Have you ever been confused in a grocery store because of all the food labels you need to read before hauling them off to the counter? Navigating the maze that is organic food labels, organic farming, its benefits, and its claims can be confusing. Is organic food really better for your mental and physical health? What do all the labels mean?
The term organic refers to the way the agricultural products are grown and processed. The regulations vary from country to country but in the US, organic crops are grown without using synthetic pesticides, bioengineered genes (GMOs), petroleum-based fertilizers, and sewage sludge-based fertilizers. Livestock intended for organic products must have access to organic feed. They are not supposed to be given antibiotics, growth hormones, and animal by-products.
Organic produce is grown with natural fertilizers such as manure and compost, weeds are controlled naturally by crop rotation, hand weeding, mulching, and tilling, and pests are controlled using natural methods by letting birds and insects feed on them.
On the other hand, conventionally-grown produce are grown with synthetic or chemical fertilizers, their weeds are controlled with chemical herbicides, and pests are controlled with synthetic pesticides.
When it comes to organic food, meat, dairy, and eggs that meet organic requirements are all hormone- and GMO-free feed, diseases are uncommon because of the natural methods by which they are prevented, and livestock are required to have access and graze outdoors.
Food products from conventional farms are born from animals given growth hormones for faster growth. They are also given antibiotics and medications to prevent livestock disease and they rarely have access to the outdoors.
How your food is raised can have a major impact on your mental and physical health. People have now been turning to organic food products because of the multitude of illnesses and diseases found in the food we conventionally eat.
Organic foods have often been credited for its beneficial nutrients. People are also less likely to develop allergies to foods that are organically produced while we can catch many diseases and illnesses from the chemicals and preservatives used in conventional farming methods.
In conclusions, organic foods contain fewer pesticides, are often fresher, are better for the environment (because of the farming methods), are free from antibiotics, growth hormones, and animal byproducts, are richer in certain nutrients such as omega-3 fatty acids, and are free from genetically-modified organisms that are found in traditional crossbreeding methods.