Rather than dying down after a few years, the hype around organic food is still steadily growing. Ten years ago, it would have been hard to find a good selection of organic produce in the shops, but now, not only are the shelves full of organic products, we are being actively encouraged to choose these over the regular varieties. ORO GOLD tries to help you understand whether it makes sense to buy organic.
What Exactly is Organic Food?
Before the growth of industrial-scale farming, organic food would have just been called ‘food’. It is generally assumed that organic food has been grown without the use of any chemicals, but this is not exactly true. Instead, organic produce is grown with a minimal use of chemicals, with farmers still having access to a small selection of pesticides. In comparison, non-organic produce is repeatedly sprayed with many toxic chemicals, which work their way into the plant, ending up in your body.
Does Organic Food Cost More?
You will generally find that organic food costs more, often being 10% – 100% more expensive than the alternatives. The reason for this is because organic foods are much more labor intensive to grow, and can often result in smaller yields. The high price of organic products is usually what steers many people away, which, for some items that do not contain a high level of pesticide residue, is absolutely fine. However, certain products soak up much more of the toxic chemicals, meaning that by prioritizing the organic products that you buy, you will be able to keep your ingestion of these chemicals to a minimum.
Fruits and Vegetables
The most common fruits and vegetables that contain high levels of pesticide residue are celery, apples, carrots and lettuce. Any non-organic products that have been made with these ingredients, such as apple juice or carrot cake, would also contain the same chemicals. To keep your shopping simple, opt for organic varieties when you plan on eating the outside as well as the inside of a fruit or vegetable, and choose non-organic for the rest.
Meat and Dairy
The term ‘organic’ applies to meat and animal products as well as to fruit and vegetables. In this case, non-organic meat production involves injecting antibiotics into the animals, which end up in your body when you eat the animal products. The growth hormone that is commonly given to cows has been linked, on numerous occasions, to the development of certain cancer cells in women. When it comes to meat and dairy, it is usually best to buy organic whenever possible.
Imported Organic Foods
If a product with an organic label has been made in another country, be sure to do some research before trusting in that label. Many countries, such as China, export common organic products, including tea and tinned tomatoes. However, their standards are much lower when it comes to organic rules and regulations. If you are unsure, it is best to stick to a variety that is made as locally as possible.
Organic food has been proven to have many more health benefits than non-organic, so in many cases, it really is worth buying. However, keep in mind that these still do contain some level of chemicals, so be sure to thoroughly wash all fresh produce before cooking or eating.