What Does Organic Really Mean?
Ever wonder what organic really means? Is it the same as “natural?” Even though the words natural and organic are often used interchangeably, they’re not one and the same. Food manufacturers must comply with strict rules and pay hefty fees to obtain organic certification. They are not allowed to use chemical fertilizers, additives, preservatives, or artificial dyes in their products. Natural foods, on the other hand, contain just about anything, from GMOs to artificial sweeteners.
Is Organic Food Better for Health?
Organic produce is free of genetically modified ingredients (GMOs) and harmful chemicals. It also boasts a higher antioxidant and nutritional value compared to conventionally grown foods. For instance, GMOs have been linked to organ damage, premature aging, immune system disorders, fertility problems, and inflammation. These compounds have been introduced on the market in 1996. Since then, the rates of chronic diseases have increased from seven percent to 13 percent in the U.S. alone.
Additionally, organic products contain no growth hormones or antibiotics. The overuse of antibiotics in food has led to the development of the so-called superbugs, which are resistant to traditional drugs. These include E. coli, MRSA, Mycobacterium tuberculosis, and streptococcus pneumoniae. Surprisingly, more than 80 percent of the antibiotics sold in America are used in poultry and meat production. The only way to avoid them is to go organic.
What Is Organic, Exactly?
Food labels can be confusing. Most customers have no idea what organic really means. In order to be certified organic, a product must have at least 95 percent organic ingredients. It can not contain synthetic dyes, chemical fertilizers, pesticides, or GMOS. The remaining five percent of ingredients may only contain additives on an approved list.
Studies are conflicting in what concerns the nutritional value of organic foods. Some experts say there’s no difference between the organic and conventionally-grown produce from a nutritional perspective. Even so, organic foods are better for your health simply because they contain no chemicals or hormones. Eating organic produce helps reduce toxic load in your body and lowers your risk of cancer, heart disease, metabolic disorders, and hormonal imbalances. This should be reason enough to embrace this trend and avoid conventional foods.
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