Why Is That Organic Food Is Better Than Chemical Food? By Ivan Nikolov
You hear about organic food around every corner. You also probably know that organic food is more expensive than conventional or "chemical" food. Yet many people prefer to pay the extra money. Do you know why that is? Why is that organic food is better than chemical food? The answer is below, but first let's make an important distinction.
Organic and Natural mean different things. Don't be fooled by nutrition labels and packaging, stating that the food is Natural. It might be natural, but it's not organic.
"Natural" simply means that the food is unprocessed, it is fresh. "Organic" food on the other hand means food that has not been sprayed with pesticides, fertilizers, or no waste materials have been used while the food is being grown. Also, such food has not been genetically modified (GMO).
For meats "organic" means that the animals have been raised without the use of growth factors and antibiotics. They are also fed on natural grass. This type of meat is also called "free range". You can see the same wording on organic eggs as well.
So, why is it better to buy organic food? I recently read an interesting fact. According to the Environmental Working Group (Washington D.C.) an apple grown on chemicals can have as many as 36 different pesticides sprayed on it. What does this tell you? Is it safer to shell out a little more especially for produce or it's not?
The same with meat. Antibiotic use can cause resistant bacterial strains. That's the reason why many antibiotics don't work and can't effectively cope with a lot of diseases nowadays. Growth hormones don't allow for the animal to grow naturally.
Below is a table with the pesticide load in some fruits (score by the Environmental Working Group). The fruits with highest scores should be replaced with organic. Those at the bottom with the lowest scores are okay if bought from regular store.
Peaches - - 100
Apples - - 89
Strawberries - - 82
Pears - - 65
Grapes - - 43
Oranges - - 42
Blueberries - - 24
Bananas - - 16
Pineapples - - 7
You can clearly see that while its alright to buy conventionally grown bananas, you should definitely choose organic peaches, apples and strawberries.
How to recognize organic foods
Most (but not all) organic foods have an "USDA organic" seal. This sign certifies that the food is 95% free of pesticides, fertilizers, antibiotics and growth hormones.
Keep in mind, however that manufacturers are not obligated to use the "USDA organic" seal on their organic foods. So, not seeing this seal doesn't mean that the food is not organic.
There is a very noticeable distinction in organic produce. The little label you see on each fruit in the produce section has a number. If the produce is organic this number has five digits and the first one is always 9. The "chemical" or conventional produce has 4 digits.
And finally don't forget the difference between organic and natural that we explained above.
In conclusion, I'd say that while some foods are still safe if bought from a regular store, other foods - especially produce (with the exception of a few of them; see table above), meats and eggs should be organic.