Ever wonder if organic foods are really worth the money? What does an organic label really mean for different types of food products?
“Organic” technically is a label for foods that have been grown without the use of pesticides, chemicals, and are not genetically modified. Their superiority as foods is highly contested given that growing inorganic foods is more lucrative. Regardless, organic foods are grown in a way that is better for the environment and our bodies as well.
How to Buy Organic Foods: • Purchase produce (fruits and vegetables) that have a 5 digit PLU code that starts with the number 9 (this indicates a non GMO piece of produce). • Focus on buying organic produce, grains, nuts, legumes and animal products (meats, fish and dairy) that have been fed organic foods too. • Shop local. At farmer’s markets you can ask the growers themselves if their products are grown with organic growing practices even if they’re not labeled as such (many farmers grow organically, but haven’t received the certification yet). ASK! • If you can’t always find or buy organic, read up on the list of “Dirty Dozen” – fruits and vegetables that should always be bought organic. Also on this list is the “Clean 15” – fruits and veggies that use minimal pesticides, even when they aren’t organic www.ewg.org/foodnews/summary/
To Avoid Genetically Modified Foods: • Look for a “100%-Organic” label on food products that contain a variety of ingredients including corn, soy, cottonseed and canola oil, and beet sugar. A “100% Organic” label means no GMO anywhere in the product. • Purchase milk and dairy products that have a label saying “Made from cows NOT treated with the growth hormone rBST” – a growth hormone that is best avoided. • Avoid processed foods whenever possible. The higher the number of ingredients listed in a packaged food, the higher the chances you’re consuming a genetically altered food product. Opt for whole foods instead. • Look for products that have a “Non-GMO Project” label as this is a reputable non-for-profit third party organization that certifies products as being non-GMO’d. And remember – control what you can and don't sweat the rest. Feel confident in your purchases and try not to stress when you’re at someone else’s house for a meal. All things in moderation!
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