Ever since Fritz Haber fed the whole of Europe in the early 1900s using his scientific breakthrough (The Haber Process) to produce Nitrogen fertilizer, humans have become more and more dependent on inorganic food and produce.
This has only increased drastically since the genetics hybridization has brought about Genetically Modified organisms (GMO), mainly plants and animals.
What does this mean?
It means we have turned our back on the old natural ways of raring animals for consumption, planting of crops, and the final preservation of agricultural products.
We have adopted new ways, which are fast and less stressful but will gradually poison us due to the high amount of chemicals, antibiotics, additives, and preservatives that we consume in the products made available by them.
Synthetic fertilizers are artificial man-made inorganic substances and chemicals. They usually combine nitrogen, phosphorous, potassium, calcium, magnesium, and many other elements in different ratios.
Organic products are often kinder to the environment and human health than the conventionally produced foods. Hence, organic foods can be described as the result of an environmentally sustainable system of production that avoids the use of man-made products like fertilizers, pesticides, livestock feed additives, growth regulators, and genetically modified organisms.
Food standards vary from country to country, but principally, organic crops must be grown without the use of chemicals, synthetic pesticides, fertilizers, GMOs. And farmers can't treat food with artificial preservatives coloring or flavoring.
Below I will cover some of the most asked questions about organic food.
Does Organic Food Have Preservatives?
100% Organic foods do not contain artificial preservatives and are very minimally processed to maintain the strict principle of organic farming. Food processors who deal with organic products follow the very strict legal restriction on allowable ingredients and materials.
Extra steps are taken to ensure that organic food is not contaminated with non-organic ingredients or preservatives, artificial colors, flavors or genetically modified organisms.
Organic foods, therefore, are different from all these heavily preserved and processed foodstuffs. Indeed, from the moment they are planted, the most natural methods are employed to grow them, and when they are harvested, they are almost usually sold immediately or handled by very rigorous standards.
Are Organic Foods Non-GMO?
Certified organic foods are non-GMO. To meet the strict USDA requirements, farmers and food processors must ensure that they do not use any GMOs.
This means that organically grown livestock can't eat any GMO feed. Organic farmers cannot plant any GMO seeds, and producers are prohibited from using GMO ingredients.
While all organic foods are Non-GMO, not all Non-GMO foods are organic.
This is one of the most popular mistakes that individuals can make while trying to purchase naturally grown foods is to purchase ones that are not certified organic by the USDA but are labeled Non-GMO instead.
The reason for this is because the simple fact that a product was not produced by the use of growth modification organisms does not connote that harmful synthetic pesticide, toxic hexane, or roundup herbicides, which can be linked to many serious conditions and side effects.
How To Tell If Food Is Organic Or Not?
Often, organic foods carry the label of Certified Organic, awarded to them by the USDA due to their ability to meet specific standards that were initially set by this same USDA.
These products and producers are usually ones that have gone through the certification process, but there are also small-time food producers who are also allowed to call their products organic based on some specific conditions but are not allowed to carry the USDA label.
To be a Certified Organic USDA product with the USDA seal, the products in question must contain at least 95% organic ingredients.
Watch this video below to discover more easy tips and tricks for how to buy organic produce.
Different Levels Of Organic Food
Although every USDA Certified product is basically organic, there are different levels and categories, and they are:
- Made with Organic: The main reason why a 'made with the organic' product cannot be labeled as certified organic is because it must contain at least a minimum of 70% organically produced ingredients.
- Organic: If 5% of the ingredients used in the product are non-organic, chances are, the product will be labeled simply “Organic”. Thus, the minimum level of organic ingredients that are to be contained in a product labeled “Organic” is 95%.
- 100% Organic: In this category, we have raw, unprocessed farm products, which are often referred to as 100% organic products. Generally, however, “100% organic” is the label that is given to products that contain in its ingredients 100% organic products.
Are Organic Foods Healthier?
As opposed to their conventionally produced counterparts, organic foods can have a slightly higher nutritional value which can be attributed to the absence of pesticides and fertilizers, a condition which results in the plants boosting their production of the vitamins and antioxidant that strengthens resistance to bugs and weeds.
Many studies have linked the use of pesticide in the growing of crops and its presence in our food to everything from headaches to health defects although it has not to be proven exactly to what extent the presence of pesticides affect the average human being.
In this video below, Dr. Andrew Weil explains why following a natural food diet is good for you and also shares some useful shopping tips for organic foods.
What Are The Disadvantages Of Organic Food?
Although naturally grown foods are supposed to be the definitive savors of humanity, but where there are benefits, it is almost impossible for problems not to arise there too.
Here are 4 disadvantages:
- More expensive. These foods are usually more expensive than conventional ones, both for the consumers and the producers. This is because of the ease of production processes that are present in the production of conventional foods but are grossly disallowed in the production of pesticides free food.
- Not Widely Available. The production of organic foods is often too restrictive as there are guidelines that must be followed in its process along with standards set by the USDA, which must be met before it can even be certified accordingly.
- Have Shorter Storage Life. As a result of the nonexistence of preservatives in naturally grown foods, they spoil easily as they have a shorter lifespan.
- Labor Intensive. Since it takes longer to grow these foods than conventional ones, and the resources available for making them are rather limited, they are not widely available in stores.
Organic Food Examples
Here are some examples of popular organic food products:
- Fruits and vegetables
- Nuts and seeds
- Dairy products and eggs
- Livestock feed
- Meats and poultry
Let's Look At This Year's Top-Selling Natural Products
Top trending foods at the natural food market are:
- Fruits and vegetables.
- Dairy and eggs: In 2017, the eggs and dairy category grew by 0.9% to $6.5 billion.
- Beverages: With a 25% increase in demand for fresh organic juices in 2018, this trend of organic products is one that has come to stay
“According to the data from the Organic Trade Association, ‘more than 82% of U.S. households buy organic’ while half of all organic operations are increasing their full-time employment.”
What To Buy Organic And What Not?
Watch this video below to learn when it is absolutely critical to buy synthetic pesticides and herbicides FREE produce and which foods carry the biggest pesticide risk. This new Consumer Reports' guide reveals which conventionally grown vegetables and fruits are most contaminated and should be avoided at all costs.
Popular Natural Food Brands
These are some of the top companies involved in the production of organic foods:
- Green & Black’s: an organic chocolate company, they make use of natural products sourced from the local farmers around them to create delectable sweetness. Check out the selection of their amazing chocolates here>>>
- 4S Foods: an organic milk farm involved in the manufacturing and delivery of milk products.
- Organic Valley: this is a cooperative of 1326 farm families who produce premium food products.
You can also check your locality for more natural food-producing farms and companies. It will only take little effort and considering the danger; otherwise, you owe it to yourself.
Read Also: How to Cook Without Wasting Food - My Top Favorite Cooking Blogs.
The nutritional value of some organic foods is different than those of their non-organic counterparts. Usually, pesticide-free versions are more nutritious, but not always. Sometimes they have the same nutritional value as the non-organics.
Let’s look at an example.
If you eat additive-free vegetables and fruits, they’re always going to be more nutritious because they have more minerals than the non-organic versions.
On the other hand, if you eat organic ice cream, cookies, or other junk foods, their nutritional value won’t be any better just because they’re organic.
The ingredients are what make organic foods different than non-organic foods.
In a non-organic food product, it may contain synthetic ingredients, pesticide ingredients, and growth hormones.
These harmful ingredients can cause negative health issues that last a long time.
Although doctors are not positive about this theory, they’re convinced that consuming naturally grown foods regularly can lower the risk of developing health problems in the future.
There are no preservatives in organic foods. They’re grown or purchased locally too, so you can expect them to be quite fresh. No artificial flavors or chemicals are used at all. This gives them a very natural taste that you will notice immediately.
However, don’t assume that an organic label means the food will taste better or be fresher. Test out organic dairy food products, or produce, and you’ll know if you like their taste better or not.
Organic farming not only produces healthier food, but it promotes a healthier environment too. It will save water, resources, reduce soil erosion, and lower pollution.
Since pesticides are not used in organic farming, this keeps animals and plants safe.
Any livestock on the farm will have a better living environment too. And since local stores are the ones that sell organic foods, there is no cross-country shipping needed. This means no pollution produced by shipping.
Since organic food products have no preservatives, they spoil faster than non-organic food products. Fruits and vegetables will definitely spoil fast if they’re organic, so watch out for that.
Naturally grown foods will always cost more than non-organic foods, and for a good reason. It costs farmers a lot more time and money to maintain their crops.
But as the demand for organic foods increases, it may drive down the cost of these foods in the future.
In fact, this is already taking place around the country in certain areas where organic foods are what most people purchase.