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    THE NIBBLE’s Gourmet News & Views

    Trends, Products & Items Of Note In The World Of Specialty Foods

    This is the blog section of THE NIBBLE. Read all of our content on TheNibble.com,
    the online magazine about gourmet and specialty food.

EARTH DAY: 10 Reasons To Eat More Organic Food

Fresh fruit is even better for you when you’re
not consuming pesticides. Photo courtesy
The Fruit Company.

 

“Organic” doesn’t simply mean that the food is chemical-free; it’s also produced in ways that are good for the planet. The USDA’s National Organic Program certifies products as organic based on farming, handling, manufacturing, distribution and labeling practices.

  • For crops, no synthetic pesticides or fertilizers containing synthetic chemicals are permitted, no sewage-sludge fertilizer, no bio-engineered foods or irradiation, and no GMOs (genetically modified organisms). Farming practices should enhance and preserve soil and water. A government inspector must certify the farm after visiting it; farmers must keep detailed records on crops.
  • For animals, no antibiotics or growth hormones are permitted, animals must be raised on organic feed and have free range to graze.
  •  
    Some products may be more expensive than conventional foods, but see how you can save money with bulk organic foods.

     
    Today is Earth Day. According to EarthDay.org, more than one billion people in 192 countries are taking some action to save our planet. Eating organic food is one of them.

    Here are 10 reasons to eat more organic products—today and every day:

    1. Nutrition without chemical pesticides and fertilizers. While no studies have yet proven that organically-grown produce has more vitamins and minerals, we know one thing they don’t have: chemicals.

    2. No GMOs. Organic products are governed by the USDA’s National Organic Program. When you buy organic, you’re guaranteed that no genetically modified organisms are in your food. Here’s the scoop about GMOs in food.

     

    3. No antibiotics. Humans consume unwanted antibiotics in conventional meats. Conventional cattle and poultry are shot with antibiotics as a matter of course, so animals in crowded feedlots don’t become ill. Conventional milk is loaded with rBST, recombinant bovine growth hormone, banned by all but three nations. If an animal in an organic herd becomes ill and needs antibiotics, it is removed from the organic herd to a conventional herd.

    4. No chemical additives. Organic food is free of colorings, artificial flavorings and chemical preservatives. Natural, organically-certified flavors can be used, as well as natural preservatives such as ascorbic acid (vitamin C, from citrus).

    5. No irradiation. Irradiation is used to color foods synthetically. Here’s more about food irradiation.

    6. Government inspected. Organic farms and production facilities must be inspected by the USDA at least once a year.

     

    Organic milk is free of antibiotics and hormones. Photo by Rob Waterhouse | SXC.

     

    7. Environmentally friendly. There are no chemical pesticides to not sink into the water table (from which we all drink); the land is farmed sustainably to prevent erosion and other degradation of the soil.

    8. Good for animals. Animal welfare is a key component of organic meat production. Here‘s the scoop on organic meat.

    9. Good for the climate. Organic production watches its carbon footprint and emits less carbon dioxide, a greenhouse gas that erodes the ozone layer.

    10. Better taste. While there are no scientific studies on flavor, most fans agree that the pure taste of nature simply tastes better. Maybe it’s the halo factor of knowing that the food has been produced in ways that are better for us and our planet.

    LEARN YOUR ORGANIC FOOD TERMS IN OUR ORGANIC FOODS GLOSSARY.

      





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