As and when you see something named as ORGANIC, you are eager to buy it. This is because of the fact that organic foods are a better choice for your health as they are free from pesticides, antibiotics and hormones or made from genetically modified plant or animal species. But are they really organic? Here is your guide to buying organic food items.
VEGETABLES AND FRUITS
According to University of Washington researchers, children who eat organic produce, have lower pesticide exposure levels well below what the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) considers a to be negligible health hazard. Studies have found presence of average of 200 industrial chemicals and pollutants in the umbilical-cord blood of newborns. Shockingly, most of them might have entered the bloodstream from mother’s diet. The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) certifies organic food and before certifying a government-approved certifier inspects the farm for compliance.
So before you buy Vegetables and fruits look for USDA green-and-white “certified organic” symbol on organic fresh, frozen and canned fruits and vegetables.
POULTRY AND EGGS
Though not organic, the poultry and egg industry has many terms that give them a look similar to organic. This includes ‘free roaming,’ ‘free range,’ ‘cage free,’ ‘no antibiotics,’ ‘no pesticides,’ ‘vegetarian fed’ and ‘hormone free.’ For being certified as organic poultry or egg they should meet all the above mentioned criteria and should be raised using certified organic farming methods.
Organic meats are meat from those animals that are raised by eating organically grown grass or feed and those from the animals which have not been treated with antibiotics or hormones. They might be labeled natural but this merely means that they are not administered with hormones, antibiotics, pesticides or other synthetic ingredients. You have to look out for certified organic meat though.
High levels of contaminants such as dioxins and poly chlorinated biphenyls (PCB’s) are found in farmed salmon, and high levels of mercury has been noted in large ocean fish. What you need to remember is that USDA hasn’t yet approved any certification standards for organic seafood, so there are no standards to prevent a company from selling its products under the label organic.