September 28, 2011
With the rise of the organic food movement over the last decade, the decision-making process at the grocery store has become more complicated than ever. In the produce section, we face a choice between fruits and vegetables grown in a conventional manner and those that have been labeled “USDA Organic.” They usually look roughly the same, but the price tag on organic produce is usually a little higher. There are some major differences between organic and non-organic produce, but the distinctions are not so clear-cut as the advocates on each side would like us to think.
Organic vs. conventional farming
We tend to call non-organic farming practices “conventional,” and although they have been around for a long time now, they’re not actually traditional. Most conventional produce is grown using factory-farming techniques that, according to environmentalists, are bad for the soil, air, water, and surrounding plants and animals. For example, the use of chemical fertilizers, spray insecticides, herbicides, and animal antibiotics has been going on for less than a century, but these practices now dominate agriculture in the U.S. and elsewhere in the developed world.
Organic farming, rather than being a new development, is actually a back-to-the-basics approach that emphasizes traditional farming methods that do not rely on chemicals or genetic modification. Organically grown plants are given only a very limited amount of pesticides, and livestock raised organically is not given artificial hormones or antibiotics.
It would be nice if these environmentally friendly farming practices resulted in more nutritious produce, but research has indicated that this just is not the case. One 2010 study commissioned by the British Food Standards Agency found that “there is currently no evidence to support the selection of organic over conventionally produced foods on the basis of nutritional superiority,” and other studies have come to similar conclusions.
However, nutrition aside, organic food advocates often note that foods raised organically have a better flavor and are more ripe than their counterparts. While this may not be true in all cases, it is true that non-organic foods are often chemically enhanced to appear more ripe than they are (mainly to shorten the growing cycle and enhance profits). Plus, many people believe that pesticides can permeate certain fruits and vegetables and give them a chemical taste.
Identifying organic foods
In the U.S., foods must meet fairly rigid criteria in order to be certified organic by the USDA. There are three levels of certification: products made of at least 70% organic ingredients can be labeled as having organic ingredients; products with at least 95% organic ingredients may be labeled as “USDA Organic;” and the highest level is 100% organic for products with no non-organic ingredients.
However, if you want to make an effort to buy organic foods, it is important to understand that there is no law against non-organic food labels containing terms such as “all-natural” or “free range.” Products cannot contain false advertising, but there are no technical definitions for these terms, so if it is not certified organic, you can’t know how natural a product actually is.
Marc Courtiol is an accomplished health researcher in the field of digestive wellness. A distinguished graduate from Cornell, Marc is a contributing author of www.Natural-Health-Journals.com, one of the web’s most comprehensive resources to naturally treat gas in babies which avoids the side effects acid suppression drugs may have.
Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/?expert=Marc_Courtiol
September 13, 2011
Knowing what you are eating today seems to be as important as the choices that revolve around exercise and better sleep regimes it is for this reason why organic food labels give you the straight goods. Knowing what it is that you are going to eat allows you to understand what your body is going to receive and how much of it.
This can help you calculate for health related issues such as diabetes and it can help you better control a diet that you may be on. One of the biggest advantages to the label being easy to understand is that there will be information on possible allergy alerts.
Organic food labels do not really look any different than that of any other label it is just that they will be free of any form of chemical or pesticide. This means that you will not be ingesting anything that is not naturally found on the planet or created by mother earth herself.
When you are looking at organic food labels, you are going to find nothing more than quality ingredients contained. This is simply because there is nothing more than the quality ingredients of the product to report. Organic produce is very much a different food source than that of regular grocery store bought foods. The process to develop the foods is completely different and the end result is a testament to that. They simply taste better and are of better quality than the regular foods available today. This is not to say that the regular food is bad for you, it is simply meant to mention the detail and attention that organic foods receive before they arrive in your hands.
When you look on organic food labels, you will find nothing that indicates that the food has been processed in a manner otherwise dictated by the food and drug administration’s organic food guidelines.
One of the most interesting things about organic food labels is that they can be simply one word or twenty. Depending on the product itself, will determine the size and information that you will find on the label. If it is produce, you will find nothing at all. This will however be accompanied by a statement that this fruit or vegetable is 100% fruit or vegetable and absolutely nothing more.
When it comes to an item such as an organic bag of popcorn, you could find that this label is nothing more than one word. This is the beauty of the organic food scene. You do not have to worry about junk placed in your foods and the labels shows it.
The food labels of today are an excellent way to see just how pure and high qualities the foods you plan it ingest really are. You will find that the labels will be detailed for those that need information for medical purposes and you will appreciate the fact that the label will state that there is only what is needed by nature for a quality product.