When it comes to food, people always have their preferences and opinions. One of the biggest debates today is whether or not to buy organic foods. As people become more conscious of genetically modified (GMO) and processed foods, supermarkets such as Whole Foods advertise organic, natural foods and have become popular and favorable with many Americans. What exactly does it mean for produce to be labeled organic, and is the organic label worth the price tag?

 

To label a food as organic in the United States, a few standards must be met. These standards prohibit the use of most synthetic fertilizers and pesticides, sewer sludge fertilizers, genetic engineering, growth hormones, irradiation, antibiotics, artificial ingredients, and many synthetic additives. It is important to note, however, that simply because something is labeled organic does not mean it is using all organic ingredients. For something to be labeled organic in the United States, it must use at least 95 percent organic ingredients. If something is labeled 100 percent organic, then it is made using all organic ingredients.

 

Is organic food better for you?

Is organic food better for you?

There are benefits to eating organic foods, as they are not exposed to harmful pesticides, and they do not use artificial sweeteners or flavorings. The health benefits of eating an organic apple over an inorganic apple are not yet conclusive. Research on the subject is still ongoing, and many say that there is not much of a difference between the two options. It seems that it is too early to tell whether buying strictly organic foods is a better decision for your health.

 

Maybe the question should not be what kinds of produce one should buy, but rather where one should buy their produce. One way to buy organic foods is by finding a local organic farm. Supporting local farmers cuts down on transportation, making it better for the environment, and it helps your local economy. The downside is that not everyone has the luxury of local farms, but finding farmers markets in the area is another good idea. In the end, what it comes down to is personal preference, and finding what you think tastes better and is better for your health.

 

Do you buy organic? Let’s talk in the comments, or find me on Twitter @whatsthesich