If you’ve paid any sort of attention to social media and TV within the last 25 years, you’ve heard the benefits of organic food touted. It’s better for your health, it’s better for the soil, it’s just better all around. Unfortunately, “organic” has become a bit of a buzzword some companies have slapped onto a label without really explaining what it means. Read on to get a little education on the meaning of the word in terms of food consumption and what buying organic could mean to you.
- What does it really mean? The USDA National Organic Program (NOP) defines organic as “produced by farmers who emphasize the use of renewable resources and the conservation of soil and water to enhance environmental quality for future generations…. Before a product can be labeled “organic,” a government-approved certifier inspects the farm where the food is grown to make sure the farmer is following all the rules necessary to meet USDA organic standards. Companies that handle or process organic food before it gets to your local supermarket or restaurant must be certified, too.”
- What does that mean for my shopping? First of all, become label-savvy. “100% Organic” means just that: made with 100% organic ingredients. “Organic” means it’s made with at least 95% organic ingredients. “Made with organic” means the ingredients must contain at least 70% organic ingredients. For your wallet, it tends to mean higher prices. It’s helpful to understand that producing organic food requires more money to grow than conventional does, and there simply aren’t enough organic farms to meet the supply and demand. However, joining a Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) group or attending the farmer’s market often saves you money.
- What benefits do I get? Organic has to do with how the food is grown; buying organic means you’re avoiding pesticides, chemical additives and antibiotic-resistant bacteria (although it doesn’t necessarily mean pesticide-free; it means the use is restricted). It also means you’re buying meat and dairy that comes from animals not given any of those either. Organic foods do not have any significant difference in minerals or vitamins over conventionally grown ones. If you’re going for nutritional value, either one will do. You are buying produce that’s better for you, more environmentally friendly or from local organic farms.
Eating organic is a personal choice. Now that you’ve become a little more informed about what it entails, make the shopping choice that works best for you and your family.
For more health and wellness articles, read our related blog content. If you’re looking to partner with experienced recruiting professionals, reach out to our experienced team at Medical Professionals today!