Over the last two decades, people have become more aware of eating healthy, staying fit and making wise choices for a better lifestyle. Organic foods have also exploded in popularity and have become a staple part of many diets out there. Let’s take a look at what the growing trend of Organic Food is all about!
What exactly is Organic Food?
Organic food is the name given to the term that describes food that has been grown or farmed without using chemicals, antibiotics, hormones or genetically modified organisms. For a food to be labeled as organic, it must be free of artificial food additives. This includes monosodium glutamate (MSG), colorings, flavorings, preservatives and artificial sweeteners. Organic meat is obtained from animals that have been raised organically, without being given hormones or antibiotics. Organic vegetables have been grown in natural fertilizers like manure to improve plant growth.
Common Organic Foods Purchased Today
Examples of some of the most common organic foods purchased today include fruits, vegetables, dairy products, meat, and grains. Nowadays, trends have gone as far as purchasing organic cereals for breakfast, cookies and even soda.
Health Benefits of Organic Foods
Many consumers out there state that organic foods taste great in flavor and also have more nutrition value. Let’s take a look at what health benefits organic foods provide over nonorganic ones.
- Higher anti-oxidants
- Lower risk of allergies and eczema in children
- Reduced Weight Gain
- Stronger Immune system
- Better growth
- Fresh products are consumed as they contain fewer preservatives to make the product last longer
- No harmful pesticides, fungicides or herbicides are being consumed by the body
With all that being said, more studies are underway to reach a definite conclusion as to whether organic foods are more beneficial than non organic ones.
Are All Organic Foods Healthy?
You may be surprised but the answer is no. Just because a product is labeled organic, it doesn’t always mean that it’s healthy. Many of these items are still processed foods that are high in sugars, calories, added fats and salt. Examples include organic ice cream, chips and cookies, available at your local store. In case you’re planning to lose weight, don’t do more harm than good by including these organic junk foods in your diet.
How to Differentiate Organic Foods from the Rest?
By looking at a certain product, it may be a daunting task to judge whether it is organic or not. Always look at labels clearly when shopping. If you’re based in the USA, look for the USDA seal which is known for its organic certification program. Similar standards are employed in Canada, Australia and Europe. Also look at food labels for statements such as the following:
- 100% Organic– This means the entire product is made from organic ingredients
- Organic– This means the product contains 95% organic ingredients
- Made with Organic– This means at least 70% of the ingredients are organic
Consuming organic foods brings with it many added health benefits. Not only is it good for the body, it’s great for the environment. However, this added benefit may come with the disadvantage of higher costs and faster spoilage rates. With all that being said, choosing to buy organic food is a choice you should make based on personal values and preferences.