We’ve all heard about organic foods. Chain grocery stores have organic sections, and health food stores typically only stock organics. But what really makes an organic food organic? In December of 2000, the National Organic Standards Board of the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) created the term “organic”. For a food to be classified as organic, it needed to be produced without the use of most sewer-sludge fertilizers, synthetic fertilizers, irradiation, genetic engineering, growth hormones, and pesticides.
Organic foods are grown in soil that is only supplemented with natural fertilizers. Pesticides aren’t used to control and diminish the pest population; instead, organic farmers utilize insect predators, mating disruption, traps, and barriers to thwart off pests. Finally, organic farmers use cover crops, mulches, hand-weeding, crop rotation, flame weeding and more to control weeds.
Organic livestock is only fed organic feed, and its living conditions take the animals’ natural behavior into consideration. For example, cows, by their nature, must have access to a pasture, so organic farmers also keep cows in pasture. While animals raised by organic farmers may be vaccinated to protect them from disease, they may never be given hormones, medications, or antibiotics unless an illness is present. On the other hand, conventional foods are typically grown in soil that has been treated with chemical fertilizers. Conventional farmers use insecticides to ward off pests and use synthetic herbicides to control weeds.
Unlike organic livestock, conventional livestock may be given antibiotics and hormones. Furthermore, they’re not required to live in conditions accommodating their natural behaviors. But the main question is this: Which is better for you: organic or conventional foods? They both must meet the same quality and safety standards. The major difference lies in the way they are produced.
Research shows that organic foods are less likely to have pesticide residues than their conventional counterparts. Furthermore, most people who try organic foods report that they enjoy the taste more than conventional foods. The decision is up to you. I know that I’ll be sure to eat organic as much as I can!
Katrina Robinson is a guest writer who writes for Oxy-Powder.
In the comments below, let me know your thoughts on the question of the decade ” Organic vs Conventional”? Have a super Monday and I will talk to you on Wednesday. The year is coming to a close. It is almost vacation time.