Blog

Source:  HelpGuide.org 

Introduction 

What exactly does organic mean and why is it so special?  It all comes from how the food is grown and processed.  In America, if the food is grown organic than no synthetic pesticides, GMOs, and petroleum-based or sewage-sludge-based fertilizers are to be used at all.  Livestock is to be raised outside and given organic feed, and are not to be given any antibiotics, growth hormones or animal by-products.  Here are some differences between organic versus non-organic foods, 

organic, organic food, food, healthy, health, healthyliving, healthyeating
Organic Food

Organic Food 

  • Use natural fertilizer like manure or compost  
  • Control weeds naturally by crop rotation, hand weeding, mulching or tilling 
  • Natural pest control using birds, other insects, traps and natural pesticides 
  • Livestock is given only organic, hormone and GMO-free feed 
  • Disease prevented through natural means like clean housing, grazing rotationally and giving them a healthy diet 
  • The livestock has to have access to the outdoors 

Non-Organic Food 

  • Use synthetic and chemical fertilizer 
  • Control weeds with chemical herbicides 
  • Controlling pests is done using synthetic pesticides 
  • Livestock given growth hormones and non-organic, GMO feed 
  • Antibiotics and medication are given to livestock 
  • Allowing livestock access to the outside isn’t required 

Benefits of Eating Organic 

  1. Fewer pesticides 
  2. Often fresher 
  3.  Organic farming better for the environment 
  4. Organically raised animals not raised by giving them antibiotics, growth hormones, or animal byproducts 
  5.  The meat and milk are richer in nutrients 
  6. The Food is GMO-free  

Organic versus Locally-grown 

There are no set standards for growing locally grown food.  There is the possibility of it being non-organic.  On top of that, locally grown doesn’t just mean local as in the community.  It could mean what is grown in the state or even the country itself.   

Benefits of locally grown food 

Financial – Money stays in the community as it goes directly to the farmer 

Transportation – Food is fresher and not covered in preservatives, irradiation and whatever to keep the food fresh traveling long distances  

Freshness – Harvested when ripe, therefore allowing for more flavors 

Ways to Keep Organic Food Affordable 

  • Go to farmer’s markets 
  • Join a food co-op 
  • Join a Community Supported Agricultural (CSA) farm 

Buying Tips 

  • Buy in season 
  • Make sure to shop around for deals 
  • Organic doesn’t always mean it will be equally healthy 

Summary 

The reason organic is more expensive is that it’s more labor intensive.  On top of that getting the organic certification is extremely expensive and organic feed costs twice as much as regular feed for the animals.  Most organic farms are not that big as everything is done by themselves, not through commercial means.  This means that fixed costs and overhead are going to be passed along smaller produce volumes with no help of government subsidies.   The money spent goes towards supporting their costs so that they can provide us with healthier food options.  Depending on how you feel about it, it could be money well spent or a waste of time.  How healthy a lifestyle do you want to live is the question to ask yourself.  As for myself, I prefer organic when I can afford it.  I think I’m going to start looking into farmer’s markets to see what they have to offer around here and support the community also while I’m at it.  What about you? 

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.