Never go on trips with anyone you don’t love….Ernest Hemingway "I am not a glutton -- I am an explorer of food." Erma Bombeck (1927-1996)

Sunday, September 17, 2006

Organic Food

Organic food is generally considered to be produced without the use of artificial fertilisers, without synthetic pesticides or antibiotics, hormones or other growth promoters. There are thus standards to which organic food is produced, traditionally on small family run farms, but there are some larger operations emerging since evidence has emerged that organic farming is more environmentally friendly and more sustainable that many contemporary farming techniques. There are also benefits for the people who eat organic farm produce.

The advantages of organic food for the consumer include higher nutritional levels, and over the long term studies have found the health benefits to be substantial. It is perhaps for this reason that organic baby food has become very popular. A university of Washington study found that preschool children fed regular diets had six times more metabolised organophosphate pesticides in their bodies than children who had been fed on organic diets. Organic fruit vegetables and juices as a part of a healthy balanced diet can considerably reduce exposure to harmful pesticides.

When shopping for organic foods to complete the cooking formulas of your favourite organic food recipes, look out for the organic certification of a product. The certification of organic food is done to protect the consumer in the growing market for organic foods. This prevents a producer from defrauding a consumer, or tricking you into eating what you don’t want to. There are, however, various certification bodies with different criteria, so this should be kept in mind. Also remember that the certification of a product is primarily a marketing drive by the producer, who is trying to get you to buy the product.

When visiting an organic food shop, sometimes called a health food store, you will notice that the prices seem slightly inflated. These organic food suppliers ask more for their products because most of the time the farm that supplies them is a small scale operation. This means that the cost cutting benefits of mass production are usually not applicable to organic foods. Consumers who value the ethics and benefits of organic food are usually willing to pay a bit extra for their organic groceries.

In the United States the sales in organic foods have increased between 17 and 20 percent over the past few years, while so called conventional products have seen a considerably lesser growth of 2 to 3 percent over the same period.

There has even been an increasing trend amongst those who enjoy spoiling their pets to such a degree that they are bying organic dog food. According to the Organic Trade Association, sales in organic pet foods have risen to three times the growth rate of organic products made for human consumption.

Organic food is far healthier that non organic

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