The Food Snob – Is Organic Food Worth It?

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The Food Snob – Is Organic Food Worth It?

The explosion of organic produce over the past few years has been hard to miss. Organic used to be a label reserved for a small percentage of fruits and vegetables, but now those organic labels are slapped on everything: our meat, milk, eggs, cheese, even macaroni and cheese, cereal and crackers. As quickly as its popularity has risen, in the midst of this economic crisis, consumers are buying organic less because of its higher price tag. There is almost a stigma on buying non-organic products these days, causing those trying to reduce their budget to feel as if they are eating low quality or less nutritious food. If this is you, read on and breathe easy.

Organic consumers often buy organic for three reasons: to avoid pesticides and genetically modified foods, for increased freshness and quality, and for increased health and nutrition. These are great things to be concerned about, but there are a few drawbacks in buying organic to meet this criteria.

Perhaps one of the biggest pushes for buying organic is that organic products are grown and farmed without the use of pesticides, which many believe are harmful to their health. They are chemicals, how could they not be, right?

The United States has strict regulations on food and beverages to determine food safety and quality. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) sets restrictions on how many pesticides can be used on food during both the growing and processing stages, and how much of those pesticides can be on your food when you buy it. The purpose of using pesticides on crops is to prevent, destroy or reduce the presence of pests that eat and destroy crops. The EPA thoroughly tests pesticides and pesticide levels to ensure they are safe both for human consumption and for the environment as a whole. All foods must pass EPA standards for safety or they won’t be in your supermarket, and they won’t get anywhere near your family.

HISTORY: Organic means better food.

FACT: Organic is a type of farming that does not use synthetic fertilizers or pesticides or hormones. Organic does not mean better food.

Genetically modified foods have been a hot topic since the early 2000s. Genetically modified foods refer to food products that have been modified by plants with desirable traits. a, such as improved resistance to pests and diseases, herbicide, cold and drought tolerance and improved nutrition. Animals eat these plants, then we eat meat, eggs or dairy products. The fear is that the altered protein chain could create new proteins, increasing the possibility that a new allergen could emerge that could cause an allergic reaction in the consumer. However, there are guidelines that are used to evaluate the virulence of a new strain in a transformed crop, along with the history of the parent crop, and the quality of the gene donor are also taken into account when evaluating for safety.

Genetically modified foods have been shown to be safe and nutritious due to the lack of reported adverse effects, but as with pesticides, many organic consumers do not believe that the lack of observed effects is proof of safety.

It is important to note that safety does not mean health. Safe, by regulatory standards, means eating the product will not affect your health negatively, but the term healthy means that the product has health-promoting benefits, such as nutrients, vitamins, and minerals.

This is where the war has long been fought. Fear of chemicals and processed foods seem to be widely accepted as reasons for going organic, but many are under the misconception that organic foods are healthier for you. Organic refers to the way the food was raised and processed – it does not change the actual nutritional value of the food itself. Farming methods for organic and conventional food products include the use of best management practices, following environmental regulations and crop rotation. The main differences are the use of pesticides, herbicides, and fertilizers in agricultural management.

Do you know?

Fresh fruits and vegetables are harvested at their peak ripeness and are a great food source. Look for unsavory packages.

88 studies have been conducted on organic quality from 1980 -2007, with approximately 10-15 new studies anticipated for the near future. Studies have shown an average increase in antioxidant levels by about 25% in organic products, however this can be attributed to growth patterns/rates, plant defenses and their response to stress.

There is much debate on this topic, however, some studies have led to different findings on the nutritional quality of organic vs non-organic. According to the “State of Science” report, 61% of studies on the issue favor organic as having more nutritional value, 37% of interesting foods, and 2% of studies are neutral, simply, it is a ratio of almost 3: 2. Future research is also warranted in order to make a more important answer, because there are many areas that have not been studied, such as the effect on older people and on chronic disease, which will confirm more about which option is actually healthy.

Organic plants benefit the environment by increasing soil quality, and promoting biodiversity. The effects on the earth are undeniable, and for some greenies, that’s reason enough to buy completely organic. Support for local farmers is also a big factor, as local farmers tend to use organic farming methods to produce their products.

Whether one buys organic or not is a personal decision, but in these tough economic times where everyone’s dollar needs to stretch a little further, just know that something labeled organic, and priced accordingly, is not optional. healthy An organic farming company is a business like any other, looking to convince you their product is better and turn a profit. Do what’s best for your family and budget and don’t let any of those Whole Foods shoppers give you the stink eye.

Bottom Line:

* Organic food refers to the farm production of the product and not the actual basis of the product itself

* Organic and conventional dairy foods are safe and nutritious

* Fruits and vegetables season (organic and conventional) are keys to preventive health – there is some evidence to suggest that organic is healthier than non-organic

* If you can afford to buy organic then using your money for a good cause however, if you can’t afford organic material there are cheaper alternatives.

Fruit and Vegetable Options:

* Buy seasonal fruits and vegetables.

* Buy frozen fruits/vegetables (look for the “unsweetened” packs).

* Buy canned fruit, packaged in your own fruit juice (stay away from “heavy syrup”).

* Buy canned vegetables (look for the “no salt added” label).

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