Organic food is food that is not grown, processed, or packaged using synthetic chemicals. This means that organic vegetables are free of most pesticides and were not grown using chemical containing fertilizers, sewage sludge, or any type of bioengineering. However, organic insecticides, herbicides, and fungicides may be used to protect the quality of the food.
Animals that are raised for organic food production may not be given hormones or antibiotics, but instead must be allowed to grow naturally. These animals must also have frequent access to pastures and are commonly grass fed or supplied with organic food.
Processed organic food is usually only created using organic ingredients. During processing, chemical preservatives and synthetic substances should not be added to the food. Popular organic processed foods are honey, grains, herbs, oils, tea, coffee, and packaged snacks.
To be considered organic, food must meet the standards set by the Organic Foods Production Act, or OFPA. Organic food is strictly regulated and producers must adhere to the correct guidelines. Before a producer is allowed to claim that their products are organic, the farm or production company must be inspected and certified by a professional approved by the government.
Currently, there are three different classifications of organic food set by the USDA, or the US Department of Agriculture. These classifications are:
● 100% Organic: This means that the product is made up of entirely organic ingredients.
● Organic: When a product is labeled as organic, 95% or more of the ingredients must be organic.
● 70% Organic: A product that is 70% organic must be made with 70% to 95% organic ingredients. The ingredients that are not organic must not be genetically modified organisms.
Organic food has quickly increased in popularity. Many consumers prefer to purchase organic products whenever possible. However, many question whether there are really benefits of eating these products.
Some studies have shown that organic food is actually more nutritious than its non-organic counterparts. Although this can be difficult to prove, as nutrition levels can also depend on the soil, type of crop, and how a farmer processes and harvests crops. What most people appreciate about organic food is that it does not contain the hormones, chemicals, preservatives, and other unhealthy substances that most other food products contain. This allows consumers to get the most from their diet, without supplying their body with unnecessary chemicals.