What Is Organic?
What Is Organic?
“Organic” is one of those terms everyone's heard. Few people really understand exactly what it means, though. What you probably do know is that it’s somehow better than regular, non-organic food. Lately, there's been a surge in the popularity of organic food. More and more people are becoming health-conscious and are spending a larger portion of their food budgets on a nutritious diet. Eating organic is a common step forward on the path to better health. But what exactly is organic food? And is it worth the extra cost?
What Is Organic Food?
Produce is organic if it hasn’t been subjected to pesticides, fertilizers, or genetic modification. Animal products can be organic, too. They have to come from animals fed a natural diet without chemicals, artificial enzymes, or hormones. The USDA regulates organic food and certifies producers. Only USDA-certified producers can use the term “organic” to describe their products. This makes things easier for consumers. If you want to buy organic produce, just look for items with the word “organic” in their description.
Is Organic Food Better for You?
Yes and no. Pop science tells us that organic food is objectively better than its non-organic counterpart. The truth is a bit more complex, however. According to a report published by the FSA, organic food, in general, doesn’t offer any notable health benefits compared to non-organic food. A study by researcher at Newcastle University indicated the opposite, though. This study stated that organic foods were, on average, 12 percent more nutrient-dense than non-organic foods. Apart from being more nutritious, organic food contains significantly lower levels of toxic substances like cadmium and nitrates. By going organic, you’ll be less exposed to cancer-causing substances.
How to Go Organic
Because organic food tends to costs more than regular food, budgeting is important if you’re trying to go organic. You don't have to adopt a 100 percent organic diet right at the outset, though. It’s best to start with fruits and vegetables. According to the FDA, these are the foods most-affected by fertilizers and chemicals.
It’s smart to plan out your organic lifestyle. Start small—buy some fresh organic produce for next week’s veggies. Then experiment, and steadily incorporate more organic foods into life. Your body will thank you!