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Is Organic Food the Best Choice?

Let's Discuss, Organic food is food that is grown with organic farming practices that do not allow the use of synthetic pesticides, herbicides, or fertilizers. This means that organic food is likely to have lower levels of pesticide residues than conventionally grown food. To be certified as organically grown, the soil that organic food is grown in has to have been free of pesticide application for 3 years. One of the health benefits of organic food is that it avoids the synthetic pesticides, herbicides, or fertilizers used in conventional farming that can interfere with the body's hormones. These chemicals have been linked to a number of health problems, including diabetes, cancer, reproductive problems, and developmental disorders. Organic fruits and vegetables often have higher levels of certain antioxidants and other biologically active compounds than conventionally grown food. Other benefits of organic food is that organic food often tastes better than conventionally grown food. This is likely due to the fact that organic farming practices allow the food to develop its full flavor potential. Organic farming practices helps to build healthy soil, which can help to reduce erosion and improve water quality and organic farming practices require that animals be raised on pasture and have access to the outdoors. This can lead to healthier and happier animals.

Choosing organically grown food is a great choice but there is something even more important: Food can be divided into 3 categories: unprocessed, processed or ultra-processed.

  1. Unprocessed/minimally-processed. Unprocessed foods include the natural edible food parts of plants and animals. Minimally processed foods have been slightly altered for the main purpose of preservation but which does not substantially change the nutritional content of the food.

  2. Processed. Processed foods are foods that have been minimally processed to preserve or improve their shelf life or make them more convenient to eat. They may contain a few added ingredients such as salt, sugar, or oil, but they do not contain the same level of artificial ingredients as ultra-processed foods.

  3. Ultra-processed. Ultra-processed foods are foods that have been extensively processed and contain multiple ingredients, some of which could be artificial. They are often high in calories, sugar, unhealthy fats, and salt. Ultra-processed foods are among the most unhealthy foods to eat.

It is important to note that just because a food is organic does not mean that it is healthy. It can be a surprise to some that certain organic food can also be considered an ultra-processed food. Some examples of organic ultra-processed foods include Organic chips, cookies, crackers, frozen dinners, soda, sport drinks, and candy. Organic ultra-processed foods can be high in unhealthy ingredients and low in nutrients. Ultra-processed foods are often marketed as “healthy,” “natural” and “organic.” While these words may describe the original ingredients, they don’t refer to the process of how the food was made. So it’s buyer beware. Remember, an organic, natural cookie is still an ultra-processed food! So there is more to consider when choosing organic food. In conclusion, the best choice is to eat a diet rich in unprocessed or minimally processed organic foods, eating a variety of low-processed and high fiber foods, with plenty of fruits and vegetables, whole grains and beans whenever possible is the best choice.

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