Understanding the nature of organic foods

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In modern-day America, there has been a growing frenzy for organic foods. In order to make an informed opinion on the matter, consumers must first know the difference between the organic and non-organic foods.

Many government programs and local medical practitioners have emphasized the new food craze and support this rise in organic foods.

WHAT IS ORGANIC?
One of the differences between organic and non-organic foods are the manner in which they are grown and processed. The Food and Drug Administration and the U.S. Department of Agriculture hold stricter regulations on how to process foods compared to nonorganic food standards.

According to the FDA’s 1996 Food and Quality Protection Act, certain regulations for organic crops must be followed: organic crops must be grown in safe soil, contain no alterations and remain separate from non-organic products.

Also, farmers cannot use synthetic pesticides, growth hormones, petroleum-based fertilizers or sewage sludge-based fertilizers. The answer to whether organic foods actually are healthier than non-organic foods still remains unanswered.

David Klurfeld, national program leader of human nutrition, USDA Agricultural Research Service, suggests that on average, organically grown fruits and vegetables may contain slightly higher levels of Vitamin C, trace minerals and antioxidants than traditionally grown produce.

WHAT’S WRONG WITH NON-ORGANIC?
Another comparison between organic and non-organic foods is one uses pesticides and the other does not. Pesticides are a major concern because they can be lethal to those who have weak immune systems.

“Pesticides … if induced either orally or by inhaling it can cause serious damage,” said Alejandro Gonzalez, respiratory therapist. “For example, when pesticides are induced orally at a high amount, the manner in which your body reacts is by creating a cavity, or a film of tissue around the dead tissue, trying to minimize the damage.”

Angel Castro, senior kinesiology major, said, “Inorganic foods use preservatives that those type of foods go through in order to get the desired taste the consumer is looking for so it becomes easier for the consumer to purchase nonorganic foods.”

HEALTHY AFFORDABLE?
The differences in price that range between these two kinds of foods can make an impact when making the decision to buy organic versus non-organic.

“Organic foods are healthier for you to eat and works a lot better for your digestive tract; however, it costs more money to purchase them,” Castro said.

Gonzalez said that “organic foods are the way to keep and maintain a healthy lifestyle. The frenzy of organic foods is a great thing that is happening in America. Remember, eating organic foods can help keep you, your family and your community healthy.

About Daniel Gonzalez

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