Organic food is either grown or processed without chemical fertilizers, chemical food additives, synthetic pesticides, industrial solvents and irradiations. These types of foods are preferred by most people because they are less toxic. However, there are numerous facts people don’t know about organic foods and this article will help you understand these facts:
a) This movement started in the 1940s as a result of Green Revolution which was aimed at conserving the environment. Green revolution resulted to increased food production because high yielding varieties were introduced, pesticides were used to control pests and there were better management techniques.
b) The cost of buying organic foods is higher than that of conventional foods. In fact, you can buy organic food at 50% higher when compared with conventional foods. Even though organic has a higher price, American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) said that there is no evidence that eating an organic diet can lower the risk of diseases or improve your health!
c) As far as potential allergic reactions, nutritional values and campylobacter infection incidents are concerned, there is no significant difference regardless of the type of food you eat (whether organic or conventional). In addition, there is no significant difference between the two classes of food. The only difference is how the food is processed and grown in the farms.
d) Organic farming does not necessarily use chemical products thus making this type of farming environmental friendly. However, transporting organic food for long distances to their destinations results to environmental pollution as greenhouse gases are released by burning fuels. Therefore, consumers are advised to rely on locally produced food to reduce environmental pollution. Also, this will boost local economy by encouraging local farmers to invest in organic farming.
e) Research shows that conventionally processed milk and organic milk have equal levels of contaminants that include growth hormones. Therefore, AAP recommends that children should only drink pasteurized milk to reduce bacterial infection risks.
f) Labeling organic foods is done depending on the percentage of the ingredients in a product. The labeling standards used are:
- When a product is labeled ‘100% organic’, it should only contain organically produced ingredients
- Products labeled ‘organic’ should contain at least 95% organically produced ingredients
- ‘Made with organic ingredients’ is a label used on processed products which have at least 70% organic ingredients. Developed countries such as Canada, Japan, US, European Union among others require organic food producers to be certified in relation to the standards set by the government. This is vital to control production and marketing of organic food.
g) For eggs to be labeled organic, they must be laid by organically reared chickens. An organically reared bird feeds on 80% organic food for about six weeks before laying the eggs. There is a clear difference between free-range chickens and organic chicken. A free-range chicken can roam and eat whatever they find whereas an organic chicken should only feed on organic food provided.
There are a lot of things people don’t know about nutrition and diet in general. A lot of reading, researching and attending nutritional classes can help a lot of people understand more about diet in general.