Over the past decade, there has been a move toward healthier foods. Due to reports and documentaries showing how the foods we buy in grocery stores are full of pesticides and other apparently unhealthy chemicals, more and more people are turning to organic foods. The belief is that organic foods are safer, cleaner, and healthier.
There potential upsides to buying organic foods and as more people do this, more companies are placing the “organic” labels on their products. However, just because something says organic it doesn’t mean it’s 100% organic. Foods can be made of over 70% organic ingredients and still be labeled as “made with organic ingredients”. Even labels that say “Organic” means at least 95% of the ingredients are organic. You’ll need to see the label, “100% organic” if you want pure organic foods.
There is still a debate as to whether organic foods is really better for consumption. Since food is regulated by the USDA, nearly all of what is sold at grocery stores is assumed to be safe. Then there’s the issue of cost. Organic foods simply cost more but are they worth the extra price? The cost is mainly due to higher farming costs due to the methods used and because organic fruits and vegetables don’t have wax and preservatives on them, they spoil more quickly.
Whether or not organic foods really is better for us, many people are willing to buy them just to have better peace of mind believing that what they are putting into their body is likely a little bit better than non-organic foods. Although it typically costs more, the belief that you can’t put a price on health is enough for many people to opt for foods that don’t have pesticides and additives. At the very least, these types of farming methods seem to be much better for the environment.
A common mistake some people make is confusing the term “organic” with terms like “natural” or “free range”. In order for any food to be labeled “organic”, it must comply with the USDA’s standards. Speaking of natural and free range foods, those are even more expensive but many people swear by them saying the foods taste better and because the animals are treated better, it’s healthier and a lot less cruel than the conventional way.
If the cost of organic or natural foods is too high for you, instead of not buying them at all, you can choose a few items and get the organic/natural versions. If it really is better for us, then it’s better to have a little than none at all. It’s a bit like exercise. Some people either do it or they don’t but it’s better to sometimes do it than not do it at all.
Moderation, balance, you get the idea.
While you’re at it, look into pressure canning. It’s a way to cook healthy foods while storing them for longer periods of time.