When you shop at the grocery store or supermarket to buy fruits and vegetables, do you pick just any produce or are you particular about eating organic foods? There is a difference between the two and, after our discussion, you may decide that organic foods are the best choice for you and your family. Let’s take a look at the benefits of buying organic produce.
While both kinds of produce may look the same, food grown organically must be able to meet “specific standards” of production, including specific growing and processing conditions that are unique to foods that can be labeled “organic”. For crop foods, the organic foods cannot be grown using any chemical pesticides, non-organic fertilizer, human waste fertilizer or sludge from sewage. They also can’t be processed using ionizing radiation,a process that kills bacteria but that some believe is unsafe. Finally, the food can’t be genetically altered.
At first, organic foods were grown on small farms, particularly those that were family-owned and operated. In our current times, however, organic foods are grown on larger farms and are more readily available in most supermarkets, co-ops and health food stores. In the US, parts of Europe and Japan, the production of organic food is currently federally regulated and in some countries, specific organic certification is required before these foods can be sold.
Natural foods can include fresh vegetables and fruits, which have not been processed and come directly from the growers through farmers markets, natural food stores, supermarkets and roadside stands. Many of these products are only available during certain times of the year. Readily available these days are organic eggs, dairy products and meat in their fresh and unprocessed forms. Organic eggs are generally provided by free-range chickens and not from those kept in cages in large, egg factories. Organic meats must not come from animals that have been treated with any growth hormones, steroids or antibiotics.
Some organic food is processed and can be found in the organic food section of most supermarkets but often are more expensive than their conventional food counterparts. Processed organic foods can include canned products, frozen produce, prepared items and even snack foods.
It’s not always easy to identify whether or not your food is truly organic. Check for certification, learn who the source is, do a little research and you can make the right choices. Sometimes, you need to buy directly from an organic grower in order to be certain the food is organic. More recently, however, foods that are organic can be identified by governmental labeling, stating that the food is “certified organic”.
Because of the safety and wholesomeness of organic foods, you may wish to do you and your family a favor by buying only organic products. The food tastes excellent and you can be assured you’re getting a product that won’t be harmful to you.