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Is Organic Food Really Healthier for You?


You may have heard some of the heated discussions surrounding organic foods. Many people are looking for safer and more natural foods as alternative to the processed foods that are pervasive in society and organic food fits the bill. Some researchers say that organic foods are better for you, because they are free of pesticides. Others say that food is food and that organic food is no better for you than any other food. So the question reminds: Are foods grown organically better for you than non-organic foods? Let’s have a closer look.

Advantages of Organic Food:

The various benefits of organic food are hard to dispute. First, these foods are grown so they do not use potentially dangerous chemicals and pesticides that get into our body. Farmers who grow organic foods avoid using harsh and dangerous chemicals to control weeds, pests, insects and diseases that damage crops. Natural fertilizers are used instead of chemicals fertilizers. If you are looking at organic meats, there is a difference there, too.

For example, traditionally, livestock farmers would inject their animals with antibiotics, growth hormones and other drugs to prevent disease and help the animals grow faster and bigger. Organic farmers do not. Instead, they feed their animals organic foods and allow them to live outdoors and roam free. The farmers also take preventive measures to raise their livestock to guard against disease, instead of relying on chemicals and drugs. In a nut shell, organically grown animals and plants are better for the animals, the environment and your body.

Disadvantages of Organic Food:

Many people find that there are some disadvantages of organic foods. On one hand, foods grown organically are more expensive. This is because it is more costly to raise animals organically. These higher fixed costs are of course passed on to the consumer. Families on a tight food budget may not even consider organic foods solely due to the price. In addition, organic foods may be difficult to find. While many grocery stores and supermarkets in major population centers now carry organic foods, many smaller cities and communities may be limited in their food selections. You may have to seek out a specialty store or organic food store to broaden your food choices.

You should also remember that not all organic foods are the same. The USDA certified organic foods and has strict guidelines that must be followed by food producers. It is important to note that even if you buy a food labeled as organic, it does not mean that all the ingredients in that product are organic. If the food is USDA certified organic, this means that at least 95 percent of the ingredients are organic. Foods that are labeled as “Made with Organic Ingredients” means that the ingredients used to manufacture the products are 70 percent organic. These foods are not allowed to carry the USDA organic seal.

In summary, when it comes time to decide whether or not to buy organic food in the grocery store, keep a few things in mind. There have been no conclusive studies showing that organic foods are any more nutritious than non-organic foods. While the USDA certifies those products as being organically grown, the agency does not endorse the foods as safer then as or more nutritious than non-organic foods of the same quality. Also, bear in mind that some organic products may not have the same appearance as non-organic foods. This is because organic products are not enhanced with wax or preservatives. They may have shorter shelf life and spoil faster. Take all this into account when shopping or deciding on going organic.