Organic Food…is it for me?

These days we are constantly bombarded with the importance of eating better to ensure a long, active life.   If you subscribe to the theory that the foods you put into your body can and do have a direct, and sometimes dramatic, impact on your day-to-day well-being then sooner or later the subject of Organic Food will raise its head! 

Certainly, organic food has rocketed in popularity in recent years and a huge range of Organic produce is now widely available through mainstream supermarkets, independent local stores, the internet and even open-air markets.   In fact, nowadays, it is difficult to imagine that some form of Organic foodstuff is not available just about anywhere on the planet! 

Because of its wide availability, its much publicised benefits in terms of nutrition and freedom from chemicals and other synthetic additives, and its rapidly narrowing price differential over other food types, organic food may be a real option for anyone seeking to eat more healthily. 

There are many practical benefits associated with organically grown and produced food.  Organic produce tends to insure better farming and animal husbandry standards are put in place and maintained by suppliers.   Typically, the difference between eating eggs from cage-reared, battery hens fed synthetically enhanced recycled food pellets and those from hens that are free to roam and forage outdoors is often cited as a “no-brainer” when it comes to making decisions about organic eating and providing healthier food options for your family. Seriously consider organic grocery shopping and all the ways that it can benefit you. 

So, what constitutes organic food? At the most basic level, organic foods are foods that have been grown in line with certain, often very specifically, laid down production standards.   These standards may even specify the type of soil and soil management techniques under which crops be grown.   They don’t have regular pesticides sprayed on them, and have usually not been cultivated using man-made fertilizer or sewage trash.   They don’t have food additives, natural or otherwise and  organic meats will not contain antibiotics or growth hormones.   It is fair to say, however, that applied standards will vary from country to country, with many having different guidelines for classifying organic fruits and vegetables, for instance. 

As a consumer, you will probably find that organic produce tends to be a little less visually appealing than that with which we are usually presented in the local supermarket.   Apples will almost certainly have spots and other cosmetic blemishes.   Bananas may be of different sizes, meats may look a different colour to that with which we are familiar.   The proponents would argue, however (and probably correctly), that these cosmetic variations are inconsequential when it comes to comparing quality of texture and flavour.   After all, 50 years ago we all bought our produce from small local stores or producers who were proud of the fact that they grew the crops and harvested them for sale almost “at the farm gate”!   

So, is there a local resource where I can easily find organic foods? The perfect place to begin when searching for organic foods for your family and yourself is your local supermarket. There is an area for organic foods. Community-backed agricultural programs which give you an interest in local farms and joining a food co-operative in your area are great ways to access organic foods. During the summer months, you should visit your local farmer’s markets, too. 

Organic groceries provide many opportunities for you to eat better and stay healthier.

J R Wilson is an Australian author and a respected diet, health and fitness expert. Visit our website for more great diet tips, news and articles related to losing weight, eating and living more
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