Organic Foods: Understanding Organic Food Labels, Benefits …

Posted: October 1, 2014 at 9:55 pm

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Understanding the Benefits and Making Smarter Organic Food Choices Organic food has become very popular. But navigating the maze of organic food labels, benefits, and claims can be confusing. Is organic food really healthier? Is it more nutritious? What do all the labels mean? Why is it so expensive? This guide can help you make better choices about which organic foods are healthier for you and better for the environment, and how you can afford to incorporate more organic food into your diet. What is organic food?

Making a commitment to healthy eating is a great start towards a healthier life. Beyond eating more fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and good fats, however, there is the question of food safety, nutrition, and sustainability. How foods are grown or raised can impact both your health and the environment. This brings up the questions: What is the difference between organic foods and conventionally grown foods? Is organic always best? What about locally grown foods?

The term organic refers to the way agricultural products are grown and processed. Specific requirements must be met and maintained in order for products to be labeled as "organic."

Organic crops must be grown in safe soil, have no modifications, and must remain separate from conventional products. Farmers are not allowed to use synthetic pesticides, bioengineered genes (GMOs), petroleum-based fertilizers, and sewage sludge-based fertilizers.

Organic livestock must have access to the outdoors and be given organic feed. They may not be given antibiotics, growth hormones, or any animal-by-products.

Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs) or genetically engineered (GE) foods are plants or animals whose DNA has been altered. These products have undergone only short-term testing to determine their effects on humans and the environment.

In most countries, organic products do not intentionally contain GMOs.

Although the U.S. does not require GM or GE foods to be labeled, you can still find out whether or not your produce is genetically engineered by looking at its PLU (price lookup) code on the sticky label added to grocery store produce:

4-digit code

5-digits starting with #9

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Organic Foods: Understanding Organic Food Labels, Benefits ...

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Written by simmons |

October 1st, 2014 at 9:55 pm

Posted in Organic Food