What makes something organic?
Organic farming is designed to reduce pollution and encourage soil and water conservation. Growing organic produce or raising organic meat means that a farmer cannot use conventional methods to fertilize, prevent weeds and pests, and protect livestock. Chemical weed killers and pesticides need to be replaced with methods like crop rotations and spreading mulch. A chemical based fertilizer is often replaced with nutrient rich compost or manure. These hands-on and time intensive practices are why organic products are relatively higher in cost.
The USDA must certify any product with an organic label. Two different labels are used for foods that contain more than one ingredient. For example, a cereal can either be “100% Organic” if it is made completely of organic ingredients or it can be labeled “Organic” if it contains at least 95% organic ingredients.
Top reasons to choose organic products
- Free of artificial food additives like preservatives, sweeteners, colorings, and flavorings
- Free of neurotoxins that damage brain and nerve cells
- May be higher in nutrients than conventional foods
- Diminishes our exposure to antibiotics, synthetic hormones, and other drugs that were given to the animal
- Supports healthy development of growing children’s brains and bodies that are more susceptible to toxins
- Helps to reduce pollution in our drinking water by cutting down the amount of pesticides being used in farming
- Protects the environment by not introducing pesticides and other chemicals that damage the natural areas around farms
- Supports independent farmers and their livelihood
- Tastes better
The following produce items are the most beneficial to purchase when looking to reduce the amounts of pesticides in your food:
- Green Beans
- Green Onions