Organic food is produced by farmers who emphasize the use of renewable resources and the conservation of soil and water to enhance environmental quality for future generations. Organic meat, poultry, eggs, and dairy products come from animals that are given no antibiotics or growth hormones. Organic food is produced without using most conventional pesticides; fertilizers made with synthetic ingredients or sewage sludge; bioengineering; or ionizing radiation. Before a product can be labeled ‘organic,’ a Government-approved certifier inspects the farm where the food is grown to make sure the farmer is following all the rules necessary to meet USDA organic standards. Companies that handle or process organic food before it gets to your local supermarket or restaurant must be certified.
There are many reasons to buy organic foods. The USDA Organic label tells you that fruits and veggies weren’t raised using man made chemical pesticides, fossil fuel- or sewage-based fertilizers or genetically modified seeds. On meat, the label indicates that the feeds provided met those same standards, and that the animals weren’t administered hormones and antibiotics. Bottom line: “Organic” is more sustainable and healthier — for the environment and farm workers, certainly, and often for you and your family.
There are four levels of organic labeling.
- 100% Organic: This means that the food can only contain organic ingredients. That means no hormones, genetic engineering, antibiotics, radiation, or synthetic pesticides or fertilizers.
- Organic: This means that the food contains 95% organic ingredients. In order to be labeled “organic”, the remaining 5% of ingredients can’t be found in an organic form.
- Made With Organic Ingredients: This means the food has at least 70% organic ingredients. Three of these ingredients must be listed on the package.
- Foods with less than 70% organic ingredients can only have “organic” in their lists of ingredients.
How is organic healthier? It’s healthier because some studies suggest that organic produce has more nutrients than its conventional counterparts, probably because the soil is left in better condition after repeated plantings; and healthier because you avoid ingesting any harmful pesticide residues left on conventional produce.
1. Organic Farming is less toxic for the environment.
Industrial farming uses synthetic pesticides, which can drift downstream and cause serious damage to non-farming communities. These farming methods can damage the soil and make it harder to grow healthy crops for future generations. Organic farming limits these toxic chemicals in our environment.
2. Organic Farming is better for your body.
When foods are grown with pesticides & chemicals, where do you think those chemicals end up? Pesticides can do decrease fertility, increase your risk of cancer, and do damage to your nervous system. Organic foods generally have higher levels of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants than their conventional counterparts.
3. Organic Food Tastes Great!
The truth is, organic food simply tastes better. It makes sense that the food that is grown in a real growing environment would be more flavorful.
4. Helps Local & Family Farmers
While organic farming has grown from nothing to a $51 billion dollar industry in the span of around 20 years, only .7% of the total worlds farmland is organically farmed. There are over 13,000 certified organic producers in the United States. The more demand for organic food, the bigger the industry will get. And as the industry grows, more farms will use organic farming methods to satisfy the demand. So it’s a win-win! You eat organic foods, and more organic foods get farmed.
5. Organic Food Meets Strict USDA Standards
The USDA has created standards for organic foods and organic farming designed to protect you when purchasing organic foods. Organic foods are safe, good for you, and highly regulated to make sure that you continue to be safe in choosing organic foods.