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Organic health food – are better for you

21 March 2009 1,170 views No Comment

Maybe you have noticed organic food in the supermarket and wondered what was so special about it. Organic health food is more expensive than conventional food but why is this? Does it taste different and is it better for you?

A Guide to Organic Health Food

Organic produce is not grown or processed in the same way as conventional food. It is never exposed to artificial fertilizers, conventional pesticides, industrial waste, human waste, and ionizing radiation or food additives. Conventional chickens are sometimes given tiny quantities of arsenic in their feed to fight parasites. Arsenic has been linked to cancer in humans. Organic animals are not given anything like that and are raised in clean, parasite free environments.

Organic livestock is reared without growth hormones or antibiotics. It is not genetically modified. Organic animals are raised on a healthy diet and are fed organic grains, which were grown in a pesticide and chemical free soil.

Organic chickens are raised in a stress free environment, in a humane manner. They get daily access to fresh air and sunshine and are allowed to roam outside in a safe and clean area. They have lots of room to move. Do not confuse organic chickens with free-range chickens though. Although free-range chickens can roam outside, the conditions are not always clean, safe or stress free. They can be fed anything the farmer decides to give them and they can be administered antibiotics or drugs.

The Popularity of Organic Health Food

Organic food used to be available only in farmer’s markets and small stores because the organic farms were small, family run ones. The production of organic food has increased about 20% a year since the early 1990s in both developing and developed nations.

$9 billion worth of organic health food was sold in 2002 in the United States and in the same year, the Department of Agriculture released the National Organic Standards. This was a list of guidelines to follow in order for farmers to be able to put the “organic” label on their produce. Organic foods have accounted for between 1 and 2% of worldwide food sales since April 2008. The British are great lovers of organic health food and lots of their organic produce has to be imported because British farmers cannot keep up with the high demand.

How Does Organic Health Food Taste?

The difference in flavor between an organic chicken and a free-range chicken is slight but the difference between an organic chicken and a battery chicken is very obvious.

Organic chickens are allowed room to roam about, so they have used muscles rather than wasted ones. They eat a better diet, have a better life, and are allowed to grow at a natural rate so it is clear that they will have a better flavor and texture. Organic farming is more labor intensive and the livestock feed is more expensive, so you should expect to pay more if you want to eat organic produce.

Imagine making a boneless chicken recipe with rich and tasty organic boneless chicken pieces and organically grown vegetables in an organic tomato based sauce. Organic vegetables are richer in both smell and flavor than conventionally grown vegetables. This would be a great recipe for the whole family and it is nice to know you are watching their health too.

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