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What You Need To Know About Eating Organic Food

Posted by ECOgardener on

In recent years more and more people are looking to eat more organic foods. However, for some people navigating through organic food labels, the benefits of eating organic, and all of the claims about organic food can become confusing.

Is organic food really better for your health? Do pesticides and GMOs cause cancer or other diseases? What do all of the organic labels mean?

In this guide you will learn how to make better choices about how to shop for organic foods, what you should focus on, and how you can make eating organic affordable. 

Definition Of Organic Food

Organic simply put refers to the way different agricultural products such as fruits and vegetables are
and processed. Regulations for organic food will vary based on the country that you live in. In the United States any agricultural product that is labeled as organic has to be grown without using synthetic pesticides, GMOs, sewage sludge fertilizers, or petroleum based fertilizers.

Organic livestock that is raised for eggs, dairy products, or meat must be provided with organic feed and has to have access to the outside. These animals cannot be given antibiotics, any type of animal by-product, or growth hormones. 

Organic Food Benefits

How the food you eat is grown can have a major impact on your physical, mental, and emotional health. In addition, the way food is grown and processed impacts the environment. Organic foods typically have more beneficial nutrients than conventionally grown foods.

People who have allergies to certain foods, preservatives, and other chemicals will often find that they have fewer symptoms or that their symptoms go away when they start eating only organic food.

Organic produce has fewer pesticides. In conventional agricultural many herbicides, fungicides, and insecticides are used on the plants. These chemicals leave a residue on the food that we eat.

Organic food provides a fresher option because there are no preservatives to make it last longer. Typically, organic food will be grown on a smaller farm closer to where it is being sold.

Another benefit of organic foods is that farming organically is better for the environment. This type of farming reduces pollution, conserves water, increases soil fertility, and reduces soil erosion. In addition, organic farmes uses less energy. Farming without using pesticides is also better for birds and other wildlife that live in the area.

Animals that are raised organically are not given any type of growth hormone, antibiotics, or fed any type of animal by products. Feeding these animals with animal by products can increase the risk of diseases such as mad cow disease. In addition, using antibiotics on these animals can lead to antibiotic resistant bacteria.

Organic meat and dairy products have more nutrients than their non-organic counterparts. A
showed that levels of some nutrients such as Omega 3 fatty acids were almost 50 percent higher in organic milk and meat than conventionally raised animals.
Organic food is free from GMOs.
GMO
s are genetically engineered foods that have DNA that has in some way been altered. Most commonly this is done to help the plants resist pesticides or to produce insecticides.

Shopping Organic

When shopping for organic food you are going to notice quickly that organic food is more expensive. This is a turn off for most people as they simply do not know how to fit these more expensive items into their budget. However, if you set up some priorities, it is possible to purchase organic food and stay within your budget.

 

Know The Pesticide Levels Of Produce

There are some types of conventionally grown produce that have higher levels of pesticides than others. These are the foods that you should avoid. Other types of produce have low enough amounts of pesticide that purchasing non-organic is safe.

The following list comes from the
, which is a nonprofit organization that analyzes results of pesticide testing in the United States. These are foods that you should always try to buy organic:

Apples

Cucumbers

Grapes

Kale/collard greens

Celery

Peaches

Green peppers

Peaches

Strawberries

Summer squash

Cherry tomatoes

Spinach

Nectarines

Potatoes

Hot peppers

 

Some of the fruits and vegetables that you do not need to buy organic include: 

✔    Onion

✔    Mushrooms

✔    Mango

✔    Asparagus

✔    Sweet peas

✔    Kiwi

✔    Avocado

✔    Cabbage

✔    Cantaloupe

✔    Papaya

✔    Sweet potatoes

✔    Grapefruit

✔    Pineapple

✔    Potatoes

✔    Eggplant

  

Purchase Organic Meat And Dairy Products If You Can

The American Heart Association and other prominent organizations state that eating saturated fats from any source can increase the risk of heart disease. However, there are other nutrition experts that state that eating only organic dairy products and organic grass fed meat does not have the same risks.

These nutrition experts state that the saturated fats are not the problem, but rather the unnatural diet of the animal that includes hormones, corn, as well as medications.

Other Tips For Keeping The Cost Of Organic Food In Your Budget

Shopping at your local farmer’s market is a good way to save money on locally grown organic food. Another option is to join a food co-op. There are many cooperative grocery stores that often provide low prices to members who will pay an annual fee to become a member.

You can also join a
. This type of farm allows families and individuals to join and purchase shares of the products that the farm produces.

It is also a good idea to buy your produce in season. Fruits and vegetables are freshest and cost the least when they are in season. You should also compare prices of organic items at different stores to make sure that you are getting the best price on your organic food purchases.

Conclusion

Eating organic does not necessarily mean that you are eating healthy. One common marketing ploy by companies is making junk food sound like it is healthy. Organic snack foods, desserts, etc. are still high in salt, fat, sugars, and calories.

Make sure that you are reading food labels. The best thing to do when trying to maintain a more organic diet is to stick with fruits, vegetables, and organically raised beef and dairy.


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