What Are Organic Foods: What’s the Difference?

If you are just beginning to enjoy healthy living and transforming your life by making as many healthy lifestyle choices as possible you may be wondering what are organic foods. What’s the difference between conventionally raised foods and organic foods? What makes them so special and worth more money?

The answers are varied, and when you find out what makes organic foods better than conventionally raised products, you may find yourself hurrying to make the transition to healthier food choices. Here is an easy to understand guide to what are organic foods, that explains how they are different, and why they are better.

What are Organic Foods? – Raised Without Chemical Pesticides and Herbicides
Harsh chemical pesticides and herbicides are designed to do one thing: They have been created to kill. Farmers who use conventional methods spray their crops in order to increase yield, not to make the foods they grow healthier. When you choose organic foods, you are assured that these chemicals so not find their way into your own personal food chain. Best of all, you can feel good knowing that the healthy food choices you are making are not having a negative effect on the environment.

What are Organic Foods? – Raised Without Genetic Modification
GMO’s, or Genetically Modified Organisms, have been altered by scientists to display certain traits. For instance some plants, especially corn, which is a component in most conventional processed foods, is commonly engineered to resist pesticides and to tolerate unhealthy soil conditions. In some cases, these plants have been engineered to act as pesticides themselves. Is this something you really want to eat? The only way you can be sure you are not eating something made with GMO’s is to eat organic foods, including meat, eggs, and dairy.

Conventional Foods Are Often Harmful to the Environment
Chemical fertilizers sourced from petroleum are often used to augment soil which has been weakened by cycle after cycle of growing the exact same thing. These chemical fertilizers not only increase dependence on petroleum and affect the prices we pay for everything, they also end up leaching into the soil and groundwater. Major fish kills in rivers like the Shenandoah have been blamed on toxic fertilizers.

What are Organic Foods? – Animal Products That Do Not Contain Hormones and Antibiotics
Animals living in close proximity to one another on factory farms are often fed antibiotics in order to prevent them from contracting illnesses that don’t occur when they live in normal, uncrowded and natural conditions. These antibiotics can make their way into your food, and into your bloodstream. The medical community is concerned that this overuse of antibiotics may cause your own resistance to the drugs to be increased, so that if you need to take a course of antibiotics for an illness, they may not work as they were designed to.

Some animals are given hormones to make them produce more food faster – for instance, dairy cattle are often given hormones to cause them to produce greater quantities of milk. In addition, they are fed food that contains non-organic elements. In many cases, they are given food that contains animal proteins, even though they are not designed to eat these substances. These drugs and hormones, as well as the GMOs and other harmful substances fed to factory farm animals can find their way into your body, and the only way to avoid them is to choose organic foods.

If you are concerned about your health, and want to enjoy a healthy lifestyle, then all these things can stand in the way. Now that you know what are organic foods, you can take a proactive role in your own health, by limiting your exposure to harmful chemicals – and you’ll be helping the planet, too.