The food labeling world has to be one of the most obscure industries in my opinion. So many different labels and sub labels, but what do they all mean? This post is geared towards organic labels, not free range, grass-fed, or wild caught labeling (Those will come later on).
What is organic? When you go to the grocery store, I’m sure you’ve seen a little label that says “USDA Organic.” Keep in mind that when you go to a farmer’s market, although the produce is fresh, it is not necessarily considered organic because it has not gone through USDA regulations and certifications. However, I personally love going to farmer’s markets and supporting local farmers.
Moving on, the USDA organic label simply means that the produce has been grown/produced without synthetic substances and growth modifications (other than what can be achieved under natural conditions). They must also adhere to strict pest-management guidelines. Under the organic label there are actually 4 different types:
- 100% organic
- Organic: which is made with 95% organic ingredients
- Made with organic: at least 70% organic ingredients
- <70% organic
Conventional Foods do not have as strict regulations and are often grown/produced with more chemicals, antibiotics, steroids (growth hormones), additives, fillers, fortifiers, and chemicals.
In terms of research stating which is more nutrient dense, it is still very vague. The reason I choose to eat organic is simply because I would rather ingest lest pesticides, steroids, etc.
I am fully aware that organic foods are more expensive. If you have the means to do so, I urge you to go organic. If you think you do not have the means to go organic but spend a ton of money frivolously, I invite you to put your body first, but it’s up to you! If you do not have the means to do so, fruits and veggies are better than boxed food! If you preach organic, go green, all around holistic health and wellness and don’t purchase organic when you have the means to do so, shame on you (in my opinion).
Attached Is a 15 minute long youtube video going more in depth into organic vs conventional food items. I definitely recommend watching it, especially because the Dietician does go into the most vs least chemically enhanced food items while remaining unbiased. That list will come in handy when choosing where you should go organic.
Stay tuned for the next post on grass-fed vs non grass-fed meats and dairy.