With the expansion in our world population, advanced transportation systems and increased demand for a variety of different foods, organic fresh produce has become quite scarce. Being replaced by the genetically modified, chemically sprayed foods that are grown more easily in a variety of conditions and can survive being transported for weeks before they finally end up at your local supermarket.
We are now starting to realise that changes we are making, and the chemicals we are adding, could be impacting on our health. Which is why so many people are opting to buy ‘organic’ these days.
What defines organic?
Different countries have very slight variations on the classification of organic foods, however the general consensus is that in order for foods to be appropriately labeled ‘organic’ they need to be free from the following:
- Genetic engineering
- Synthetic fertilizers and pesticides
- Growth hormones
- Artificial ingredients
- Sewer sludge fertilizers
- Most synthetic additives
But you need to be aware that many marketing companies will try to twist the wording in their advertising to give the impression of organic by saying things such as ‘Natural’ or ‘Pure’.
When it comes to opting for organic there are a few upsides and downsides to be aware of:
The upside to organic foods include the lack of chemicals and genetic modification, as well as the guarantee that the product is likely to be as fresh as it looks.
The downside is that until more people jump on the organic bandwagon, the prices are going to stay higher than that of non-organic produce. This is mostly because their shelf life is not as long. There is also the added downside that you might be hard pressed to find all of your favourite fresh foods organically and not all fresh produce is available all year round (though this is kind of how nature intended it!)
There are some foods, such as corn, that have been so genetically modified and are so far from their original state that I choose to avoid entirely. However with other foods, I settle for opting for organic when I can.
So when it comes to filling your shopping basket, take the time to decide what is important to you. It is always a good idea to do a little research on your favourite foods, so that you know just what you are eating!