As an informed consumer, you want to buy the food that is best for your family. In many cases, this may mean purchasing organic over conventionally grown food. Yet, there are a lot of myths and misinformation about organic food. Technically, of course, all food is organic, as it comes from organic material. So what does the organic label really mean when it's applied to the food you purchase? The following answers to your questions can help you be better informed.
Q: What does organic really mean on a food label?
A: Organic in regards to food production means that the farm used a multiprong approach to avoid the use of unnecessary toxins during the growth of the food. This includes using non-synthetic fertilizers and pesticides when appropriate, practicing environmental strategies to encourage good soil growth, and growing specific varieties of plants that can better withstand environmental stresses.
Q: Is organic food chemical-free?
A: A common misconception is that chemicals are bad, when in fact everything except for energy is a collection of chemicals—including you! A better term to use is toxin-free. Some chemicals used in conventional farming practicing can be toxic to humans. Generally, these toxins are removed from the food or do not make their way into the edible portions of the food, but opting for organic can further ensure you aren't exposed to the toxins.
Q: So what are organic chemicals?
A: Generally, organic refers to the use of non-synthetic chemicals in favor of OMRI listed fertilizer which is certified organic. The reason this is desirable is because many synthetics do not break down well. This leads to a magnification effect as the possibly toxic chemicals build up in the body. Non-synthetic chemicals, on the other hand, typically break down more readily. As an example, a chemical used in a pesticide may be harmless to humans in small amounts because it breaks down readily, while a synthetic version of the same chemical may actually build up in the bloodstream and cause problems down the road.
Q: Are there other benefits to organic?
A: Many synthetic fertilizers and pesticides also contain petrochemicals, which are derived from petroleum. The mining and use of these chemicals can cause long lasting damage to the mine areas, as well damaging the ecosystem where they are used. Organic methods tend to focus on maintaining soil health and biodiversity, which leads to a more ecologically healthy environment overall.
For more information, contact an organic agriculture distributor like Nature Safe in your area.