Organic food is becoming an increasingly popular option for families who wish to adopt a healthier lifestyle. However, purchasing organic food on a regular basis can be expensive. So is organic food really worth it?
The food that is not labeled as organic may be exposed to a number of potentially dangerous substances before it ends up on the shelves of your supermarket. For instance, fruits and vegetables are exposed to pesticides while meat is packaged with preservatives to make it last longer. These substances are supposed to be safe – or rather, within legally defined ‘safe’ limits.
Quality organic food should be free of these potentially dangerous chemicals. And reducing your exposure to chemicals such as pesticides or preservatives may even reduce your risks of developing a number of health problems.
Organic food has more nutrients when compared to processed foods. Canned vegetables and processed meats lose the vitamins they contained during the preservation process. Fresh organic food is more likely to contain all the vitamins and minerals you need.
Organic food is better for the environment. Buying food that was grown organically will help your family reduce its footprint on the environment. Organic farmers use methods such as crop rotation or natural fertilizers to avoid having a negative impact on the environment.
The USDA has established some standards organic foods have to meet. Producers who sell less than $5,000 worth of food in a year do not have to obtain a certification from the USDA but they have to follow the guidelines established by the USDA. Before you buy organic food, make sure the USDA label is present or make sure the producer follows those guidelines.
A product can be labeled as organic if 95% of its ingredients are organic. You will come across products labeled as containing some organic ingredients, which means they contain anywhere between 70% and 95%.
You should also watch out for products labeled as ‘natural’. You will come across products presented as natural or free of hormones, but this does not necessarily mean they are being particularly honest! Organic food can be expensive, which is why you need to make sure what you buy really is what you think it is.
Choosing organic food can help you and your family adopt a healthier lifestyle while reducing your environmental footprint. This is a good way to reduce your exposure to chemicals and additives, some of which have been linked to specific health problems. But learn how to recognize organic labels to make sure you get the real deal.