All Natural Qualifications

All+Natural+Qualifications

Elizabeth Martinez, Writer

One trip to the grocery store could tell you that there is typically a fine line between organic products and not. Although these foods may be separated into their own section at the store, a lot of people still seem uninformed about what “’organic” really means. Once you dig deeper into the rules and regulations set up by the USDA, it seems like the line has been blurred. The initial concept of the term was to market objectively better alternatives to everyday products. Over the years, the word itself is used as a selling point, regardless of where the product was sourced or how good it actually is for the consumer. 

The USDA gives organic food the basic description of anything grown without pesticides or synthetic fertilizer, but most people don’t understand the problem with these farming agents. According to research done by Stanford University students there is no real nutritional difference between both organic and not. 

Another key detail about organic food is the considerably higher prices. Since these products have to jump through hoops to reach “organic” status, the prices are significantly higher. Farming organically is much more labor intensive and the farmers don’t receive federal subsidies. High prices aren’t always a given, thankfully, but when shopping organically it’s typically expected to spend more for the quality.

If it’s considerably more expensive but not necessarily better, why should a consumer care? Well, organic farming promotes a more sustainable and eco-friendly business practice rather than how it’s typically done on mass produced fields. With the limits set by the USDA, organic foods aren’t allowed to contain any genetically modified organisms, which is good for preventing the consumption of any harmful hormones a product may contain. These hormones can easily affect the development of a child, the GMOs in regular cows milk can slightly impact the natural growth process. Actually the mass consumption of genetically modified products with hormones has sped up the average age for children to hit puberty since the last fifty or so years.

The benefits of organic products may seem like a mystery, as there is little to no public knowledge, but the long and even short term benefits outweigh the downsides, even if it doesn’t seem like it at first glance. The future higher demand could greatly decrease prices and normalizing sustainable organic farms could result in a healthier planet with healthier people.