A key aspect of maintaining a healthy lifestyle is being mindful of what you eat. That said, choosing organic food products can go a long way towards giving your body the essential vitamins that it needs to stay in top shape. Indeed, organic food products have become popular over the recent years due to the perception that they’re generally safer to consume for most customers. Specifically, organic produce is said to contain no harmful chemicals or pesticides, while organic meat is advertised as containing no synthetic growth hormones.
If you want to start incorporating more organic food into your diet, you should learn more about how they can keep you healthy. To help you understand more about organic food products, here are some interesting things you need to know:
- Organic food products are not made equal. If you plan to shop everything organic, it pays to know that there are three types of organic food products. If the product label says it’s “completely organic,” it means that it is 100% truly organic and guaranteed to be chemical-free. However, if the product label only says it’s “organic,” the food may only be 90-95% organic since some conventional methods may have been applied during the growing and processing of the product. And lastly, some product labels will simply indicate “contains organic ingredients.” This means that there were some non-organic ingredients used in the manufacturing of the product.
- They’re generally healthier, but not all the time. Organically-produced fruits and vegetables contain higher amounts of vitamins, minerals, as well as antioxidants. Meanwhile, organically-raised animals have leaner meat, which is better for our cardiovascular health. However, it’s best to note that some non-organic food products may be more nutritious than organic ones—especially if they’ve been fortified. Fortified foods are those that have been imbued with nutrients that can’t be found in their organic counterparts. For example, fortified milk products are more nutritious than organically-produced milk since they contain higher levels of vitamin D.
- Organic farming helps save the environment. Organic farming is considered to be more environment-friendly than conventional farming. This is because it helps reduce air, water, and soil contamination due to the lack of chemicals and pesticides used. By staying chemical-free, organic food production also helps maintain biodiversity and preserve the local wildlife. Furthermore, it helps prevent global warming since most organic food products are only sold locally. This is because the reduced need for long-distance transportation translates to lower carbon dioxide emissions.
- Organic food products taste better and fresher. Some people are put off by the belief that organic food products have a blander taste. But since they are made without any chemicals and preservatives, they can actually taste better and fresher. Also, the organic way of producing fruits, vegetables, and crops allows them to contain higher levels of antioxidants, which are believed to help maintain the natural taste of these products.
- Know the dirty dozen and clean fifteen. If you can’t afford to always buy organic food products, the Environmental Working Group (EWG) has released a shopper’s guide known as the “dirty dozen and clean fifteen.” In the dirty dozen list, it contains the list of fruits and vegetables that you need to buy organically since non-organic ones increase your risk of consuming too much chemicals and pesticides. Among the produce that made it to the dirty dozen list are strawberries, spinach, kale, nectarines, apples, grapes, peaches, cherries, pears, tomatoes, celery, and potatoes. Meanwhile, the clean fifteen list refers to the list of fruits and vegetables that are safe to buy non-organically. This includes avocados, sweet corn, pineapples, frozen sweet peas, onions, papayas, eggplants, asparagus, kiwis, cabbages, cauliflower, cantaloupes, broccoli, mushrooms, and honeydew melons. If you afford to go purely organic, then these are the types of produce that you can consume while still making sure that you’re maintaining a healthier diet.
While organic food products are better for your health, they can be quite expensive since their production requires greater labour input. Without the help of chemicals, produce such as fruits, vegetables, crops, as well as the animals themselves grow more naturally and slowly. This can make them more difficult to grow or raise in general. As a result, organic food products usually cost 30-40% more than non-organic food. So if you want to eat organically, be smart with your shopping choices to keep costs down. One way to help make this happen is to always buy organic produce when they are in season.