Shoppers often experience confusion when deciding whether to buy organic or non-organic food. Organic food tends to be more expensive and sometimes less perfect-looking, however the wonderful benefit is that organic foods are not exposed to harmful chemicals. Before making a decision on what to buy, it is helpful to be informed about what makes a particular food organic.
Organic food refers to agricultural products, such as fruits, vegetables, grains, dairy, or meat, for which farmers use alternative growing and processing methods. Organic food is fertilized using manure or compost instead of chemical fertilizers, which is the norm for non-organic farming. To protect crops from insects, pests and other diseases, organic farmers employ mating disruption methods, traps and even other insects or birds. Non-organic farming methods depend on sprayed pesticides which are harmful to our health.
To produce organic meat, livestock is fed with organic feed and allowed to graze freely in chemical free pastures. In contrast, traditional livestock farms use non-organic feed and depend on antibiotics and growth hormones to manage the development of livestock. In turn, these antibiotics and hormones end up in our bodies, causing all sorts of ill health affects.
Organic vs. All Natural
Be sure to check labels and don’t be fooled by products marked as ‘All Natural’. All natural does not mean organic. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) regulates the term ‘natural’ only as it applies to added color, synthetic substances, and flavors. According to the FDA, natural foods are processed without preservatives, dyes, or additives, but may have been grown with the use of pesticides, hormones or other conventional methods.
What harm do these chemicals do?
Side effects from these harmful chemicals and hormones can include endocrine system failure, infertility, birth defects, arthritis, vision problems, insomnia and cancer, just to name a few. Many times these ailments are falsely diagnosed and attributed to aging, disease, or simply unknown causes. Little do we realize, we are self-poisoning our bodies.
A little is better than nothing
Since organic foods are more expensive, most times it is impossible for the average income household to substitute the entire grocery list with organic foods. In this case, start with just one or two items. If you eat a lot of fruit, consider buying a couple of organic fruits, especially those that you eat most often, or you can substitute one meal per week with organic foods. Eliminating a small amount of harmful chemicals from your diet is better than doing nothing. You may not notice a difference right away, but in the long run your body certainly will.