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What Is Organic Food: Is Organic Food Better?

by Helen
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What is the definition of organic?

Per WikipediaOrganic food, ecological food or biological food are food and drinks produced by methods complying with the standards of organic farming. Standards vary worldwide, but organic farming features practices that cycle resources, promote ecological balance, and conserve biodiversity

Is Non GMO food better for you?

What is organic food? The word organic refers to how agricultural products are grown and processed. Also, regulations are different in the U.S. from other countries. For a product to be certified organic, organic food such as crops must be grown without synthetic herbicides, pesticides, fertilizers, bioengineered genes (GMOs), or genetically modified food.  

According to the nongmoproject,GMO, or genetically modified organism, is a plant, animal, microorganism, or other organism whose genetic makeup has been modified in a laboratory using genetic engineering or transgenic technology. This creates combinations of plant, animal, bacterial and virus genes that do not occur naturally or through traditional crossbreeding methods.

What Is Organic Food and Meat?

First, in organic dairy farming, livestock, chickens, pork raised for meat consumption, eggs, and dairy products have to have the ability to graze, forage on pasture, and feed organic feed. Also, they should never be treated with antibiotics, growth hormones, or animal byproducts. 

Finally, it may seem that transitioning to a natural organic lifestyle is difficult, but you can do it by breaking it down into small steps. Food labeled organic certified has obtained organic certification by the USDA, which allows a farm or processing facility to sell, label, and sell their products organic products.

Various online meat delivery box services will deliver organic grass fed meat and wild caught seafood to your doorstep.  The animals are raised here in the US, Good Chop is one of those online meat delivery services.

Organic vs Non Organic Food What Is The Difference?

Organic Food Examples vs. Non Organic

Organic Produce 

Conventionally-Grown Produce: 

Grown with natural fertilizers (manure, compost).Grown with synthetic or chemical fertilizers.
Weeds are controlled naturally (crop rotation, hand weeding, mulching, and tilling) or with organic-approved herbicides.Weeds are controlled with chemical herbicides.
Pests are controlled using natural methods (birds, insects, traps) and naturally-derived pesticides.Pests are controlled with synthetic pesticides
Organic meat, dairy, eggs:Conventionally-raised meat, dairy, eggs
Livestock are given all organic, hormone- and GMO-free feed.Livestock are given growth hormones for faster growth, as well as non-organic, GMO feed.
Disease is prevented with natural methods such as clean housing, rotational grazing, and healthy diet.Antibiotics and medications are used to prevent livestock disease.
Livestock must have access to the outdoors.Livestock may or may not have access to the outdoors.

Source: HelpGuide

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Why is organic better than natural, organic food?

It matters how your food is sourced or grown; it can significantly impact your environment and mental and emotional health.  Living a natural lifestyle includes consuming clean, real food and organic food.

Moreover,  some organic food benefits usually contain more nutrients and antioxidants than non organic food. Additionally, consumers who suffer from food allergies, chemicals, or preservatives may notice their symptoms improve or completely disappear when they consume solely organic foods.

Benefits of Organic Food:

 

Organic produce contains fewer pesticides. 

  • Organic farming is typically better for the environment. 
  • Organically, animals raised are NOT given antibiotics, growth hormones, or fed animal byproducts. 
  • Organic food like meat and milk can be richer in certain nutrients. and
  • Organic food is GMO-free. 
Read Next:  How To Eat Organically? Learn here

What is conventional agriculture? 

 

Conventional agriculture widely uses – chemicals such as synthetic fungicides, herbicides, and insecticides. The residues remain on and in the food we consume.

Are GMOs Bad For Your Health?

 

While the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the biotech companies that engineer GMOs insist they are safe, many food safety advocates point out that no long term studies have ever been conducted to confirm the safety of GMO use, while some animal studies have indicated that consuming GMOs may cause internal organ damage, slowed brain growth, and thickening of the digestive tract.

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.

What makes something organic?

Conventional produce contains preservatives that make it last longer, whereas organic food does not. Therefore, organic produce, organic fruit and veg, is produced on smaller farms closer to where they are sold. It would be best if you always looked at the label.

What are the benefits of Organic Farming?

Organic farming practices are better for the environment, consume natural resources, reduce pollution, conserve water, and increase soil fertility, including organic vegetable farming. Farming without synthetic pesticides is also more beneficial for wildlife and people who live nearby—small farmers who grow organic produce sell their harvest at their local organic farmers market.  Reputable organic grocery stores and reputable online grocery stores will deliver organic food, will deliver organic food including organic fresh fruit, vegetables, and free-range or grass-fed proteins.  Also, if stored properly, fresh fruits and vegetables will last longer, with less waste.

Standard organic farming practices include:

 

Using crop rotations and cover crops to maintain nutrient-rich soil levels, cover crops also help reduce erosion.

  • Spreading manure or other organic-certified substances like fertilizers to improve soil health is vastly more expensive than synthetic options.
  • Cultivating soil regularly, 2-3 times per week, to control weed populations
  • Growing non-GMO seeds 
 

Organic Food Contains No Antibiotics, Byproducts

In addition, when livestock feeds on animal byproducts, it increases the risk of mad cow disease (BSE), and when treated with antibiotics, it can create antibiotic-resistant strains of bacteria. Therefore, organically-raised farm animals tend to have ample space to forage and graze outdoors, which helps to keep them healthy.

Organic Meat And Organic Milk Might Be Higher In Some Nutrients 

Results of a 2016 European study show that levels of certain nutrients, including omega-3 fatty acids, were up to 50 percent higher in organic meat and milk than in conventionally raised versions.  

Organic is GMO-Free – GMO is Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs), or genetically engineered (GE) foods are plants whose DNA has been altered in ways that cannot occur in nature or traditional crossbreeding, most commonly to be resistant to pesticides or produce an insecticide.  

Plus, due to the emergence of genetically modified crops, “superweeds” and “superbugs” have surfaced.  Additionally, they can only be killed with much more toxic poisons such as 2,4-D (a primary ingredient in Agent Orange).  

Benefits Of Locally Grown Food 

Financial: Help small farmers stay in business, and your money remains in your local community
Transportation: The average distance a meal travels in the United States, from farm to table, is over 1,500 miles. Produce has to be harvested when unripe and later gassed to “ripen” it after transport. The other option is food is highly processed in factories using preservatives, irradiation, and other means to keep it from deteriorating during transport.
Freshness: Local food is picked when ripe, fresher, and more flavorful.

organic fruits and vegetables

Does Organic Mean Pesticide-Free?

As mentioned above, one of the main advantages of eating organic is lower pesticide exposure. However, despite widespread belief, organic farms do use pesticides. But, the main difference is that they only use naturally-derived pesticides instead of synthetic pesticides commonly used on traditional commercial farms. Natural pesticides are believed to be less toxic non less some have been found to have health risks. That said, exposure to harmful pesticides will likely be lower by eating organic foods. 

What Are The Possible Risks Of Pesticides?

After years of exposure to pesticides, most of us have an accumulated build-up of pesticide exposure in our bodies. This chemical, a body burden, is medically known and could lead to health issues such as headaches, birth- defects, and added strain on weakened immune systems.  Some studies have indicated that using pesticides, even at low doses, can increase the risk of certain cancers, such as leukemia, lymphoma, brain tumors, breast cancer, and prostate cancer.

According to California for Pesticide Reform:

 

Examples of acute health effects include stinging eyes, rashes, blisters, blindness, nausea, dizziness, diarrhea, and death. Examples of known chronic effects are cancers, birth defects, reproductive harm, immunotoxicity, neurological and developmental toxicity, and disruption of the endocrine system.

 

Who Is At Most Risk Of Pesticides?

Since children's immune systems, bodies, and brains are still developing, they vastly benefit from eating organic foods. They are more vulnerable to pesticide exposure, and exposure to pesticides early may cause developmental delays, behavioral disorders, autism, immune system harm, and motor dysfunction. Be sure to read the label whenever you buy organic baby food and organic snacks, organic baby food, and snacks be sure to read the label.  Plus, It is best to purchase baby food low in added sugars.

Due to the added stress pesticides put on pregnant women, they too should eat organic food, and their already taxed organs make them more vulnerable. Plus, pesticides can be transferred from mother to child in the womb and through breast milk.  In reality, we are all at risk of health issues due to the exposure or consumption of pesticides, antibiotics, and GMO products. 

In Closing: What Is Organic Food?

Although I am not a nutritionist or an expert on whether eating organic food is better for our health, my research shows that eating organic food is, in fact, healthier for us.  We list places where you can buy grass-fed, free-range, and organic foods.  Thrive Market caters to organic foods and specialty food brand names at discounted prices.  

Plus, most offer free or free delivery to your front door if you purchase a specific dollar amount.  If you want to learn about the best meat delivery services, grass-fed, free-range, and organic, feel free to read this post.

Get the best bang for your buck when shopping organic foods

 

Organic food is usually more expensive than conventionally grown food.  If you set some priorities, buying organic food that is still within your budget may be possible.  Shop Thrive Market, buy bulk, and look for deals.  You can make homemade deserts and bread with organic ingredients using a kitchen stand mixer.  Try making a big batch that will last all you all week.

 

Growing your own fruits and vegetables can be an excellent way to save money on groceries while providing fresh, healthy, and organic produce.  By growing your own food, you can avoid the high prices of organic produce at the grocery store and reduce your exposure to harmful pesticides and chemicals.  In addition to saving money on groceries, growing your own food can also be a fun and rewarding hobby.  It allows you to connect with nature, learn about sustainable gardening practices, and enjoy the fruits of your labor.  Get started growing your own strawberries.

 

Know your produce pesticide levels

 

Some conventionally grown produce, nonorganic fruits, and vegetables contain much higher levels of pesticides than others, and you should avoid them when possible.  Other types of products are low enough that buying nonorganic is relatively safe.  Check for foods with the least pesticides – EWG dirty dozen.  The Dirty Dozen is a list of produce you should always buy, such as organic fruit and vegetables.

 

 Dirty Dozen™

EWG's 2023 Shopper's Guide to Pesticides in Produce™

Dirty Dozen 2023

1. Strawberries

2. Spinach 

3. Kale, collard & mustard greens 

4. Peaches 

5. Pears 

6. Nectarines 

7. Apples 

8. Grapes 

9. Bell & hot Peppers 

10. Cherries 

11. Blueberries 

12. Green Beans

NOTE: A small amount of sweet corn, papaya, and summer squash sold in the United States is produced from genetically modified seeds. If you want to avoid GMO produce, Buy Organic fruit and vegetable varieties of these crops.

READ NEXTHow To Use Essential Oils Safely

What organic food or organic snacks do you buy?  Where is your favorite place to buy them? We'd love for you to leave us a comment.

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