What Does Organic Means ?
Diet plays an important role in health and disease. The foods we choose to eat can help in the prevention of many illnesses, thus increasing our quality of life. In the local supermarket or health food store, there are more food choices than ever before. This can often lead to confusion in determining what food choices are the healthiest. Some people are choosing organically grown foods over conventionally grown foods. The main reasons some choose to consume organically grown foods is the thought that
- (1) they are consuming little or no pesticide residue left on produce,
- (2) they want to support an industry that is more gentle and has less negative impacts on the environment
- (3) they believe organically grown foods have higher levels of nutrients.
Organic Foods Are..
Organic foods can include fruits, vegetables, grains, dairy foods, eggs, and to some extent, meats and poultry. Organic foods are defined as those foods that are grown without the use of synthetic fertilizers, sewage sludge, irradiation, genetic engineering, pesticides, or drugs. Pesticides are chemical or control agents made to kill insects, weeds, and fungal pests that damage crops. In large amounts, these vegetables, organic foods are not necessarily 100% free of pesticides. Furthermore, the researchers stated that the pesticide levels of all foods mostly fell within the allowable safety limits that have been set by the government. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) completes a risk assessment for each pesticide and determines if there is “reasonable certainty that the pesticide will not harm a person’s health”. If there is risk, the pesticide is not allowed to be used
Organic foods also have strict rules concerning the amount of natural contaminants allowed for safe consumption. It has also been found that these foods only contain small levels of these contaminants.
Whether choosing organic or non-organic foods, experts agree that the best way to safeguard ourselves is to thoroughly rinse all fruits and vegetables under running water. Items with inedible skins should be washed, like cantaloupes and melons, because cutting the rinds with a knife can bring contaminants from the rind into the produce.