Given the widely accepted adage “We are what we eat,” you would likely assume that buying organic is worth the cost. In reality, the costs and benefits of organic food is somewhat murky, and there’s an ongoing debate over when it’s really worth it to fork over extra dough for these products. Here’s what you need to know.
What is organic?
There are multiple layers to what constitutes organic. The USDA mandates that organic products “must be grown without synthetic pesticides, synthetic fertilizers or genetically modified organisms.” That means that natural pesticides and fertilizes are fair game, while genetic alteration of crops falls outside of what’s considered organic.
Organic meat, on the other hand, comes from animals “raised in a natural setting, where they were fed organic feed, and avoided antibiotics or hormones.”
There are several levels of organic labeling that you’ll find in your grocery aisle. 100 percent organic is exactly what you would think it is, while organic means that the ingredients are 95 percent organic.
What’s the point of organic?
Conventional agriculture can be a chemical shower, and those pesticide residues that remain on produce can very harmful to…