Foods are labelled organic based on the farming practices that focus on the conservation of soil and water. Thus, organic food materials are grown without using artificial chemicals, pesticides, and weed killers. In this farming method, pests are killed using natural products, like plant oils, bugs, and bacteria. Manure and home-made compost forms the fertilizers for organic food plants. In case of animal products, the animals are fed on organic food while antibiotics and other growth-increasing hormones and shots are avoided. Artificial chemicals to increase the shelf life of the products are not restricted completely.
The term ‘organic’ is often confused with other labels like ‘hormone-free’, ‘natural’, and ‘free-range’. The label ‘organic’ is given only to those products that are grown as per the standards given by U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA). If the products contain a number of ingredients, some or all the components in the product may be organic. If all the ingredients are grown under organic conditions, it is usually labelled as 100% organic. If only some of the ingredients are organic, which make up to 70% of the product, it may be labelled as ‘made with organic ingredients’.
Organic food is preferred by many for two major reasons:
1) to avoid chemicals in the product
2) because of the love for environment
Organic products are better than others as it contains fewer amounts of pesticide residues in them. Presence of pesticides on fruits and vegetables can cause health issues. This is particularly important in children as they are more prone to be affected by the presence of pesticide residues. But one cannot say that organic food is more nutritious than other products. Further, organic food does not use much of food additives, fortifying agents and processing aids which may be harmful to us. There are a number of vegetables and fruits in which the pesticide levels have been detected to be very high. These include celery, peach, strawberry, apples, blueberry, nectarine, bell pepper, spinach, cherries, kate, potatoes, and grapes. It is better to choose organic varieties in these foods. Organic food is attractive to many as the farming practices help in conserving water and soil.
Organic foods are generally more expensive when compared to non-organic varieties. But it is possible to get organic foods from local farmers who use traditional farming methods without fertilizers and pesticides. These products from the local farms tend to be fresher and hence tastier.
- Foods are labelled organic based on the farming practices that focus on the conservation of soil and water.
- organic food materials are grown without using artificial chemicals, pesticides, and weed killers.