What Does Organic Mean?

 

The term organic refers to how the product was grown.  In the US, for food to be certified organic, it must be grown free of chemical pesticides, GMOs (Genetically Modified Organism), sewage and petroleum based fertilizers. 

Many people wonder if organic food is healthier than conventional foods.  Research has shown that organic foods contain higher amounts of antioxidants and have less harmful effects on the body.   Pesticides that are used in conventional foods are linked to developing chronic diseases such as cancer, Alzheimers, and diabetes. Eating organic foods reduces risk of developing these diseases.

Animals raised for providing organic meat are not fed foods containing chemical pesticides, herbicides, or fertilizers.  Organic livestock is required to have access to the outdoors. So these animals tend to eat more grass and are known to be much leaner meats, containing overall less fat and higher omega-3 levels as compared to grain fed animals. Similarly, organic milk has higher levels of omega-3 fatty acid because the cows are grass fed.  The American diet lacks an abundance of omega 3 fats.  These fats are very critical in our diets because they reduce the risk of heart disease, cancer, stroke, and depression.  

It is more expensive to purchase organic food because the farming practices are more labor intensive.  Also, farms are required have a USDA organic certification which is costly.  Moreover, the organic feed for these animals is more expensive than the conventional feeds.

It is a personal choice, whether to purchase organic foods.  It is important that when choosing produce and meats, that you choose wisely and are aware of the farming process if not going with organic foods.

 

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