Today’s consumers want to know more about the food they eat and how it is made. That’s why organic foods are more popular than ever. The demand for organic products has grown substantially in recent years because of their natural origin, clean production process, and positive impact on health and the environment. With the rise of social media, trust in large corporations has been diminished — especially when it comes to anything related to food production. People want to know where their food comes from and make informed decisions on what they put into their bodies. In this article, we will explain what organic foods are, why they are beneficial for you and the environment, as well as some tips on how you can incorporate them into your diet. Keep reading to discover all you need to know about organics!
What Are Organic Foods?
Organic foods are those that are produced and grown without the use of pesticides or synthetic fertilizers. The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Organic Seal helps consumers identify products that have been certified organic. Organic certification means that the product has been grown using sustainable agricultural practices that integrate cultural, biological, and mechanical practices to promote the cycling of resources, promote ecological balance, and avoid pollution. Organic foods are not only better for you, but they are also better for the environment. Organic farming systems create more jobs per acre than conventional systems, enhance biodiversity, and reduce carbon emissions. Remember that the organic label is not a certification of healthfulness. It’s a certification of how the product was made. Organic food can be purchased at health food stores, farmers’ markets, health food sections in grocery stores, and online. Most organic food is more expensive than conventional food, but it’s worth the extra cash!
Why Are Organic Foods Good for the Environment?
Organic farming uses sustainable agricultural practices that enhance the environment and reduce carbon emissions. This means that the soil is given time to replenish itself, the soil is not overworked, and the use of synthetic chemicals is limited. There are also crops grown specifically for soil health and biodiversity, such as legumes and pollinator crops. Organic farming also protects water by reducing soil erosion, managing water flow, and filtering out pollutants. Since synthetic chemicals are not being used in organic farming, pests are kept at bay through the use of natural methods like rotating crops, the use of stinky plants like garlic and mustard, and the use of natural predators.
Why Are Organic Foods Good for You?
Organic produce contains more vitamins and minerals than non-organic produce. This is because non-organic produce has been treated with synthetic fertilizers and/or pesticides, which strip the produce of some of its nutrients. Organic foods are also lower in pesticide residue than non-organic foods. To reduce pesticide exposure, buy organic versions of produce that are listed as being highly contaminated by pesticides, such as strawberries, apples, nectarines, peaches, pears, cherries, grapes, spinach, and bell peppers. You should also buy certified organic versions of the following:
- Dairy products
- Fish and shellfish
- Wheat and other grains
- And vegetables like carrots, sweet potatoes, cabbage, and broccoli
Tips for Incorporating More Organic Food Into Your Diet
- Start by replacing one non-organic food in your diet every week with an organic alternative. For example, replace non-organic milk with organic milk. You can gradually work up to completely switching over to organic foods.
- Avoid non-organic grains and peanuts.
- For fruits and vegetables, buy the organic versions of the product that has the highest pesticide residue, such as apples, peaches, and bell peppers.
- Choose organic meat and dairy products when possible.
- Buy organic coffee and chocolate. Coffee beans and cocoa beans are heavily sprayed with pesticides.
- Buy organic wine and beer. Most wine grapes and beer barley are sprayed with pesticides.
Organic foods are not only better for you, but they are also better for the environment. Organic farming systems create more jobs per acre than conventional systems, enhance biodiversity, and reduce carbon emissions. With all the benefits of organics, it makes sense to incorporate them into your diet. Remember that the organic label is not a certification of healthfulness; it’s a certification of how the product was made. Organic food is nutritious and better for the environment, and it’s something that everyone should try.