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Sunday, September 28, 2014

Should you go organic?

Are organic foods healthier?  Should you spend the extra money and purchase organic foods?   People you know may buy no organic, buy some organic or all organic which can be quite pricey.    So what are organic foods and what are the advantages of going organic?
Organic – The main advantage of organic is that these foods don’t have the pesticides, herbicides, hormones or drugs that can be found in non-organically grown food. 
          Plants – may use natural pesticides like soaps, plant oils or bugs but not chemical pesticides.   Only natural fertilizers used like manure or compost.
           Animals – are not fed hormones or given antibiotics, and the animals are fed only organic feed
                No GMO’s – a concern of many people
Government – in the US to use the label “organic” the farm is actually certified by a government Inspector.  Then the farmer can use the USDA Organic Seal   on their product.  But a farmer can be organic and choose not to use this label. 
How do you know if a food is organic?
  • 100% organic  – if a food is 100% organic, then it can say 100% Organic
  •  95-100% organic – then label says organic
  • 70% organic – Can’t use the USDA organic seal, but label can say:  Made with organic ingredients. 
  •  < 70% organic – then no claims about organic can be made 
Nutritional benefits:
More antioxidants, Less Pesticides:  A study in the British Journal of Nutrition found that organic foods had more antioxidants and less pesticides than non-organic foods.
Milk – we usually buy organic milk.  Not that the milk has greater nutritional value but for what it doesn’t have.  Organic milk is free of the antibiotics farmers give cows, free of added hormones and free of pesticides. 
So if you want to buy organic foods, look for the USDA Organic Seal.   If going organic is too expensive, then buy some organic foods like organic milk. Or, grow your own.  Herbs and spices are easy to grow in a pot on your deck or patio.  See my "organic" herb garden below.

Parsley, chives and rosemary

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