“What is organic food?” is one of the most common questions we hear nowadays. As part of an ever-growing, global concern related to the emergence of biotechnology in the agricultural sector, the question addresses the process products undergo from farm to table. During the past decades has become more and more difficult for farmers to rely on hand weeding, crop rotation, and biological pest control. Also, people have become more and more aware of what they consume on a daily basis. As there are benefits GMOs bring to both producers and consumers, another question to address is “what are the organic foods that are really worth it as compared to their non-organic versions?” Stay with us to find out what your best options are when it comes to ecological-friendly foods and why.
Organic foods vs. Genetically Modified Products
Before listing the best certified organic agricultural products, you should look for in stores, let’s take a look at the meaning of this widely-used term. In the food industry, the “organic” label is used for products that meet certain standards such as being grown on chemical-free soils. These standards are set by USDA – the United States Department of Agriculture.
If there is an organic food definition to stick to, the Department of Agriculture and Rural Affairs states that:
“Organic food is the product of a farming system which avoids the use of man-made fertilizers, pesticides; growth regulators and livestock feed additives. Irradiation and the use of genetically modified organisms (GMOs) or products produced from or by GMOs are generally prohibited by organic legislation.” (Source)
GM foods are, on the other hand, produced from organisms that have had their DNA altered using genetic engineering methods. How safe for they for human consumption? At a first glance, the bulk of the science behind the benefits of GM products seems to outweigh their health and environmental risks. As there is so much research still going on regarding the impact of GMOs on our diet, it is safer and more desirable to stick to naturally grown produce.
Organic Foods to Look for in Stores
Not all organic foods are superior to their counterparts. There are GM substances and products created to improve the nutritional profile of food, such as the case of golden rice. However, there are certain organically grown products you should strive to procure.
1. Organic vegetables and fruits
Nothing compares to the taste of naturally grown veggies and fruit. Be it tomatoes, grapes, celery, or bell peppers, they should be bought organic because of the large chemical contents in their non-organic variants.
As a tip, always aim for in-season products. They can be bought in bulk for a low price, and you also have the guarantee of freshness.
2. Organic meat
The large variety of meat you find in supermarkets is likely to contain growth hormones and arsenic-based substances. To avoid consuming these harmful, artificial products, it is best to shop from local farmers or specialized stores.
3. Organic milk and dairy products
Vitamins, antioxidants, amino acids, omega-3 fatty acids – all these are found in organic milk. As compared to regular milk, the organic version contains 62% more omega-3 fats (good for the heart) and 25% less omega-6 fats.
Best Organic Baby Food
Without a doubt, the best organic baby food you can provide to your little ones is the one you make at home. As time is a luxury these days, there are a few brands that are safe to choose when in comes to natural and nourishing meals. Some companies offer organic baby meals that include meat, fruit pouches or sweet organic treats. Regardless the brand, you should check if the products are certified according to the USDA standards. Among the organically certified suppliers, we can mention Ellas’s Kitchen organic baby food, Whole Foods organic baby food products, and Happy Baby organic baby food.
Organic Foods for Your Pets: Top Options
You should also care about the ingredients that go in your pet’s food. Always check the label and make sure the products fit the AAFCO nutrient profile.
Organic Dog Food: Popular Brands
Among popular dog food brands that meet the AAFCO (the Association of American Feed Control Officials) standards, you can go for Karma Organic Dog Food, Evanger, or Planet Organics. Their content is high in vegetables and fruit and can provide your dog with all the nutrients needed for a healthy diet.
What to look for in Organic Cat Food Products
If you are looking for a healthy option to regular cat food, look for grain-free products that are low in carbohydrates (no rice or barley). Also, make sure your cat gets protein-rich treats and taurine supplements.
Shopping for Organically Grown Food
As there are more advantages than disadvantages when it comes to shopping for naturally grown produce, you should be aware of the diverse options you have to choose from. While it is preferable to buy local products, it is not always convenient both money and time-wise.
If you do not have a farmers market near you, there are organic grocery stores that are likely to offer fresh produce from farms in the area. Shopping for organic foods online is another option. There are organic food delivery services that can provide you with a periodic supply of fresh products. If you are not in the mood for cooking, there are also restaurants that serve organic foods.