The latest in food fads is consuming organic food. It is becoming a very popular choice for the informed consumers. In spite of its increasing popularity there is an ambiguity for the uninitiated. So how do we define organic food? Are they really beneficial? Is it worth paying more for? How is it different from natural food?
Well first things first. Organic food is food which has been grown naturally and no artificial pesticides or preservatives have been used. So, not only are the produce of your home gardens organic, but also the products, available of the shelves, which have no artificial additives in them. Today all organic food needs to be certified before it can be labeled so. Health experts claim that the nutritive value of such food is higher than that of normal food. It is also known for its better taste.
With the growing population, the demand for food crops and animal products has increased many folds. Farmers are forced to use heavy fertilizers and pesticides on their crops, to meet the ever growing demands. The increased use of chemicals has led to bumper crops but it also means that the food we are eating is full of these poisonous chemicals. Over the years the nutritive and taste value of food has decreased significantly.
These chemicals remain in the fruits and vegetables even after we have washed them. So basically when we consume fruits and vegetables we are consuming more toxins than actual nutrients. These harmful chemicals cause a lot of damage to our body and are linked to diseases like obesity, Alzheimer's, cancer and even birth defects.
Organic food on the other hand has no chemicals, tastes good and has a higher nutritive value too. It has 50% more nutrition than normal food. Not just food crops but also animals are fed a cocktail of antibiotics and it is no surprise that their dead meat carries it to our bodies.
You sure need to shell out more for it, but it is affordable. A survey claims that in U.K. and Australia people spend 3-4 times more on junk food, and up to 5 times more on entertainment, than they do on fruits and vegetables. So it's a simple choice of good food habits over bad food habits. It is but natural that if you eat fruits and vegetables which taste better, you will automatically consume more. You will thus be providing good nutrition to your body.
You may be wondering how it is different from natural food. So let's go...
All organic food is natural, all natural foods may not be organic
Natural foods are foods that have not been chemically processed, whereas organic food has been grown using organic methods, i.e. they have been produced, manufactured and handled organically.
Refined flour, refined sugar, milled grains, sweeteners, hydrogenated oil, color and artificial flavorings are taboo in natural foods. Organic food is processed with renewable sources.
Organic food has a certification body, and needs to pass its stringent quality control, whereas natural food has no such body.
All organic food is required to carry labels; there are no labeling rules for natural foods.
Chemicals and fertilizers are used to produce natural foods on the farms, whereas no chemicals are used in the production of organic food.
Organic foods cost more than natural foods.
Natural foods have a shorter shelf life when compared to organic foods.
Buying and consuming organic foods is definitely a good bargain. In the long run we are looking at healthier lives. It is a good way to reduce the toxin burden of an individual. It increases nutrient intake, and can slowly move people towards better food choices.