You can hardly get away without hearing about organic foods on a regular basis. There are reports that tell us that eating organically is the only way to get and stay healthy. And then there are other reports that dispute these claims, saying that conventional food is just as healthy.
Before we jump into the debate, it’s important to understand the basics. What exactly makes a food organic? In December of 2000, the term “organic” was created by the National Organic Standards Board of the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA). The board determined that in order to be organic, a food must be produced without the use of most synthetic fertilizers, sewer-sludge fertilizers, genetic engineering, irradiation, pesticides, and growth hormones.
Now that we know what “organic food” means, let’s see how they compare and contrast with conventional foods. Let’s break it down and see exactly how organic foods are produced versus how their counterparts, conventional foods, are produced.
Organic foods are grown with natural fertilizers instead of chemical fertilizers. Instead of using pesticides to control the pest population, organic farmers utilize methods including mating disruption, insect predators, barriers, and traps to thwart off disease and pests. Finally, these types of farmers use mulches, cover crops, crop rotation, hand-weeding, flame weeding and more to control weeds instead of using herbicides.
Organic livestock is given organic feed and they have living conditions which are that of animals’ natural behavior. For example, ruminants (including cows) must have access to a pasture in order to be labeled as organic. These animals, while they may be vaccinated to protect them from disease, may never be given hormones, or subjected to medications medications unless unless they fall ill.
Conventional foods, are the foods which are grown in soil that has chemical fertilizers. Conventional farmers use insecticides to protect their crops from disease and pests and use synthetic herbicides to control weeds. As you can see, those chemicals that organic farmers are forbidden to use are widely used in conventional farming methods.
Conventional livestock, may be given antibiotics and hormones. They also are not kept in conditions that has their natural behaviors.
Organic Foods Or Conventional Foods?
So which is better for you? Organic foods or conventional foods? They both must meet the same safety and quality standards, as determined by the USDA. The only main difference between the two is the way in which they are produced. Furthermore, there isn’t any scientific evidence that proves without a doubt that organic foods are safer or more nutritious than conventional foods.
However, studies do indicate that organic foods are less likely to have pesticide residues than their conventional counterparts. People who try organic foods are of the view that these taste better.
What’s the harm in giving organic foods a try? As far as I am concerned, the least amount of chemicals in my food, the better! So why not give a try to organic foods, after all at the end of the day along with taste its health which matters.
What Are Your Views?
Have you tried organic foods? If yes how did you find them? Do you feel they are better health wise and taste wise? Please do put forward your views on the topic in your comments.
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