One of the longest-running arguments – especially in western countries – is whether or not eating organic food is all it’s cracked up to be. Some swear by the health benefits of organic food, while others brush it off as a conspiracy to sell more expensive food.
While shopping organic is often more expensive than purchasing traditional products in stores, learning more about the facts about organic can help you make the best choices in the aisle.
At Fields & Table, our team of dedicated grocers is committed to helping you learn more about the food you put on your table every day. Read on to learn more about organic food and how to start bringing more organic products into your everyday life!
Understanding The Concept Of “Organic Food”
With the controversy surrounding the idea of eating organic, it can be helpful to understand the terms we use when we discuss organic food. What does organic really mean? Basically, calling a product “organic” means that the item was grown without the use of synthetic herbicides, fertilizers, or harmful pesticides. Organic food is also grown without the aid of scientifically engineered genetics (GMOs).
What about organic meat and dairy? To be considered organic, any livestock must be held and raised in an environment that allows them to graze and grow naturally. This means that your organic meat or eggs come from animals that were given space to roam and feed in a natural habitat. These animals are not subject to growth hormones or antibiotics to ensure faster growth and larger sizes.
In general, organic means that the food you consume is considered “natural” in its growth and production.
The Benefits Of Consuming Organic Food
So, knowing what “organic” truly means at its most basic definition, it is essential to know if eating organic is actually that much healthier than eating food grown using pesticide and engineering. You may be surprised to learn that the way that your food is grown and produced plays a role in the benefits that they bring to your health when consumed. Typically, organic food is packed with much more natural nutrients and antioxidants that can boost your immune system and overall wellness.
Here are some of the top benefits of eating organic:
No Harmful Pesticides
Non-organic food is often produced and grown using potentially dangerous chemicals. Fungicides, insecticides, and other synthetic substances that boost growing times and size are often hazardous to human consumption.
Organic food is fresher because there are no chemicals or preservatives involved in the production or farming process. This means the organic food you buy today was grown recently – increasing its overall health benefits.
If you want to be a friend of the environment, shop organic! Farmers that grow organic food take part in responsible practices that help the environment rather than damage it. Using no pesticides or chemicals is also healthier for the animals that exist in the ecosystem around organic farms.
No Antibiotics Or Growth Hormones
Much of the livestock and dairy that aren’t organic are produced using engineered antibiotics and growth hormones. Not only can these antibiotics and hormones reduce the nutrition of dairy and meat, but they can also increase the chances of the development of antibiotic-resistant bacteria that poses a threat to all life on the globe.
More Healthy Nutrients
Much of the organic foods available on the market are packed with healthy nutrients that may not survive the production process when chemicals or GMOs are used to boost production.
Organic food contains no GMOs – the genetically modified organisms that help boost plant and animal’s ability to grow faster and bigger.
What Are GMOs?
In the world of organic food, there is no buzzword more controversial than “GMO”. GMOs are often considered to be questionable when it comes to short and long-term health ramifications, while producers continue to promise that growth hormone additives are safe.
Unfortunately, recent news stories have continued to shine a light on the potential dangers of GMOs. For example, many GMOs in major US growers have been modified to resist herbicides such as Roundup, which has been featured in many lawsuits due to the dangers Roundup poses to human health and wellbeing.
Many processed foods were developed and produced as GMO products. If you happen to see ingredients in your latest purchase such as corn syrup or soy lecithin you can bet that it contains GMOs.
What Fruits & Vegetables Should I Buy Organic?
When it comes to buying organic fruits and vegetables, some are more important to focus on the labels than others. The nonprofit Environmental Working Group has analyzed pesticides on U.S. crops and has found the following to be the highest in potentially hazardous chemicals:
- Sweet Bell Peppers
- Nectarines (imported)
- Kale/Collard Greens
- Summer Squash
- Cherry Tomatoes
- Hot Peppers
Buy Organic Fast With The “Clean 15”
Did you know that there are fifteen fruits and vegetables that are grown without the need for pesticides or growth hormones? This makes these “Clean 15” a perfect way to quickly start adding naturally organic food to your diet!
- Sweet Peas
- Sweet Corn
- Sweet Potatoes
3 Top Tips For Buying Organic
Are you ready to start investing in your health with organic and fresh food? Here are our top tips for buying organic!
1. Purchase Organic In The Right Season
If you are trying to stay budget-conscious, make sure you buy organic food in season. Most stores that sell organic food options will have information to help you know when certain organic foods are in season, depending on the location and source.
2. Do Your Research
Not all stores sell the same organic food, and many charge different prices. Don’t be drawn in by flashy advertisements – make sure you shop around and find the store that offers authentic organic food and has the material to back up their sourcing!
3. Keep It Healthy
Not every product that is labeled “organic” is guaranteed to be healthy for you. The rise in popularity of organic food has led many retailers to try and make a sale by passing off less-than-healthy items as healthy by calling them organic. Eye the labels carefully, and make sure to use your common sense while shopping organic.
Find Your Next Organic Favorite At Fields & Table
Are you looking to start adding organic fruits and vegetables to your daily meal prep? Look no further than Fields & Table, Riverview’s premier farm-to-table grocer.
Fields & Table was founded on a belief that every household deserves to have fresh and healthy produce at their table – including the best organic options. We source locally from Florida farmers when the season is right and partner with national farmers to bring in the best of what’s fresh for our community.
Visit Fields & Table today and follow us online to learn more about how to start adding organic food to your diet, and speak with one of our friendly team members to find your next organic favorite! Ready to learn more? We invite you to join us as we explore better ways to treat ourselves!