Why Organic Food Is Better
After all, organic food is natural, hormone free, and pesticide free. In fact, the best kinds are like the ones you would find out in nature itself.
The truth is that there are a number of reasons why organic food is better for you.
Why Organic Food Is Better? Let’s First Consider A Few Points:
What is Organic Food Really?
Organic food is food produced without most synthetic ingredients. For the most part, it’s regulated by the United States Department of Agriculture, and the crops must be grown without synthetic pesticides, irradiation, artificial fertilizers, or biotechnology.
Similarly, animals on organic farms are fed organic feed and allowed to roam more freely. They aren’t fed artificial growth hormones or antibiotics either.
So…Is It Really Better?
Yes. There are a number of consequences to eating food filled with pesticides, steroids, and the like. We’re only just now starting to find out some of the problems that stem from this consumption.
The Mayo Clinic states that while research is unclear whether organic food is nutritionally better from a base macro nutrient perspective, it is a better choice when it comes to considering pesticides, food additives, and the environment.
However, other research sources claim that organic food has significantly hires nutritional values. This may come simply from the fact that pesticides and fertilizers lower phytochemicals found naturally in food.
This extends to the vitamins and antioxidants that would otherwise be used by the body to strengthen your immune system.
Is There a Catch?
It seems that most good things in life come with catches. A lot of things are great, but there’s usually some sort of price to pay.
Back to organic foods, if you go to the grocery store, you might find it hard to believe that organic food really is that much better. After all, what guarantee do you have the food is actually organic?
If you’re asking that question, then you’re going down the right path. One of the things it is quite important is making sure the food you purchase is actually organic. A common error is to assume that “natural” means the same thing as organic.
This is false. The only organic food that is regulated by the government to ensure that it actually meets organic food standards is food that has the USDA stamp of approval.
Foods that do not have this are not necessarily organic. This does not mean that there are not, but it does mean that there may be a different interpretation on what is acceptable. Some people believe that there isn’t a problem with certain forms of pesticides and fertilizers.
Avoiding the Scam
Sadly, it’s not unheard of for some unscrupulous owners trying to price gouge health-conscious shoppers by selling produce as organic when they know full well that is not.
However, this does not mean that you shouldn’t ever buy organic or assume that it’s all a scam. You need to exercise discretion when purchasing organic food. It’s the same with every other healthy purchase you make.
In fact, the healthiest organic foods that you can consume are those from local organic farms or foods that you grow yourself. This takes far more effort, but, in addition to providing valuable connection from local allergies, you have a far clear idea of what all the food has been exposed to.
In those cases when you cannot purchase local or homegrown food, the next best thing is to buy organic food from the grocery store. If it falls within the government parameters, it will have the USDA stamp. If it doesn’t, then evaluate your options.
Organic food should look different from other fruits and vegetables. Primarily, the fruits and vegetables will look somewhat smaller. They will have a stronger fresher scent, not a rotten or sterile scent. Colors, on the other hand, will not be as vibrant.
Ask yourself whether the food looks like it might be organic.
The other thing to look at is whether or not the price matches. Organic food will be somewhat more expensive than the other alternative.
However, if the stores charging twice as much for organic green peppers as regular green peppers, then you may be dealing with the price gouging store. In most areas, you can hunt around.
Organic food is no longer is difficult to find as it once was, and most stores now have an option when it comes to this.
What This Doesn’t Mean
Just because food is organic does not mean that you can forget everything else we’ve talked about on this blog. While it will be healthier for you and have fewer preservatives, the sugar levels and most fruits can still cause significant problems.
A number of health foods are actually quite problematic, including orange juice. It isn’t just a matter of organic sugar versus the alternative. In many respects, your body doesn’t care whether the sugar it consumes is artificially enhance or not.
While it is a good idea to eat organic food, particularly when you can grow it yourself or buy locally, this isn’t a license to splurge. Many things can be grown organically including cane sugar, and beekeepers can even produce organic honey.
The problem is that both of these things still cause dramatic rises in your blood sugar levels. So enjoy organic foods when it comes to vegetables in particular. But still hold off on the oranges, pineapples, and plums.
PS: If you can’t afford all organic, pick and choose from the most important/least important ones based on the rules of the “Dirty Dozen/Clean Fifteen” rule.
“Nutrition and Healthy Eating,” Mayo Clinic, http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/organic-food/NU00255/NSECTIONGROUP=2 (2011).