What Makes Organic Food Organic?

What Makes Organic Food Organic?

Organic foods are fast becoming the first choice of those that want to eat a more healthy diet, make a conscious choice about where their food comes from and be environmentally responsible. The labels ‘organic’ or ‘natural’ are used on the packaging of a myriad of products, but what makes organic food organic? Understanding what the ‘organic’ label really means can help you make the right choices and know exactly how your food is produced, and support a sustainable environment.

How Are Organic Foods Grown and Produced?

Organic produce needs to be grown without the use of chemical fertilizers and pesticides. Natural compost and manure is acceptable, but herbicides and pesticides are definitely out. Farms are checked regularly to see that these stringent rules are adhered to and the qualities of the crops are acceptable.

Meat that is produced organically is raised without the use of synthetic hormones and antibiotics, fed on organic feeds and that the life stock has access to the outdoors. These farms are also regulated to make sure that the standards are kept and are certified.

Organic meats are processed in the most natural way possible. This means that they aren’t packed with preservatives, and are not irradiated to kill bacteria.

How is Organic Food Packaged?

There is no regulation on the packaging of organic food but to reduce your carbon footprint on the planet buy organic food that is has the least amount of packaging and the packaging is natural or biodegradable. The lack of preservatives means that organic food needs to be packaged and shipped quickly, so always consider locally produced food when buying your groceries.

Organic Food – Or Mostly Organic?

To carry the organic label most foods need to have an organic content of least 95%. Certain products can be labelled ‘Made with Organic Ingredients’ if there is more than 70% of the ingredients are certified organic, such as beer can be certified made with organic ingredients if it does not use organic hops.

The only way to ensure your food is 100% organic is to grow it yourself, then you know exactly where it comes from and how it was grown.

Organic food has many benefits in a healthy diet, but the benefits to the environment are just as impressive. Simply by using fewer pesticides, organic farms cause far less pollution to lakes and rivers, enhance soil quality, and are safer for farm workers as well as wild animals and plants.

Organic farms may also be more energy-efficient than “factory farms,” since their practices require fewer manufactured fertilizers, fungicides, insecticides and other chemical and petroleum-based compounds.

By eating organic food you can improve the health of your diet but to make sure that you live an environmentally friendly way make sure you are aware of the sources that your food, and that it comes from a sustainable farm industry. Going organic can mean that being green is good for the earth, but also very tasty for your family.

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