What is Organic Food?
The term “organic” refers to food that has been grown and farmed without the use of artificial chemicals, hormones, antibiotics, or GMOs (genetically modified organisms). In order to be certified as organic, a food product also must be free of artificial food additives such as artificial sweeteners, preservatives, coloring, flavoring, and MSG.
When it comes to food production, organic farming is far better for the environment. The lack of pesticides and a wider variety of plants enhances biodiversity. Organic farming also results in better soil quality and reduced pollution from fertilizer and pesticide run-off, and conservation of groundwater.
Foods and meats farmed organically may be more nutritious than those non-organically farmed, containing higher amounts of antioxidants, vitamins and minerals. Choosing organic foods could also lower your risk of exposure to chemical toxins.
How To Shop Organic
When shopping for organic foods and food products, look for the USDA (United States Department of Agriculture) organic seal. Also look out for labels such as 100% Organic (made entirely from organic ingredients), Organic (at least 95% of the ingredients are organic), and Made With Organic (at least 70% of the ingredients are organic). If a product contains less than 70% organic ingredients, it cannot be labeled as organic or use the USDA seal. Similar guidelines apply in Europe, Canada, and Australia. Each country or continent has its own seal to label and identify organic food.