“Organic” is quickly earning it’s place as a buzz word in today’s health food culture. What does organic really mean?
“organic” does mean:
- grown without the use of pesticides (chemicals sprayed on food to keep bugs away)
- grown without genetic modification (GMO’s)
- farmed in a more environmentally sustainable manner
“organic” does NOT mean:
- lower calorie
- higher nutrient content
- automatic healthy food choice (junk food can still be made from high quality ingredients)
Organic food may not appear as ‘perfect’ as non-organic food. This is because it has not been genetically engineered to be perfect, coated in chemicals to keep bugs away, and polished with a wax to make it shiny.
That being said, big-name companies are noticing that people want more health conscious food. Snack food companies have started marketing junk food options that are made from organic sources. Just because something says organic does not mean you can disregard all other nutrition information.
Organic produce tends to be more expensive than regular fruits and vegetables because more care must go into growing/harvesting organic foods. To keep your budget in check, try limiting your investment in organic foods to produce that has a thin outer skin that you eat- these tend to be most effected by pesticides.
If you opt to buy non-organic produce, take the time to wash it prior to eating. Studies have shown that in foods grown with pesticides, rubbing the food under cool water for a few seconds effectively removes much of the pesticide/waxy build up.
Organic food certainly has it’s health benefits, but don’t assume if you cannot afford organic options that all is lost. Every little choice you make towards a more healthy lifestyle can be beneficial.