We hear it all the time: eat an organic diet. But, what does that really mean, and, at the end of the day, in terms of our health and our environment, does it really matter?
It’s important that, as a person, you don’t just follow the crowd and blindly do what you’re told. You shouldn’t eat organic just because you’ve heard it’s good for you. This term, like all other health “buzz terms” is one that you should educate yourself on so that you can make an informed decision about your diet.
What Does Organic Mean?
As mentioned, the word organic gets thrown around a lot, and people automatically assume that anything organic must be good for them.
However, this is not the case. The only thing that organic means is that the food products associated with or used in the production of the food were grown without aid from any pesticides, synthetic fertilizers, GMOs, or radiation.
Theoretically, a “junk food,” such as potato chips, that were grown without the use of any pesticides or non-organic substances, could be labeled organic. That doesn’t mean that eating a lot of those chips is good for your diet. They could still contain plenty of fats, oils, and calories. Therefore, never just assume that because something is organic it is good for you. Any food can be made organic, and while it’s wise to choose the organic version over the processed version, you still can’t eat unmindfully. Always consider calories, fat, and general healthfulness, whether the food is organic or not.
Another thing that organic eaters wrongfully conclude is that organic food is inherently more healthful than non-organic food. However, according to the Annals of Internal Medicine, a research journal, organic foods do not contain more vitamins or minerals than other foods.
With that said, though, you do avoid the potential harmful effects of non-organic foods when you choose to consume organic foods for your diet.
An Important Difference
If you do make the decision for yourself that you want to eat an organic diet, it’s important to understand that “organic” is merely a label applied by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), and that, in fact, it’s not the only relevant label.
According to the USDA, there is a difference between a food that is 100% organic and a food that’s organic. A 100% organic food, which will be labeled as such, contains absolutely no non-organic ingredients. However, an organic food is simply one that is made with at last 95% organic ingredients.
Therefore, if you want to eat a truly organic diet, you must consume only foods that are labeled “100% organic” rather than foods that are labeled organic.
Again, only you can decide if, to you, an organic diet is worth the effort, but, whatever you decide, the point is that you now know the facts necessary to make a truly educated decisions.
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