The Benefits of Organic Food

How to Eat Organic: Where to Look and What to Buy

The term eating organic gets tossed around a lot lately, but what does it really mean? Where do you find organic food? Let’s explore what organic food is, the benefits of organic, the benefits of eating organic, and where to find them.

Organic Food

In order for a food to be considered “organic,” it has to meet certain restrictions made by the government. Some of these guidelines include: farmers not using synthetic pesticides on crops, and avoiding petroleum based or sewage based fertilizers.

When the product is livestock, producers must give the animals access to the outdoors with plenty of room to feed and roam (free-range). Furthermore, animals may not be given any animal by-products, growth hormones and/or antibiotics.

Several of these guidelines provide higher quality food and produce that is much healthier for your body, while others provide protection to the environment.

Some may argue that by protecting the environment, you are also protecting your body. There are many benefits of organic food. Either way, going organic is beneficial to you and the Earth. It’s a win/win.

Organic Benefits

As mentioned above, eating organic food is not only beneficial to your body, but to our planet as well. There are many benefits of eating organic food. Organic food is prepared with:

  1. Fewer pesticides – This means there is less contamination in the ground, in and on the food we eat.
  2. Less drugs and antibiotics – This decreases the chances of new antibiotic-resistant strains from forming.
  3. Less pollution and energy use – This helps land areas and the wild life surrounding a farm.

What to Look For

There are certain fruits and vegetables that are healthier if produced and eaten organically. The following list of fruits and vegetables on average contain the highest amount of pesticides when grown traditionally:

  • Apples
  • Celery
  • Cherry Tomatoes
  • Cucumbers
  • Grapes
  • Hot Peppers
  • Kale/Collard Greens
  • Nectarines (imported)
  • Peaches
  • Potatoes
  • Spinach
  • Strawberries
  • Summer Squash
  • Sweet Bell Peppers

Organic Sources

Luckily, organic awareness is on the rise and there are many great sources for organic products, such as a farmers market, a food co-op, the grocery store, or your own backyard. People are starting to realize the benefits of eating organic food.

Farmers Market

One of the great things about the summer season is that it gives us the chance to eat fresh food from a variety of sources. Farmers markets are a great choice, and they offer a great selection of food. Check your neighborhood or city to see if there is one near you and you will find plenty of delicious, fresh food to take home.

However, not everything offered at a farmers market may be organic. Make sure to ask the seller questions about how their crops or livestock were produced so you know for certain.

Regardless of the organic status, it will be fresher from the market! Nothing compares to fresh picked food. It is crisper and more vibrant and generally tastes better as well. There are many benefits of organic food when purchased at the market.

Taking a trip to the farmers market gives you access to a wide variety of fresh foods; picked from the tree or field within the last day or two. You can get large amounts of fresh ingredients this way, and they might actually be cheaper than what the supermarket charges.

Food Co-Op

This is similar to a farmers market, but everyone is splitting the produce that is grown. Although you may have less choice over what you buy, the price may still be cheaper than the grocery store.

Grocery Store

Grocers know there is a market for organic foods. They are advertising and selling organic products more than ever.

You can easily get the items you need, but they may be slightly more expensive than the other options above. The produce might not be as fresh either, since they have to pick the fruit prematurely so that it doesn’t ripen and rot before they can sell it. When you go to a farmers market, you are eliminating the middleman and buying straight from the source.

However, this may be your best or only source for dairy or meat products that are organic. If you don’t have access to a farmers market or co-op, then this is your best option.

Garden

If you want to know for certain that your food is organic, then your best bet is to grow it yourself! This way you know exactly what has been done to your produce and what you are putting into your body; it is also as fresh as can be.

All in all, there are many easy ways to add organic food into your diet that is not only healthier for your body, but for our planet. We hope you have learned a lot on the benefits of eating organic food. Thanks for reading!

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