Take a stroll through your local grocery store and you will see sections devoted to organic foods. That is to say, you will find products ranging from fresh produce and meat to household items. In the past, organic food was limited to being available in only health food stores. These specialty items are now a regular feature at most supermarkets. So, what’s the buzz about?
People are starting to believe organic foods are better for them. Therefore, it’s not just a philosophy anymore! There is some truth to these health claims. We are here to give you the facts. Let us help you make an informed decision regarding organic food choices. As a result, you may be surprised what you might learn about in regards to what you’re putting into your body.
Many people have started jumping on the “organic bandwagon”. Although, the majority of people don’t take the time to understand what organic food is. The word “organic” refers to the ways that a farmer grows or processes their agricultural products. So, what does that entail?
Organic farming itself aims to preserve natural resources, avoid synthetics and, support animal well-being. As a result, these farming methods offer the most efficient manner of promoting environmentally friendly products. In Canada, it is the most heavily regulated food system.
Enhancing soil quality, reducing pollution and providing a safe, healthy habitat for livestock are components of this style of agriculture. Ultimately, it begins with pursuing integrity starting on the farm.
More research is beginning to surface on the benefits of organic food. Are the products healthier? Is it better for the environment? Is it local? Depending on who you ask, the answers may vary. However, here are some science-backed facts to consider:
Organic foods have shown higher levels of antioxidants. Studies show significant increases in certain types of flavonoids.
Produce contains fewer pesticides. It is a misconception that organic farms do not use pesticides. These pesticides are naturally-derived and deemed safer.
Meat & dairy products boast 50% more omega 3 fatty acids. Raising livestock in accordance to organic certification allows for this increase. A grass-fed diet and the great outdoors make all the difference!
No antibiotics or growth hormones. Growth hormones are used to increase milk supply or weight gain in animals. Additionally, conventional livestock are fed antibiotics to prevent diseases in poor living conditions.
You’ve probably heard the term GMO before. But, what is a GMO anyways? Genetically modified organisms (GMOs) are living organisms which have been artificially manipulated through genetic engineering.
In the agricultural world, GMO’s usually refer to enhanced crops and produce. By altering genetics, farmers can yield more crops with longer shelf lives. In fact, in the US up to 80% of processed foods contain GMO’s. Choosing organic foods may be your best bet to avoid these products. Here are a few quick tips to avoid GMO’s in your diet:
Scientists state that some products are more likely to contain GMOs. Products such as corn, canola, papaya, soy, and yellow squash have the highest known amounts. So, if you’re looking to stay GMO-free make sure you keep an eye out for these common carriers.
To start off, it is no surprise that organic food is more expensive than its counterparts. But, it is up to you to decide if it is worth it. For most, buying 100% of organic food is not plausible. Grocery bills add up quickly! Thankfully, studies show that there are some items you may not need to buy organic.
Check out our cheat sheet on fruits & vegetables where the organic label matters most.
What to Buy:
What NOT to Buy:
Conclusively, nutritionists also suggest purchasing organic meat and dairy; These products prove to be lower in saturated fats due to a healthier livestock diet.
The organic food trend continues to rise. In the same way, the importance of buying local has increased. Lastly, there is still the question of “natural” foods. It is essential for you to decide what matters most. In this blog, we have spoken about organic food. Next, lets take a look at the meanings of both natural and local foods.
Generally speaking, buying local means the items are located within 100km of the consumer. Additionally, this means your food never travels more than 100km from farm to table. The closer you are, the fresher the food. More importantly, buying local allows you to learn where your food is from. It allows you to see the farms, and meet the people behind them. Not to mention, many local farmers share the same goals as organic farmers. Do you have questions? They are there to help!
On the contrary, the term natural is used in a variety of ways. Unfortunately, it’s not always as it seems. Foods that use this label come with no guarantees. People often believe that organic and natural are interchangeable terms. This is not the case! At this time, regulating natural foods is not required. Therefore, these items often contain heavily processed ingredients. If it interests you, check the ingredient label! This will be your best tool when shopping for healthier products.
All in all, organic food proves to be an excellent choice for health conscious individuals. Boosting both health and environmental benefits, people can feel good about purchasing organic. Nevertheless, it is essential to consider the value of buying local as well. As we mentioned, many local farms practice organic methods. Either way, it’s up to you to decide what matters most.
Are you interested in learning more? See us today at our farm! We can help connect you with local and organic farms. Fundamentally, it’s the best of both worlds!