Organic, we’ve all heard that word before. Some embrace it, some misunderstand it, but you can’t deny that it’s super popular - and for good reason! There are many incredible benefits to food that is certified organic that most people haven’t heard about. For the most part, organic food is thought of as healthier, without pesticides, and less chemicals. While most of this is true, there is SO much more to organic certification that is overlooked!
In fact, the official definition of organic production is ‘a holistic system designed to optimize health within the entire agro-ecosystem, including the lives of soil organisms, plants, livestock and humans’ (us!). The main goal of organic production is to develop operations that are sustainable and harmonious with the environment, so that our planet can have a better future.
As you can already see, there isso much more to organic products than what meets the eye. Read on to learn about the many benefits of choosing organic!
Many believe that organic food is healthier for us, but is it? Actually yes! Research shows that both organic milk and meat contain about 50% more beneficial omega-3 fatty acids than conventionally produced products.
But, it goes beyond promoting human health benefits. Organic production improves health from aholistic perspective, which accounts for improving the health of all assets of agriculture.
As per the Canadian Organic Standards: ‘Organic agriculture should sustain and enhance the health of soil, plants, animals, humans and the planet as one and indivisible.’
Through promoting holistic agricultural health, organic produce is much healthier. Produce grown in healthy soil will create higher quality and more nutrient-dense crops than if they were grown in soil that is not treated properly.
You should never bite the hand that feeds you, and ultimately, organic agriculture represents this - ensuring that everything from the soil, water and animals within the system are healthy, even extending to the humans picking your food!
Whether you do it for your health, or for the health of the ecosystem, buying organic food is always the right choice if you want a health boost
Another reason to love organic is that it promotes the ethical treatment of workers and animals. Because come on, it’s 2020 and everyone deserves to be treated right!
Organic production promotes the ethical farming of animals, but also promotes the well-being of independent farmers.Organic production requires that farmers use humane animal husbandry practices, including giving livestock access to open-air runs, as nature would intend. Happier animals, happier life, right?
YEP, you read that correctly! Organic certification standards do not allow the use of genetic engineering, or GMOs, in organic production. So eating organic is another fabulous way to avoid those pesky GMOs.
Perhaps one of the greatest benefits of organic production is it’sdedication to environmental sustainability. More than anything else, organic production is designed to promote sustainability. These initiatives benefit, respect and sustain ecology (and ultimately, our planet!).
Organic production is designed to:
Ok but seriously, if you identify as eco-conscious, a tree-hugger or if you just care for the environment, then buying organic is a perfect way to invest in environmental sustainability.
If you’re conscious about what you eat, then it’s important to be aware of what is used to farm or raise the food that you eat.
Organic production does not allow the use of synthetic pesticides or synthetic fertilizers. Also, Organic practices do not permit the use of synthetic growth hormones.
Overall, this reduces the amount of toxins on organic food and in the environment. A win-win!
Did you know thatOrganic is one of the most highly recognized, and regulated, food claims?
The Organic Federation of Canada (yes an official governing unit!) sets the rules and regulations to be used in organic certification. These guidelines are known as theCanadian Organic Standards. We currently operate based on the 2015 standards, but an updated version will be published (very soon!) in November 2020.
The Canadian Food Inspection Agency essentially works to make sure that all products that claim ‘organic’, or use the logo, are compliant with the Canadian Organic Standards.
These standards remove the guess-work, ensuring that all products that state ‘organic’ on the package have been approved by these strict regulations - so all products aretruly organic.
In a world with so many choices, it’s important to be knowledgeable about food practices so you, the consumer, can make decisions that align best with your values!
Government of Canada. (2019). Organic Products. Retrieved from: https://www.inspection.gc.ca/organic-products/eng/1526652186199/1526652186496
Organic Council of Ontario. (2020). Canada’s Organic Standards. Retrieved from: https://www.organiccouncil.ca/organics/standards-regulations/
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Średnicka-Tober, D., Barański, M., Seal, C., Sanderson, R., Benbrook, C., Steinshamn, H., Gromadzka-Ostrowska, J., Rembiałkowska, E., Skwarło-Sońta, K., Eyre, M., Cozzi, G., Krogh Larsen, M., Jordon, T., Niggli, U., Sakowski, T., Calder, P. C., Burdge, G. C., Sotiraki, S., Stefanakis, A., Yolcu, H., … Leifert, C. (2016). Composition differences between organic and conventional meat: a systematic literature review and meta-analysis.The British journal of nutrition,115(6), 994–1011. https://doi.org/10.1017/S0007114515005073
U.S. Department of Agriculture. (2019). Organic 101: What the USDA Organic Label Means. Retrieved from: https://www.usda.gov/media/blog/2012/03/22/organic-101-what-usda-organic-label-means