You have been trying to eat nutritious foods for your health so this means that you always select fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and lean protein when you are in the market. In the market, you can see the organic food section which has the same set of fruits and vegetable when compared with the other fruit and vegetable section. Now the question is: Must you buy organic foods?
Organic food lovers are absolutely convinced that this type of food is safer, more nutritious, and usually has a better taste than the non-organic food. They also believed that the organic production is way better for the environment and kinder to animals. With this article, it will let you educate more about organic food and let you decide if you’ll buy them.
What is organic food?
Organic is a labeling term that is used on a wide variety of foods. These foods have been produced following certain methods and practices that are approved by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA). It is one of the best steps you can take to safeguard the quality of your food and for the environment.
There are a lot of people think that when you say “organic”, it only means “earth friendly.” This is not always the case. Since the production of organic foods followed certain regulation, they are pricey compared to the traditionally grown foods. Organic regulations utilize farming practices and food production steps that are monitored and controlled to improve food quality. Organic regulations do not address more complicated issues involving the earth and sustainability.
Are Organic Foods Better for You?
Yes. Eating organic foods is a good way to reduce your exposure to contaminants. These contaminants may include not only pesticides but can also contain heavy metals like lead and mercury, and solvents like benzene and toluene. These can damage your nerve function that leads to diseases like multiple sclerosis. In addition to lessening your exposure to these potentially harmful substances, organic foods also contain higher levels of nutrients like vitamins and minerals.
How can you identify organic foods?
There are 4 different types of label information and you can see these types in all organic food stores in Jacksonville, Florida.
- The claim “100% organic” on the front of any certified organic food. This is the least common in the marketplace, but the most reliable. This claim requires all ingredients in the food to be produced in compliance with organic regulations.
- USDA organic logo presence. This is much more common in the marketplace and can be seen on the front of an organic food. Organic foods with the USDA logo must contain at least 95% approved ingredients. Up to 5% of the food may contain prohibited ingredients. There is one important caveat to this “5%” rule for certified organic foods with the USDA logo: even in the 5% “non-organic” portion of the food, ingredients are not allowed to be genetically engineered, fertilized with sewage sludge, or irradiated.
- “Made With” labeling claims on the front package. At least 70% of all ingredients must be in compliance with all organic regulations. As such, 30% of ingredients may contain prohibited ingredients, provided that those ingredients are not available in organic form.
- Individual ingredient entries on the Ingredients List on the side or back of the package. If a food contains less than 70% of its ingredients as organic, no labeling claims are allowed on the front of the package. On the other hand, individual organic ingredients that comply with USDA regulations may be listed on the side or back of the packaging in the product’s Ingredients List.
If you use the USDA’s organic logo to identify these foods as organic, you have to check the Ingredient List on the packaging if there are added ingredients and if falls into the “5%” non-organic category foods.