When shopping for food, more often than not, we tend to choose organic products. But most of us are still confused whether there is any real difference in the quality between "organic" and "non-organic" produce.
In this post we will clarify why it is better to choose organic produce over non-organic.
First, lets make a distinction between the so-called "natural" and "organic" foods.
According to The Organic Consumers Association, there is a big difference between a certified “organic” product and a “natural” product. Food products can be labeled “organic” only if they meet U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) National Organic Program standards. However, with the exception of meat and poultry, there is no legal definition of “natural” as it applies to food - the term is unregulated.
So what is "organic" according to the USDA standards?
The Organic Food Production Act defines: "In the case of a food certified under the national organic program established under the Organic Foods Production Act of 1990 (7 U.S.C. 6501 et seq.), the certification shall be considered sufficient to make a claim regarding the absence of bioengineering in the food, such as "not bioengineered", "non-GMO", or another similar claim."
Moreover, soil fertility and crop nutrient management practice standards indicate that, "The producer must manage plant and animal materials to maintain or improve soil organic matter content in a manner that does not contribute to contamination of crops, soil, or water by plant nutrients, pathogenic organisms, heavy metals, or residues of prohibited substances."
Therefore, organic foods do not contain patricides and fertilizers (made from fossil fuels), consumption of which is linked to diseases, such as cancer.
Because organic crops come from healthy, nutritious soil they are higher in nutrients, vitamins and antioxidants and naturally have a rich, delicious taste.
It is important to remember that our food choices make a huge impact on the environment. Toxic chemicals used to spray non organic crops kill the soil and eventually end up in the nearby lakes, rivers and oceans. Not only they are harmful to our health, but they destroy eco systems.
Although, it may seem that organic foods are very expensive, guess who subsidizes non-organic farming practices? The answer is, taxpayers. Millions of dollars are spent annually on chemicals and later environmental clean up, restoration and public health.
Bottom line, the foods we produce and eat have a huge impact on our heath and the environment, especially long-term. It is worth spending a little more money to put real, nutritious food on the table and avoid harmful chemicals and pesticides. In the long run, we will be saving on medical bills, as well as nature restoration and cleanup costs.