Organic food options are becoming increasingly popular and easier to find at local grocery stores and farmers markets. Navigating labels can be tricky though, and many may be wondering about the benefits (if any) organic produce offers, and if it’s worth the extra money.
Understanding organic foods and GMO labeling can help you make better choices on what you purchase at the store, and how to incorporate more organic food into your diet. How foods are grown can impact both your health and the environment and therefore becoming informed on what you’re putting into your body is important.
For food to be “organic” the product must be grown in safe soil, have no modifications, and must remain separate from conventional products such as synthetic pesticides, bioengineered genes (GMOs) or petroleum-based or sewage sludge-based fertilizers. Believe it or not, as many companies compete to offer the lowest price to consumers, many have turned to using GMOs which are plants or animals with DNA has been altered to make them more profitable.
Bt-corn for example, is a form of readily available sweet corn that has been genetically modified to include an insect-killing gene allowing famers to save time by not needing to spray with pesticides. Fruit, vegetables, oils and meat all have GMO varieties that have antibiotics which are passed along to humans when consumed, raising debate on if the GMOs in the foods that we eat will make humans and the animals who eat these foods more resistant to antibiotics.