Consumers are increasingly making healthy choices when it comes to buying food and groceries. Whether it’s the switch to seasonal fruits, drinking Aloe Vera juices or buying organic groceries online, they are more aware of what to consume and what to discard.
While the intention of all is ONE - ‘Stay Healthy, Stay Happy,’ millions and maybe even you are still unaware of the difference between organic and conventional food products. Understanding how various food items are grown or processed is crucial to know about the benefits of organic foods.
In this blog, we’ll explain what is organic foods products and what are the benefits of consuming them.
Most food items in your kitchen - vegetables, fruits, and even groceries have been exposed to harmful chemicals like synthetic pesticides and hormones. By their nature, these chemicals are designed to kill organisms that damage crops. The toxic chemicals can cause various health issues like cancer, nausea, asthma, rashes or vomiting, among others in humans.
Organic crops or food broadly refers to the process of how food is grown. These food items don’t contain artificial chemicals, antibiotics or hormones that conventional food producing methods have. They also don’t have GMOs (Genetically Modified Organisms) or any artificial preservatives. While organic farmers may use pesticides these are generally derived from natural resources. All these factors make organic products more healthy and safe.
Note- There is a difference between Organic and Natural Foods.
Natural foods are those foods or crops that have undergone minimal processing and don’t contain any artificial flavors, hormones or additives. They may still have been grown with pesticides or chemicals. The term ‘natural food’ only refers to the composition of the food items and not the process involved.
Organic food on the other hand is grown without the use of any toxic chemicals or additives in the entire production process. The regulation of growing organic food is also stringent. For a farm or product to get the organic certification, several criteria need to be met.
Products that qualify are given the ‘Jaivik Bharat’ (India Organic) label by APEDA (Agriculture and Processed Food Production Export Development Authority). Foods or grocery items containing ‘Jaivik Bharat’ certification are healthy and grown from chemical-free processes.
A similar certification ‘USDA Organic’ is issued by the ‘United States Department of Agriculture.’ Both have different criteria to label a product as organic. Farmers can get both or one of these certifications issued from a certified agent.
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The benefits of consuming organic products are several. The natural production processes and overall positive impact on the environment, make consuming organic foods a wise choice.
1) Organic Foods are Healthy and Nutritious
As already mentioned before, non-organic foods can cause serious diseases like cancer, asthma, nausea, and infertility. Further, parents consuming non-organic food may actually be compromising the health of their babies. Pesticides can cause birth defects, psychological problems and impact hormone function in children. This means choosing organic food can help give birth to a healthy baby.
Non-organic producers also use GMOs (genetically modified organisms) to improve crop growth. While certain GMOs are characterized as safe, there is a growing concern around the use of GMOs as a whole. GMOs are perceived to cause allergies in humans, diseases like cancer and affect the environment. Organic producers cannot use GMOs (genetically modified organisms), making organic foods healthy and natural. Practically speaking, consuming organic products limits the intake of harmful chemicals like pesticides in our bodies.
Some studies also show that organic food products have higher levels of minerals, antioxidants, vitamins and essential fatty acids.
2) Organic Products Offer Better Taste
Organic products offer better taste and fresh flavors, majorly because they don’t contain artificial taste enhancers, additives or preservatives. They also stay on the shelf for shorter time periods, making sure what you get is fresh. Organic foods let you get the real taste of food.
For example, we have seen many customers buy organic brown sugar online from us and share that these taste better than non-organic brown sugar. You can see this for yourself by buying an organic product like ketchup and comparing it with non-organic ketchup. The difference in taste and flavor will be evident.
3) Organic Production Methods Conserve Natural Resources
When you care for your health, then why not care for your planet as well? Consuming organic products lets you do both!
Organic food products preserve soil quality by employing natural farming techniques - crop rotation, animal manure and soil manure, all promote soil fertility. Consequently, this also prevents water pollution. Conventional farming and processing methods discharge toxic chemicals and pesticides into water bodies. This can contaminate our drinking water supply because pesticides take years to break down.
Organic farming methods ensure water stays clean and uses less water. Soil erosion and air pollution due to erosion are also minimized.
4) Organic Food is Becoming Widely Available
Until a few years back the availability of organic produce was limited. Now a combination of factors like the push for organic products by the Government of India, consumer awareness and demand has led to organic produce wide availability. In fact, leading MNCs are coming forward to manufacture organic variants of products that they had been producing through non-organic methods for decades.
The price gap between non-organic and organic foods is also gradually narrowing. While it’s true that organic foods are still expensive over non-organic foods, the growing demand will eventually make organic foods more affordable.
Now that you are aware of organic foods meaning, how they are produced and the benefits of consuming them, you need to make a choice.
The choice is to buy organic groceries and Stay Healthy and Stay Happy.