Organic Food: Fad or Functional?

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In recent years, organic food has been touted as many things: healthy, cancer-preventing, and overall more sustainable for the environment. In many ways, it has gotten press in the same vein as the gluten-free movement, in that some products that were already organic (like table salt) have been marketed at marked-up prices as “organic salt” because they technically follow the same practices required to get anything certified as organic.

Opinions have shifted on organic food as time has gone on. Initially, organic foods were just seemingly more expensive counterparts to factory-farmed foods. Factors such as the desire to know where your food comes from, and the exposure of the living conditions of animals in factory farms has led to a shift in people’s interest in organic foods.

To truly figure out if organic foods are all just marketing mumbo jumbo or something with real substance, a few aspects of organic foods need to be considered:

Is Organic Food Really Healthier?

Organic produce is defined in the USA as food that is produced without the conventional use of pesticides. Produce grown using organic methods doesn’t make use of any bioengineering, radiation, or synthetic ingredients at any point in their production. Animals whose meat is considered organic have been reared without any hormones or antibiotics. This begs the question: what’s the real health difference, if any, in foods produced in such manner?

The real issue here is whether or not the consumer has trust in the safety of pesticides. There are hundreds of different pesticides approved for use in farming. Some are thought to contribute to the development of serious respiratory or cardiac issues, especially in children. The line where bug poison ends and human poison begins isn’t very clear-cut and researched for every single pesticide in use. Seeing as how most food producers don’t disclose which pesticides were used in production, or even if they are close to another farm that does use more harmful pesticides, some people would rather play it safe than risk introducing potential toxins to their body.

The same concept applies to the use of antibiotics and hormones in livestock: the worry of unforeseen consequences is just too great to bear for some.

The use of pesticides and hormones has reached an unprecedented level. Many are unsure as to whether or not this will translate into an increased cancer risk, because of all of these chemicals the body is not used to having to deal with being applied to foods. Some foods like apples are thought to be relatively safe if washed properly before consumption, but in the case of animal hormones, any damaging effects can’t simply be washed away. They were built in the animal’s life cycle.

The Future of Organic Foods

The preceding reasoning is one of the primary drivers behind the increased demand for organic foods. Because those who create food aren’t required to disclose the exact amount or type of artificial chemicals used on their packaging, some find it the easiest to play it safe and to go organic, which is a designation that actually carries some legal weight.

Retailers like BuyOrganicsOnline – Australian based Online organic store have done everything in their power to ensure the proliferation of organic foods.

Whether or not organic food is right for you and your family is up to you to decide, I suggest you do your homework before coming to any conclusions.

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