Health Benefits of Choosing "Organic" and What "Natural" Means

As a consumer, by the first sight, the price tag of organic products might look always higher than processed food. However, understanding what you are paying for, helps on looking at the higher prices in a different way, you may start worrying less about present expenses and a little bit more about what you would be saving in the future by going organic.

What Does "Organic" Mean?

The word "organic" refers to the way farmers grow and process agricultural products, such as fruits, grains, veggies, dairy and meat. Organic farming is designed to encourage soil and water conservation and reduce pollution. Examples of organic farming practices include using natural fertilizers to feed soil and plants, and using crop rotation or mulch to manage the presence of weeds.

Organic products must be free of antibiotics, artificial growth hormones, high fructose corn syrup, artificial dyes, sweeteners, synthetically created chemical pesticide and fertilizers, genetically engineered proteins and ingredients, sewage sludge and irradiation.

Basically, we could say that nowadays eating "organic food" is what our grandmothers would call eating "food". A lot of these practices did not exist when we were younger and were introduced into our foods in the last few decades.

Is "Organic" and "Natural" the Same?

"Natural" can mean any number of different things depending on where you are. "Natural Foods" are often assumed to be foods that are minimally processed and do not contain any hormones, antibiotics or artificial flavors, still it does not mean much. Examples would be: fruit juices, whole wheat products, gluten free foods, oils, refined sugar substitutes, breakfast cereals, low fat or fat free pasteurized milk, all of them may say natural, but still, not organic.

Should We Choose Organic?

Taking in consideration our health and planet sustainability, yes, we should all prioritize organic choices. Still, it does not mean that eating 100% organic would be enough to represent a balanced unprocessed nutritious diet which could attend our individual daily caloric needs as well. Eating 2 kg of organic broccoli a day, or drinking a gallon of organic coconut oil, swimming in a pool of organic brown sugar, bananas and cinnamon or feeding on pounds and pounds of organic grass fed beef are all extreme examples of unbalanced diets. For that, make sure you count on a specialist in fitness nutrition, certified dietitian or nutritionist to help you on achieving your personal goals.

Keep Strong.