What Does Organic Mean?
According to the Organic Consumers Association, “Organic food is pure food. It’s safer, more nutritious and free of chemical additives. Organic crops are grown without chemical pesticides or fertilizers and…isn’t genetically modified or irradiated.” [https://www.organicconsumers.org/organlink]
What does that mean in layman’s term? It means the food is grown naturally without the interference of chemical processes, keeping the food free from any potential contamination from chemically performed methods of farming.
It’s Proven to be Healthier
There are numerous studies that show concrete proof that eating organic fruits and vegetables has incredible health benefits and can even prevent disease. Dr. Mercola provides a substantial amount of research showing that, “Long-term benefits include a reduced exposure to pesticides, higher number of antioxidants, healthier dietary pattern, improved early childhood development and lower risk of disease”, among other health benefits. [http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2017/01/23/more-reasons-to-eat-organic.aspx]
Avoid Scary GMOs
Organic foods by definition are Non-GMOs since GMO crops require the scientific altering of an organism’s DNA. Why is this important?
The effects of GMO crops on humans and the environment have yet to be fully and adequately researched to determine their level of safety. Many believe that GMO crops are linked to certain health problems, which has yet to be disproven by GMO manufacturers.
According to Helpguide.org, “GMOs have been linked to increased food allergens and gastro-intestinal problems in humans. While many people think that altering the DNA of a plant or animal can increase the risk of cancer, the research has so far proven inconclusive.” [https://www.helpguide.org/articles/healthy-eating/organic-foods.htm]
Cross-Breeding is the traditional and much safer way of introducing desirable traits into organisms naturally and has been the preferred method for hundreds if not thousands of years.
It’s Better for the Environment
With organic farming, all those chemicals and pesticides used in traditional farming are not introduced into the ecosystem avoiding damage to soil and contamination of water supplies.
This is a huge benefit for everyone as described by Dr. Amy Meyers, “In 2000 the National Water Quality Inventory concluded that pollution from agriculture in the United States is the largest factor affecting the water quality of rivers and lakes.
You can help lessen the damage by supporting farmers who maintain their crops and livestock responsibly.” [https://www.mindbodygreen.com/0-14763/a-doctors-top-4-reasons-to-eat-organic.html]
In order to improve increase yields, organic farmers only use natural methods to add beneficial nutrients to soil like worm castings and compost.
It’s Better Than “Natural” Foods
It can be confusing when there are so many food labels claiming natural ingredients. Is natural food the same as organic food? According to the Mayo Clinic there is a big difference, “Natural” and “Organic” are not interchangeable terms.
In general, “natural” on a food label means that it has no artificial colors, flavors or preservatives. It does not refer to the methods or materials used to produce the food ingredients.” [http://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/nutrition-and-healthy-eating/in-depth/organic-food/art-20043880]
Companies claiming natural ingredients or even organic ingredients without approved labeling can still contain GMO or chemical additives.
How Do You Determine if it is Organic?
There is a specific label showing that a farm has been inspected by the government and meets specific regulations to be certified by the USDA. This doesn’t necessarily mean that food without this label cannot be organic.
There are several farmers that claim they grow their products using organic processes, however without the label you will have to take their word for it.
Here is an alternate view on organic foods: