Organic Food: Is It Worth the Cost?
For the last couple of years, consuming more natural organic foods has been front and center of many health articles and magazines. According to studies and facts provided by the USDA or the United States Department of Agriculture, consuming foods that are produced from methods that are natural and free from artificial fertilizers and pesticides will surely provide more health benefits to a person compared to conventional produce. Nonetheless, switching to an organic diet often has a bad rap on most people.
On the surface, switching to an organic diet can be pretty daunting and expensive compared to its conventional counterparts. And to justify that, you need not look far. Just go to your nearest supermarket and you will see the price tag of organic produce to be extremely higher than their non-organic counterparts.
With the economy going down and the prices of goods getting high, it is only understandable that many people will skip the organic food options. But while it is true that some organic foods may be a bit more expensive, there is a good reason why they are well worth the extra dollars.
But first, let us examine how organic food works?
Organic food has high demand, but the supply is limited. This is due to a number of reasons, one of which is that the production costs to produce organic foods are typically higher because it requires greater input when it comes to labor. On top of that, organic foods like fruits and vegetables need to be grown and separated for processing as well as transportation. There are standards and guidelines set by the USDA (U.S Department of Agriculture) for this.
There are also higher national standards that need to be strictly followed by organic product manufacturers, especially for animal welfare. Farmers need to comply and get required certifications from USDA for their animals as well as their handling. Another thing that needs to be checked is soil conditions, the use of organic pesticides, and whatnots on grown crops. The product needs to be free from chemicals. In order for farmers to get organic certification from USDA, there is usually a process that could take three or more years to prove that the ground or soil where they produce their crops is not chemically-treated. No chemicals should touch the crops and animals.
With all these reasons, prices tend to be relatively higher for certified grown organic products. You will have to consider the process behind everything – from production costs to marketing organic food.
What makes a food organic?
Since we have established that farmers need to follow certain national standards when it comes to producing organic products, a lot of you may wonder, what exactly makes food organic?
For starters, organic crops are grown on soil without the use of artificial and petroleum-based fertilizers, chemical pesticides, and other synthetic chemical materials. Farmers will have to operate using only a list of accepted products from the Agriculture sector of their respective countries.
With regards to meat, poultry, and dairy products, all the animals should be fed organic feeds for the products to be considered organic – free from chemicals. Conventional meat, poultry, and daily products do not follow these national guidelines. On top of that, these animals should be given natural access to the outdoors. It will not be considered organic if the animals are given antibiotics or growth hormones. The use of genetic engineering and cloning will also disqualify an animal byproduct to be organic.
How about those organic products with ‘95% organic ingredients’?
You may encounter products in the grocery store that says ‘95% natural organic ingredients’. What does it mean? Are they still organic food?
Depending on the rules of a certain country, foods or products can still be considered organic if its ingredients are at least 70% organic. This is why you often see organic products that have ‘made with organic ingredients’ on the label. On the other hand, if the organic ingredient of a certain product is below 70 percent, the product can’t have an organic label, but the term ‘organic’ can still be included on specific ingredients.
If you want to embrace an organic lifestyle, you should be smart about what you put into your body. This is why it is highly recommended that you consume food that is 100% organic. Part of adopting an organic lifestyle is being more conscious of what you buy. This means you need to read and look at the label to know exactly if the food you are about to consume is truly organic food.
Is organic food healthier?
There is so much debate with regard to the actual health benefits that you can get from organic food compared to conventionally grown food. A lot of people believe that organic food is healthier because there are lower levels of pesticides and it has higher levels of nutrients and antioxidants.
Based on a lot of studies and research, organic food is considered healthier because adopting an organic diet has all the elements of a healthy lifestyle. You start eating more fruits and vegetables and you are consciously choosing better and high-quality food than before.
In the end, is organic food worth the expensive price tag?
As far as your health is concerned, organic foods are worth its cost. Going for organic food that’s produced in green farms will not only help and make your life and overall health better, but it will also make the lives of other consumers better.
Doing this raises awareness to other consumers – consumers like you – to help their families and communities and even on a national level. The next time you shop, check out farms that grow natural-grown crops or farms with animal products made entirely for organic consumers.
With all the work involved in producing organic food, it is safe to say that you will have your money’s worth if you buy it. In the end, organic living doesn’t even have to expensive. Anyone can embrace an organic lifestyle even on a budget.