Organic Food For Dummies: Guide To The Definition Of Organic Food


organicDid you know that actually up until the beginning of the twentieth century ALL foods were known as organic?

Not until we started pumping our animals full of hormones, dousing our plants with pesticides and adding synthetic chemicals to our foods did our food take a turn for the unhealthy and become something that could not be categorized as organic.

There are only a few countries in which the organic food industry is regulated. These countries are the United States, Japan, Canada and Europe and they demand that organic producers in these countries meet and maintain certain regulations.

In these countries livestock cannot be fed antibiotics or growth hormones and are generally treated much better than slaughterhouses that abuse and pump their livestock full of hormones to increase the meat production for an earlier slaughter.

In most areas certain non-organic fertilizers are still used. Many consumers do not know this and think the plants, vegetables and fruits they are buying have never been by pesticides. These regulations on certain non-organic pesticides are of course determined by the special certifications needed by the organic farmers or producers.

Up until recently organic foods were raised and produced by small family run farms. Due to this it was somewhat difficult to find and purchase organic foods because usually these farmers sold to farmers’ markets and small locally owned grocery stores.

Starting in the late 1990s however the organic good industry growth had increased nearly 20% a year. This trend brought about an increase in manufacturers, and producers of organic foods as well as the ability to find organic foods.

It has been reported that as of second quarter 2009 organic food sales were between 1 and 2 percent of worldwide food sales.

So how do you detect organic foods? Usually if you read on the ingredients you will see only organic ingredients. In the United States in order for a food product to be considered organic it must contain 95% organic ingredients.

If a food is organic the ingredient label will reflect no artificial food additives, and far fewer of the following; food irradiation, genetically modified ingredients and chemical ripening. In some areas you can count on an identifying label that would say “certified organic”.

So why purchase organic foods? To begin with, organic foods come from organic farms which do not harm the environment. Standard farms release harmful synthetic pesticides into the environment. Organic farms do not. Additionally, organic farms are very adept at sustaining ecosystems.

As if you need any reasons to purchase and eat organic foods while supporting organic farms however, organic foods are truly the healthiest for your body and mind and organic farms are the greenest resource of food!


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