The word “Organic” is a word that has not been encorporated into a lot of people’s vocabulary for quite some time. There are often misconceptions about what it actually is, other “forms” of the word, and the process in general. I used to be 1 of the many who didn’t take the time to read anything on it, because I assumed it wasn’t for me. Essentially, it’s for anyone who wants to take that extra step to eat and be healthy, and doesn’t mind spending a little more in doing so. Although I am not 100% organic, I do buy organic as much as I can. I took advice from some friends, did some online reading, and am a bit more knowledgeable.
A little definition and science of the whole thing. The definition of “organic,” according to the Organic Foods Production Act (OFPA), is that animal products sold or labeled as organically produced are not given any kind of antibiotics or growth hormones, are only fed with organic feed and are not administered any type of medication aside from vaccinations or to treat an illness. Fruits and vegetables that are labeled and sold as organic are grown without using most pesticides or fertilizers with synthetic ingredients; there is no irradiation treatment; seeds and transplants are chemical-free; the fertilizer is natural.
Under organic regulations, food can be labeled as “100% organic,” “organic” (contains at least 95 percent organic ingredients) or “made with organic ingredients” (contains at least 70 percent organic ingredients, but cannot have the USDA Organic seal on the package). The USDA Organic seal will not guarantee a product is free of nongenetically modified organisms—only products labeled 100% organic are guaranteed GMO-free.
There are some things you should buy organic, but there are other that are not necessary. Here are both lists (food and regular products):
Buy Organic: Don’t Buy Organic:
– Beef or fatty meats – Eggs
– Regular Potatoes – Thick Skinned Produce & Fruit
– Fruit & Produce (apples, strawberries, blueberries, – Frozen Food in Plastic Bags
celery, spinach, nectarines, grapes, sweet bell – Mushrooms
peppers, peaches, lettuce, kale, collard greens) – Spices
– Coffee – Clothing
– Cookware – Onions
– Popcorn (lining in the bag may contain pesticides) – Sweet Potatoes
– All purpose home cleaners
– Food storage containers
Of course, all things you should buy organic are a little higher in price because not everyone has made the choice to buy organic, and because organic farming is more labor intensive. This is a great way to help your local farms by buying your higher priced organic items from a farmers’ market. I go to mine almost every 2 weeks and seek most of my items. You can usually get a cheaper price overall buying locally. Also go to any natural food market if 1 is nearby. If you don’t have a local natural market, either find the organic/natural section in your regular supermarket, or buy non organic and get a veggie wash spray that can help eliminate some of the possible pesticides. You should also rinse your fruits and veggies under warm water for at least 30 seconds to avoid premature spoilage.
Here are 2 labels you will see on fruits and veggies that ARE organic:
Also, if you look at produce stickers, if there are 5 numbers starting with 9, it was grown organically; 4 numbers means it was grown conventionally, and 5 numbers starting with 8 means it was genetically modified. As for rules and regulations farmers have to follow to ensure customers what their buying really is organic, a government-certified official must inspect and approve the farm to make sure all the organic practices are being followed. The farm is then monitored regularly to make sure it is following regulations.
There is a ton more information I could put in here, but I mainly wanted to get the basics out. If you feel like wanting to make the change to organic, there are a bunch of websites you can find via Google or Bing. Here is one that I got some helpful info from:
I hope this was a good starting point for anyone curious about the Organic world.