To get started on eating organic you need to first know what the word means. A common misconception that many consumers have is that Natural is equivalent to organic. This is wrong. For a food item or product to be considered organic, specific requirements have to first be met and maintained. Organic refers to the way the agricultural products are grown and processed. It is also regulated by government accredited agents that ensure that farmers and processors follow a strict set of federal standards. The food production of organic products must maintain and replenishes soil fertility without the use of pesticides and it is minimally processed without the use of artificial ingredients.
This is not the case for “natural” food. Natural foods are not regulated and have no set of standards that they must follow. The “natural label” seen on many food products is simply a marketing tool to appeal to health conscious and environmentally aware consumers. When shopping for organic food ALWAYS look for the USDA (United States Department of Agricultural) green and white “certified organic” seal or sticker on any packaged food. This is just reassurance that the food item was produced without using any pesticides and is 95-100 percent organic.This sticker ALWAYS starts with number 9 and is a 5 digit code, followed by the price code. If the sticker label starts with any number that is not 9 the product is NOT organic.
Benefits of Eating Organic
The benefits of eating organic are,
1.) The food is fresher and lasts longer.
2.) The food contains fewer pesticides.
3.) Organic raised animals are NOT given antibiotics or growth hormones.
4.) Better for the environment .
Though there are many benefits to eating organic it can also be very pricey, so Shop SMART. You don’t need to purchase everything organic to maintain a healthy diet. Here are a few tips to save money and still maintain a healthy diet:
1.) Try to purchase most of your organic food from farmers markets. Purchasing your food from farmers market you’ll not only be supporting local farmers but you will also be purchasing it at a reduced price. To find a Fromartz market in your area click HERE.
2.) Purchase the “Clean 15” which is just a list of the 15 types of produce that is lowest in pesticides. Click HERE for more information on food that contains the lowest/highest amount of pesticides.
3.) You can also shop at your local Whole Foods Market.
Don’t forget to check out your favorite PBS KIDS show!