Whether you frequently shop at grocery stores, farmer's markets, or big-box retailers, you likely have a wide range of organic product options in addition to conventional ones. This fits with the general trend toward considering how our actions will affect the environment to live more sustainably.
Food processing significantly impacts land and water, so sustainable food is an important part of the equation. Those concerned about their carbon footprint may even try to set themselves a higher standard by purchasing sustainable fish and seafood or growing their food.
What is organic food?
Food that has not been grown using synthetic or chemical fertilisers or pesticides is considered organic. The organic label can be found on various items, including produce (where you'll likely see it the most), grains, beans, packaged snacks, and animal products.
Agricultural products grown and processed organically are referred to as such. While rules differ from nation to nation, organic crops must be grown without synthetic fertilisers, pesticides, herbicides, or fertilisers and without using bioengineered genes (GMOs).
Organic feed and forage must be used to raise livestock raised for meat, eggs, and dairy products in environments that support their natural behaviors (such as the ability to graze on pasture). They are prohibited from receiving animal byproducts, growth hormones, or antibiotics.
Is Organic Food Healthier?
In developed countries, eating a lot of fresh produce "far outweighs the potential risks from eating very low residues of pesticides in crops," according to research from the NCBI published in 2009. You should still eat fruits and vegetables if you didn't afford to buy organic produce because conventional food has the same nutrient profiles as its organic counterparts.
Nevertheless, consuming conventional produce may marginally increase your risk of contracting certain diseases. According to a 2013 NCBI study, there is a direct link between pesticide exposure and several illnesses, such as diabetes, some cancers, some neurodegenerative disorders, congenital disabilities, and reproductive problems.
Top 8 Health Benefits of Eating Organic Food
As a result of realizing the need for healthy self-improvement, eating organic foods is now becoming more and more popular. However, since people have different opinions about the benefits of organic foods generally, it has always been difficult to find accurate information about them. Let's learn the most accurate information possible about the top 8 health advantages of consuming organic food.
Ingestion of high-nutritional-value foods
Organic food items like meat, milk, fish, and poultry have much higher nutritional content than conventional agricultural food items because they don't contain any genetically modified ingredients. They receive the best natural conditions for growth and are given enough time to mature, both of which contribute to their high nutritional value. The vitamin and mineral content of organic food products is consistently high because healthy soil provides the best means for crops to access soil nutrients.
Improved overall health
Because chemical pesticides and fertilisers are not used in the production or processing of organic food, it does not contain any toxic chemicals and may not negatively impact human health. In order to produce safer, healthier, and odorizer-finished food products, natural methods are often used. Moreover, examples include using green manure to fertilize the soil and crop rotation to control pests and diseases. Furthermore, consuming healthy food simply results in healthy individuals and better nutrition for a better quality of life for both humans and animals.
Enhanced heart health
Conjugated linoleic acid, or CLA, is more prevalent in animal products when animals are allowed to graze exclusively on natural grass. Natural grass efficiently absorbs the sun's energy through photosynthesis, and the herbivores that eat it transform it into the most desirable organic CLA. CLA is a heart-healthy fatty acid that has the potential to strengthen cardiovascular protection; it is more prevalent in meat and dairy products from pasture-raised, free-range animals.
Organic foods taste good in addition to being nutritious because the crops are given more time to grow and mature. Organic food products have better flavors, which is attributable to the use of natural and environmentally friendly agricultural production methods. The taste of organically grown fruits and vegetables is reportedly superior to that of conventionally grown foods.
The goal of traditional or industrial farming practices is to increase output and production by any means necessary. For instance, the idea of increasing cereal production, meat production, and fruit size through genetic engineering and the use of growth hormones appears to address some of the issues with global food insecurity. Long-term consequences include increased sensitivity to allergens and a significant decline in immune system function, though the effects are not yet apparent. Since organic foods are not altered in any way, eating them significantly lowers the risks of immune system deterioration. Additionally, organic foods have higher quality and vitamin and mineral contents that support a stronger immune system.
Organic products are free of toxins
No harmful chemicals are used in organic farming to ward off pests and illnesses. The consumer is not harmed by any of the practices because they are all-natural. Organic farming reduces factors like biomagnification because it forbids the use of synthetic growth hormones, fertilisers, pesticides, and fertilisers on its farms. As a result, organic foods are free from chemical contaminants that are bad for your health.
You know you're eating fresh food
The production, processing, and preparation of organic food products are governed by extremely strict standards. Chemical preservatives will never be present in organic foods. As a result, because organic food doesn't use preservatives to extend its shelf life, it is frequently fresher and more flavorful. Most organic food items can be found or purchased locally, close to the place where they are made.
Reduced risk of food-borne illness
Food-borne illness outbreaks have been reported in several cases. The list's top items include fast food items like eggs, spinach, peanut butter, melons, and spinach because they are produced primarily for agribusiness profits. Even the animals are sick because a large portion of them are medicated, immunised, and fed animal byproducts to increase productivity and satisfy the ever-increasing demands of agribusiness.
This practice is referred to as concentrated animal feeding operations (CAFOs), and it results in fatal drug-resistant infections that end users contract when they consume the food products. Choosing organic food is the best way to stop outbreaks of food-borne illnesses.
How can one check that they are really buying an organic product?
Nobody wants to consume food that pesticides and dangerous chemicals have tainted. People are willing to pay more for produce that is grown safely and is healthy. Expanding the packaged organic food market may be a proxy for consumers preference for organic food.
There is no question that consumers are shifting their preferences to organic food. How to determine whether a product labeled "Organic" in retail stores is Organic, however, is a question that has yet to be addressed.
In India, "Organic" is not a word that is protected. It and its variations, such as Organica and Organics, are open to use by everyone. All of these do not imply that the item is organic. If you're a savvy shopper, don't immediately purchase anything with the word "Organic" or a derivative on the label. Instead, make an effort to find a genuine Organic Certificate.
Certificate of Organic Origin
In India, there are primarily two types of organic certificates. A certificate issued by a third party that the National Program has approved for Organic Production (NPOP), an organization under the Ministry of Commerce & Industry. The Ministry of Agriculture's National Center of Organic Farming implemented the Participatory Guarantee Scheme (PGS), a second self-certification program, as the third (NCOF).
Small and marginalized farmers cannot afford the high costs associated with NPOP accreditation. PGS ' rise was a result of this. A group of farmers joins forces to audit each other's fields as part of the PGS self-certification program, attesting to the observance of organic principles. In 2015, the government recognized the PGS program as a legitimate standard for producing organic produce and placed it under the control of the Ministry of Agriculture.
The certification of organic food is given out by recognized third parties worldwide. Similarly, the Indian government launched the NPOP program in 2011 to promote organic farming through third-party certification.
India Organic Logo is displayed on food that has been certified as organic under the NPOP accreditation system. If you want to purchase certified organic produce of the highest quality at prices comparable to those in India, look for it.
Choosing organic food is easy with these 3 tips
Manufacturers of fruits and vegetables are under pressure to produce more as the organic food market expands, and some are making compromises. Concepts of organic farming are challenging to understand when there are large volumes. Eating well is much simpler when you eat food that has been produced organically. You can choose high-quality organic food by following this 3 consumer-friendly advice:
Size, Form, and Appearance: There is never a single organic food that looks exactly like another; they are all unique in their way. They are not modified to meet any form requirements, are not disturbed, and do not exceed the size of conventional food items. Therefore, avoid choosing large fruits and vegetables when shopping for organic produce. Organic foods, whether grains, vegetables, or fruits, will never have a uniform colour, shape, or structure. Watch out for perfectly presented produce; they might not be as organic as they appear.
Shorter shelf life and no preservatives: Preservatives shouldn't be used on organically grown food, ideally. Since organic food is produced naturally, contains no preservatives, and is delivered to our homes, it has a shorter shelf life than food treated with synthetic pesticides and weedicides. These foods, therefore, don't last very long.
The duller, the better: These foods aren't cut, polished, sprayed, or altered to make them appear appealing. The old saying that foods that show up rich in colour are healthier is a myth because these are irregularly shaped and have a dull and light natural colour. Additionally, the more organic and naturally grown something is, the less vulnerable it is to preservatives.
Organic food is less costly because its saves cost to doctor
It has been discovered that conventionally grown produce contains more pesticide residue than organic produce. Organic food does, without a doubt, cost more than conventional or non-organic goods, but organic produce's advantages are probably greater. Organic farming withholds synthetic (man-made) pesticides, fungicides, herbicides, and fertilizers, which forms the basis of the advantages for both the environment and us as humans. They instead depend on organic farming-approved natural pesticides.
Organic foods are more expensive, but they also keep you healthier and help you save money on medical expenses by lowering your exposure to hormones, artificial chemicals, and bacteria resistant to antibiotics. According to a few studies, organic produce has higher levels of vitamin C, specific minerals, and antioxidants that help the body fight cancer, cardiovascular disease, and aging. It is obvious and true that organic food is more expensive and doesn't last as long as conventional food.
However, the small amount of money you save by buying non-organic produce today will result in you having to pay expensive medical costs down the road. In addition to being beneficial to our health, organic farming is also kind to the environment and animals. There are no dangerous and life-threatening chemicals or pesticides pumped into the produce. Instead, it uses naturally derived pesticides to help the product grow.
Fresh farming is environmentally friendly because it doesn't negatively affect the lives of the people or animals who live near the organic farm. It conserves water, increases soil fertility, and reduces soil erosion.
Organic food has not been changed or modified genetically. In conventional or non-organic farming, the DNA of fruits, vegetables, or animals is genetically modified in unnatural ways that result in a vicious cycle of bad and unhealthy products, which later leads to the worsening of everyone consuming that produce.
It will cost more money to buy organic food than non-organic, but it is healthier and free of disease. After all, it's better to invest a large sum than to spend thousands of rupees later to treat the diseases caused by non-organic food.
It is safe to say that organic produce is the best choice.