Organic food: what you need to know

Many consumers identify the word “organic” with foods that are “healthier”. However, there is currently no link between consuming organic food and better overall health. However, organic foods can reduce your exposure to synthetic pesticides. And they are grown by cleaner agricultural methods.

The term “organic” is defined and controlled by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA). It is based on USDA inspection and certification requirements. These are the requirements that farmers, companies and food products must meet in order to carry the label of the organic product. They include:

  • Organic products must be grown without the use of chemicals or pesticides. Farmers must use natural remedies to control insects and weeds. Only natural fertilizers, such as compost, are allowed. After the harvest, farmers are not allowed to treat food with preservatives. This includes wax.
  • Organic foods cannot be changed by scientists.
  • Organic farming practices must protect the land to ensure that it is useful for a long time.
  • Organic meat and animal products must come from livestock raised in a natural environment. Farmers must provide them with organic food, clean housing and access to the open air. Farmers cannot use growth hormones or antibiotics. These products are given to non-organic animals.

Organic farming has two main goals. The first is to reduce the negative impact on the environment. The second is to increase resilience.

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