a build-up of pesticide exposure in our systems. As the medical community refers to it, this chemical “body burden” may cause birth abnormalities, migraines, and more stress on already compromised immune systems.

    According to specific research, using pesticides—even in little amounts—can raise your chance of developing various malignancies, including brain tumors, leukemia, lymphoma, breast cancer, and prostate cancer.

    Because of the ongoing development of their bodies, minds, and immune systems, children and fetuses are particularly susceptible to pesticide exposure. Early exposure can lead to immune system damage, motor dysfunction, autism, behavioral abnormalities, developmental delays, and impaired immunity.

    Due of the additional strain pesticides place on their already stressed organs, pregnant women are particularly vulnerable. Furthermore, pesticides can be transferred from mother to kid through breast milk and the womb.

    In addition, “super weeds” and “super bugs” have emerged as a result of the extensive use of pesticides; these species can only be eliminated by very deadly poisons like 2,4-Dichlorophenoxyacetic acid, a key component of Agent Orange.

    Do pesticides disappear after washing and peeling?

    Pesticides are reduced but not completely eliminated by rinsing fresh food. Peeling can be beneficial occasionally, but it also frequently causes the skin to lose important nutrients. The best strategy is to buy organic vegetables wherever feasible, wash and scrub all produce well, and eat a diversified diet.