Fortunately, people have grown conscious about their makeup, fashion, as well as what they eat. Enter vegan beauty, ethical fashion, and organic food, you now get to go the sustainable route, the better way!
With “organic food” products becoming a thing, let’s understand what the buzz about this #newdiet is all about. Is it something you need to switch to today or is it just a passing trend, you don’t need to follow? Let’s find out, folks!
What is organic food?
Organic food, as the name suggests, refers to fresh or processed foods that are produced by organic farming methods. This food is grown without synthetic chemicals like human-made pesticides, fertilizers, and genetically modified organisms (GMOs).
Why most folks prefer organic foods is because they’re free of certain ingredients your body doesn’t really need including;
- Artificial chemicals
These USDA organic label food items must follow certain rules and regulations laid down by the National Organic Program (NOP). Everything is in accordance with the organization for perfect and “organic” production, handling, labeling, and enforcement!
Even better, the animals are raised organically without use of synthetic growth hormones and antibiotics to produce these organic foods you cherish.
Everything you need to know about organic food
According to a market research firm study, “about 70% of Americans consume organic food occasionally, and (roughly) a quarter buy it weekly.” Well, that’s a startling fact.
This clearly means—the organic foods industry is booming and how! With most settling for the kind of food they already consume, others prefer it for simple reasons like the ingredients that go into making these food. Or, because of the fact that the production involves no harming of animals whatsoever!
With a number of pros to eating organic food are many, there are a few cons to it. Like, what if we told you that despite the USDA organic label, it has no certified health benefits? Confusing, right? Read on to find out if the benefits of organic food outweigh its disadvantages (or whether it’s the other way around!)
Pros and cons of organic food
Most folks today prefer organic food products because they taste better. And yes, we do agree.
Likewise, they think that it is safer and better for the environment, including animals. Not to mention, the nutritional value it adds to your diet. Let’s look at the pros of organic foods before we get too overwhelmed with their facts or the cons. Damn!
Seven pros of organic food:
1. Organic food products taste better
According to most food experts, chefs, and everyday consumers, organic food actually tastes yummier than conventional food. Notably, when a plant is grown organically, without fertilizers or pesticides, the taste of the food is enhanced. Studies in the BJN paper show proof that higher antioxidant levels do affect food’s qualities like aroma, mouthfeel, and taste!
Also, thanks to organic farmers for taking care of the soil better, this strong soil nutrition is added to these well-nourished plants. So, when you consume organic food, you’re adding great nutritional value for you.
2. More health benefits
The best part about organic food is—chemical fertilizers and pesticides aren’t involved in its production. That means—less contaminated food with harmful substances! Good news, isn’t it?
3. Better treatment of animals
One of the many other pros of organic food includes that, if and when organic meat is involved, animals are treated far better than animals in other factory farming practices. The organic farmers do a good job by providing you with 100% organic feed that is safe and clean, with cage-free living conditions for the animals.
4. Lesser soil and water pollution
For those who prefer organic foods for their environmental benefits, this one’s for you!
Needing lesser soil, you can relax knowing these foods involve less water pollution during their production. It is one of the best organci food benefits as conventional agriculture heavily pollutes the land and harmful substances are used in large quantities for the plant growth; this means only degradation of the soil.
5. Beneficial for the environment
Organic produce reduces soil pollution. Yes, you heard that right!
Unfortunately, chemical fertilizers and pesticides used in the conventional farming pollutes the soil and water and how, making the soil totally unsuitable for farming. On the other hand, when you consume organic food, you’d be glad knowing the soil used in the production recovers and becomes ideal for organic farming for decades, if not centuries. Of course, the terrain too is ideal for the innocent animals to survive.
6. GMOs are not used
For organic products, the use of genetic engineering, often known as Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs), is a big no-no!
This means that an organic farmer cannot grow GMO seeds. Meaning, an organic cow can’t consume GMO alfalfa or corn. Lastly, an organic producer cannot utilize GMO components.
It is a major benefit as these substances aren’t involved in the production and kudos to you as well for supporting businesses that say no to genetic modification of plants in the production.
7. Higher food quality with better nutritional value
Several studies have found that organic foods generally contain higher levels of micronutrients including iron. , such as vitamin C, zinc, and iron. These organically grown crops may have higher prices but definitely higher health and nutritional value too.
Seven cons of organic food:
1. More expensive than conventional food
Of course, there are multiple organic food benefits. The ones that may (or may not) hold you back when switching to them are the prices they come at. Yes, they’re a tad more expensive than your regular food items that have been produced otherwise.
2. Shorter shelf life
One of the other major disadvantages of organic food is that it gets spoiled (uggh) faster than non-organic products. Wondering why? Simple—since organic vegetables and fruits do not have artificial preservatives! They have a shorter shelf life and are less durable. Not to mention, this waste further adds to the landfills. Damn!
3. Limited product options
Other than the benefits that organic food brings to your table (literally), the drawback to eating organic is that there are fewer organic options to pick from than conventional ones. Unfortunately, this means if you’re out grocery shopping, you might have a hard time finding those beloved organic products you’ve been craving for a while.
4. Higher risk of bacterial infection
One of the major health-related cons of organic products is the bacteria found on them. And the possibility of absorbing e-Coli bacteria into the digestive tract when eating is a health risk you do not want to take.
5. Not entirely chemical-free
Most people consider organic to be the ‘chemical-free’ option. And while organic farmers avoid toxic herbicides and pesticides at all costs, this notion isn’t entirely correct. This is because organic standards allow natural substances while prohibiting synthetic substances in organic farming. So, while organic foods aren’t always chemical-free, pesticide residue will be lower than that found in regular produce made with synthetic chemicals.
6. No evidence that it adds nutritional value
Contrary to the seventh point on the list of benefits of organic food, there is no evidence yet to support this claim.
According to the UK Food Standards Agency, the French Food Safety Agency, and the Swedish National Food Administration, organic food is not deemed safer than conventionally produced food.
It is now fair to believe that organic products are nutritionally equivalent to non-organic ones.
7. No certified health benefits
Organic diets, we know, expose you to lesser pesticides and antibiotics, but they are nutritionally equivalent to conventional diets. Plus, there is no evidence of clinically significant differences between organic and conventional milk. One might think that eating organic food is often thought to be healthier than eating non-organic produce. Unfortunately, we’re about to burst your bubble! In fact, the evidence that eating organic can benefit one’s health is ‘inconclusive.’
The USDA guidelines that describes organic foods with;
- 100% Organic: These foods including fruits and vegetables may come with a USDA seal.
- Organic: If a food item with many ingredients is labeled organic, 95% of them are certified organic.
- Organic ingredients: If the food product has been labeled organic, but if 70% of the ingredients in it aren’t organic, it cannot be certified “organic.”
Also, organic doesn’t mean the same as natural!
While there are organic food benefits and drawbacks to organic food, the choice is now yours to make! If you have decided to go organic, then one of the best tips is to start small. It can be one of the many kinds of foods you can add to your meal instead of just making it your “kinda” meal. Begin by eating completely organic food for at least one meal a day. Don’t rush; even if you don’t go 100% organic, just including it in your meals is a good idea too!
Want some more tips to contribute to the planet? Here you go!