Organic foods are certainly one of today’s prominent diet fads. But are organic foods really what they are cracked up to be? The answer really lies in the ingredients, not the label. If you have ever been to a local farmers market, you probably appreciated the freshness and quality of the fruits and vegetables, not […]
Organic foods are certainly one of today’s prominent diet fads. But are organic foods really what they are cracked up to be? The answer really lies in the ingredients, not the label.
If you have ever been to a local farmers market, you probably appreciated the freshness and quality of the fruits and vegetables, not thinking much about whether it was labeled “organic.” Today, you cannot go into any grocery store without seeing foods labeled “organic” as a marketing ploy to trigger “healthy” in people’s minds, not to mention the hefty price tag that come with it. So should you choose organic products over conventional?
First, it is important to understand what constitutes organic products. According to Wikipedia.com, “organic foods are made according to certain production standards. The use of conventional non-organic pesticides, insecticides and herbicides is greatly restricted and avoided as a last resort. However, contrary to popular belief, certain non-organic fertilizers are still used. If livestock are involved, they must be reared without the routine use of antibiotics and without the use of growth hormones, and generally fed a healthy diet.” In order to be USDA Certified Organic, 95% of the product must be organic. There are also 100% Organic products and products made with organic ingredients, which must include 70% organic products. Be careful not to confuse products labeled “all-natural” with organic; it must say “organic” to be organic.
When comparing apples to apples, sometimes literally, organic foods are the same as conventional foods, only they are made or grown without the chemicals. So in that sense, yes, organic is definitely a better choice. The least amount of toxins we can put into our body, the better off we are. But sometimes it’s not about the chemicals, it is about the ingredients. If a conventional ingredient is not good for you, chances are it is still not good for you in the organic form. For example, your favorite cereal is loaded with sugar and other ingredients that cause you to gain weight. Buying an organic version of that cereal does not mean you are getting a healthier product, just one with less chemicals.
What about the price? There is no denying that most organic foods come with a price increase, sometimes a fairly substantial one. This is where organic becomes a personal decision, based on your budget and needs. If you can only afford some foods organic, pick the most important ones first. Choose fruits and vegetables that would be more subjected to the chemicals or that you would eat the skin, such as apples, strawberries, peaches, spinach, lettuce, carrots and potatoes. Meats and dairy products are also better if they are organic. In packaged foods, check the ingredients carefully to make sure not only are they organic but also that they are wholesome and nutritional.
In summary, the answer to organic foods being worth it is yes, no and maybe. Yes, organic foods are better for you than conventional foods because of the lack of chemicals and other byproducts. No, an ingredient that is not healthy normally is not any healthier when it is organic. Maybe, depending on your budget so choose your organic foods wisely. Happy shopping!