The National Organic Program, which is the governing body of organic products, is rigorous about what foods constitute as organic. Organic foods can not be processed and can not contain or come in contact with any additives which have been strongly debated over in recent years. Certain organic foods such as fruits and vegetables are considered to be healthier because they contain nutrients that are generally lost during most food manufacturing processes. Many times, food corporation marketing strategies tend to promote products as being “natural” and “organic” but they are sometimes misleading to the consumers. Natural foods, another common food nomenclature, are also defined by the way the food is produced. These products may not contain additives, including color, man-made substances, or any additional preservatives. Natural foods are not the same as organic foods despite their similarities.
Increased Popularity in Organic Foods
Organic fruits and vegetables are becoming more popular around the world. As people become more health conscious, they are aware of what is going on in the environment and the potential unknown risks involved with consuming processed foods over time. Research shows that in the last 60 years, there are more toxins found in our environment than ever before. These toxins are often ingested and absorbed into the bloodstream and attach themselves to human skin and tissue. For example, products, such as milk, could ultimately be harmful to the human body if the cows producing the milk are injected with growth hormones, used to increase milk production. Fruits and vegetables that have been sprayed for pest management and fertilization may contain, and sometimes absorb, the dangerous chemicals used in the sprays which could possibly lead to potential health risks.
Healthier Eating and Healthier Living
Eating certified organic foods can reduce the amount of toxins ingested into the body and allow people to receive more nutrients from the fruit and vegetables compared to their processed counterparts. Organic produce also contains more vitamins, minerals, and enzymes the human body needs to stay healthy. It is a common misconception that organic foods cost more than non-organic foods; however, the reality is that purchasing non-organic foods from farmers will cost consumers triple the amount due to the taxation from the grocery stores, and the money collected to maintain and repair the environment that is being harmed by the pollution from non-organic farming practices. Organic farming uses preventative measures to avoid the need to use pesticides and chemicals and helps create a more sustainable environment.
Long-Term Benefits of Organic Produce
While the effects of chemical pollution may not be readily evident to human health, the chemicals can build up inside the body and cause problems down the line. There could be long-term physiological and neurological damage to the body. It is also suspected that the antibiotics and growth hormones injected into animals can lead to human obesity, diabetes, heart disease, and autism.
As organic produce becomes more common, it is easier to find such produce in mainstream grocery stores. To be ensured that produce is certifiably organic, visiting farmer’s markets and health food stores may provide the most reliable, organic produce and foods.