Does Organic Really Mean Better?

Over recent years, the organic food market’s rapid growth indicates a shift in consumer preferences. No longer willing to accept highly processed mystery ingredients in food, the demand for organic products has skyrocketed. Yet the obesity rate in the United States held static at a weighty (lol) 34 percent. What’s causing this imbalance?

The answer is in the marketing. Companies have become very skilled at delivering misleading information, which is why the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has regulations that prevent product’s from claiming to be organic unless they meet certain criteria. However, despite the best intentions of the USDA and the FDA, many consumers remain uninformed as to what is actually in their foods. After all, who wouldn’t be surprised to learn that products labeled “organic” are not necessarily healthier than conventional foods, and that not even 100 percent organic food is safe from marketing manipulation? Or, that just because an ingredient isn’t natural or organic doesn’t make it ad for your?

THERE IS NO CONTROL OVER THE BROAD CLAIMS EMBRACED BY ADVERTISERS; BE WARY OF THE FOLLOWING VERBIAGE:

* “ORGANIC” and “MADE WITH ORGANIC INGREDIENTS”: If a product is labeled with these terms, only 95 percent and 70 percent of the ingredients are organic, respectively. The remaining percentage could be synthetic chemical additives.

* “ALL-NATURAL” : This term is used similarly to “100% Juice.” Just because a beverage claims to contain 100 percent apple juice, doesn’t mean that apple juice is the only ingredient–It can still be packed with high fructose corn syrup or other hidden components.

* “FREE RANGE” and “HORMONE FREE”: Just because a package bares these descriptors does not mean the animal was raised or fed according to USDA-FDA organic regulations.

InEat This Not That: The Supermarket Survival Guide, the authors point out that, “Some clever companies use organic as a marketing smoke screen, only to load up a cup of yogurt or a box of crackers with unhealthy amounts of organic high-fructose corn syrup.” That’s right, even high fructose corn syrup, a highly refined sugar derived from corn, can be organic if the corn was grown in accordance with the FDA’s organic regulations, and it’s not just organic pre-packaged foods that can be misleading.

According to the USDA website, “It is important to keep in mind that the term ‘organic’ does not necessarily mean, ‘healthier’. In fact, a study that demonstrated higher amounts of polyphenols-antioxidant-like plan chemicals known for preventing cardiovascular disease and cancer in organic kiwis over conventional kiwis also found that organically grown tomatoes have fewer antioxidants than conventionally grown tomatoes.

furthermore, in Eat This Not That’s Food Additive Glossary, the authors list a number of man-made food additives that are perfectly safe. For example, erythorbic acid, guar gum and inulin all have health-enhancing benefits ranging from disrupting cancer-causing agents to soothing irritable bowel syndrome and aiding nutrient absorption. However, they also note that additives like BHA (butylated hydroxyanisole) have been described by the Department of Health as “reasonably anticipated to be a human carcinogen.” So, how can we ensure that what we’re putting in our bodies is beneficial?

THE MOST IMPORTANT THING YOU CAN DO IS BE INFORMED ABOUT WHAT YOU’RE PURCHASING. THE ORGANIC CERTIFICATION WAS INTRODUCED AS A GUIDELINE TO PREVENT THE FOOD INDUSTRY FROM MAKING UNSUBSTANTIATED CLAIMS; IT WAS NEVER INTENDED AS AN ENDORSEMENT. HERE ARE A FEW THINGS TO REMEMBER THE NEXT TIME YOU HIT THE GROCERY STORE:

* “organic” is a certification that you’re paying for. By going to your local farmers” market you’ll be getting produce that is likely grown in accordance with USDA-FDA regulations, but hasn’t been inflated to include the costly organic certification or cover the cost of transportation.

* “organic” and “healthy” are not interchangeable terms.

* Many small farmers cannot afford the organic certification, but that doesn’t mean their produce isn’t grown in accordance with USDA regulations. Young Living oils like wintergreen, frankincense, and balsam fir are sourced by small operations that meet USDA organic requirements, but simply can’t afford to get the certification.

* There are no FDA regulation on terms like “all-natural,” so do your research and know what you’re getting.

Organic practices are wonderful, but just because something is labeled “organic” doesn’t mean you’re getting a healthier product. Instead of just grabbing something because the label says ” organic” or “all-natural”, be educated as to what is best for you. Know where your food is coming from, and if you can’t get it at a local framer’s market, turn to a company you can trust.

Use and share this chart with your friends:

USE THIS NOT THIS:
Agave, honey, or stevia, NOT  Artificial sweeteners, sugar

lemon, orange, or peppermint essential oil NOT artificial flavors

Lavender Hand and Body Lotion NOT Store-bought moisturizers

NingXia Zyng, NOT sodas

NingXia Red and Nitro, NOT Energy Drinks or Coffee

Purification essential oil blend NOT Air fresheners