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Going Organic

Making a commitment to healthy eating is a great start towards a healthier life. As well as eating more fruits, vegetables, whole grains and good fats however there is the question of food safety and nutrition. How foods are grown or bred can impact your health greatly. This raises the questions, what is the difference between organic foods and conventionally grown foods? And is ‘organic’ always best?The term ‘organic’ refers to the way the products are grown and processed. There are specific requirements that must be met and maintained in order for products to be labelled as ‘organic’. Organic crops must be grown in safe soil, have no modifications, and must remain separate from conventional products. Farmers are not allowed to use synthetic pesticides, bioengineered genes (GMOs), petroleum-based or sewage sludge-based fertilizers. Organic livestock must have access to the outdoors and be given organic feed. They may not be given antibiotics, growth hormones, or any animal-by-products. The use of antibiotics in conventional meat production helps create antibiotic-resistant strains of bacteria. This means that when someone gets sick from these strains they will be less responsive to antibiotic treatment. Not feeding animal by-products to other animals reduces the risk of mad cow disease (BSE). Also, the animals are given more space to move around and access to the outdoors, both of which help to keep the animals healthy.Organic food is thought to be more nutritious as a result of being free from all the pesticides and synthetic chemicals and it is usually fresher too as it doesn’t contain any preservatives. Organic food is often grown on farms near to where it is being sold and it is said that organic farming is better for the environment due to the lack of pesticides and chemicals normally used.Organic food is often more expensive than conventionally grown food, but if you set some priorities, you can buy organic food and stay within your food budget. Purchase the organic versions of the foods you eat the most and those that are highest in pesticides if conventionally grown.

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