- Food and Cooking
All About Organic Food
Introduction to All About Organic Food
People often think that going organic is going to be expensive, so they don't even consider it as an option, even though organic food is often tastier and healthier than the non-organic alternative.
In this lens we explore the real differences between organic and non-organic foods, the best places to find organic foods and organic food gifts food for less, and some tips to help you go organic.
Flickr Photo Credit: Ben Hosking
If you feel strongly on more than one reason, please fill free to come back and vote on as many reasons as you'd like.
What is Your Number 1 Reason to Buy Organic Food?
Nutrition is the Real Difference Between Organic and Non Organic
There has been quite a few studies that have gone into organic versus conventional farming. Before we get into the studies - isn't conventional farming organic anyway? After all, weren't farmers growing plants without pesticides, synthetic fertilizers and bio-engineering for thousands of years until some bright spark thought they could grow more with them? Just a thought.
Back to the studies! One was carried out at Newcastle University in Europe. In October 2007 the initial results of a four year research program showed the following:
"Organic food has a higher nutritional value than ordinary produce. A team grew fruit, vegetables and reared cattle on adjacent organic and non-organic sites across Europe".
This project took four years and is still ongoing, but some of the things they found are very interesting. Like the fact that they found up to 40% more antioxidants in the organic fruit and vegetables than in the non-organic. The study also found that "There are more nutritionally desirable compounds and less of the baddies in organic foods, and improved amounts of the fatty acids you want and less of those you don't want".
There are many other research programs from different countries and not all are for organic foods, but most will tell you that they can prove organic is better.
What the Deal with Organic Foods?
The Real Person's View of Organic Versus Non-Organic
What do you personally think the difference is between organic and non-organic?
If we all sat down with food in front of us and were asked to give an honest opinion, I bet that a vast majority would have to say the difference is taste. Only the die hard few would ramble on about the health implications of organic vs. non-organic foods.
Admittedly, no one has really been able to prove that pesticides and fertilizers cause us to get ill or affect us adversely. However, if we are putting these things into our bodies for a long period of time, what will happen? I'm not sure but I'll keep looking at reports and findings to find out.
Among all the ramblings and research programs and test results is the underlying fact that organic food does taste better than non-organic food. A tomato actually tastes of tomato and not the packaging around it, the juice from an apple does not taste bitter, and many other fruits and vegetables really taste like what they are supposed to.
The use of different chemicals on our food and the different growth hormones farmers feed their livestock should all be taken seriously and looked into for potentially harmful effects. But in my opinion, the major difference between organic and non-organic has to be the taste.
Order your own Organic Gift Basket like the one shown above from All About Gifts & Baskets to give to friends or family no matter what the occasion.
The Truth About Organic Food
Forget the myths about organic food being expensive, instead look around or grow it yourself!
Where to Get Good Organic Food for Less
Most people will tell you that organic food is too expensive for people on a budget and if you are not on a budget, it is still more expensive than commercially grown foods. This is not always true, although you may have to shop around to find a market that gives value for money, but there are places out there.
If you go to your local supermarket, then you probably will pay more for organic food, as they want to make a bigger profit. Large retail chains usually make a big deal out of the fact that they offer organic foods and they think you will pay more for it. On the other hand, if you go to a local farmers market, a small grocer or a local farm shop, then you will undoubtedly find a fair price for your organic food.
Local farmers who grow organic food and sell it themselves have to compete with the bigger stores, but they also want to keep you as a customer. This means they will sell at a more reasonable price than any of the commercial stores. If they do not, they will be more willing to negotiate their prices than a large retail chain.
If you want to make sure you are receiving certified organic foods, make sure to look for an official stamp from the government.
The other way to get organic food at a cheaper price is to grow it yourself. Then you know it is really organic and you don't even have to pay for packaging, transportation, and other companies' profits. You can keep your fruit basket on the counter filled with the freshest varieties you know were grown with care.
Books to Help You With Your Organic Choices
Some Tips on Going Organic
If you are thinking of going totally organic, it can be a bit of a headache finding everything you want and finding it near where you live, but it is possible. There are many places around these days that are able to sell you organic food which will not cost you a fortune.
Local farm shops have great ranges of organic food, but you must make sure it is organic. In the US, stores that sell organic will have a USDA stamp of approval on their goods and so should the farmers. In other countries it may be different.
Farmers markets are another good place to find organic at a reasonable price, and you may even be able to strike a deal with someone if you want to buy their goods exclusively. Other places you may wish to look are your local grocer and even the internet.
If you are serious about totally changing to organic here are some pointers:
Look at what your family usually eats and compare the organic alternatives. These comparisons can include price difference, availability and shelf life.Be prepared to shop around, even in places you would not normally think of shopping, it will help with cost and reliability.Let your local shops know what you are looking for as they may be able to help. Get like-minded friends to do the same thing, you might be surprised at what you can get on the shelves.Prepare your family for a few minor changes, as you will undoubtedly have to stop buying certain foods and make compromises on other items.Make use of seasonal fruits and vegetables, as you will pay more for foods that are not in season.
There are many other things you can do to help your family change to organic food, but even if you don't make a total change, you will definitely feel the difference.
Conclusion - All About Organic Food
So organic food is the healthier choice, and it is worth shopping around for the best prices. You owe it to yourself and your children, to feed them the best you can on the budget you have.
I'm not saying you have to go totally organic, but introducing organic foods where you can, is a good habit to get into.
You can even introduce those you love to healthy living by sending them healthy food gift baskets that include a variety of healthy and organic foods. Often once a person tries something like an organic orange, they'll never go back!
Only time will tell when and if the affects of pesticides and whatever other chemicals they spray on our foods will take their toll on our health. Although I'm sure in a small way they must be affecting us already. So go organic!