Difference Between Organic and Natural Food
“What is the difference between organic and natural food?”. Many people think that there is no difference between the two and both mean the same. But this is not true. If you compare organic and natural from their definitions, the difference will be clear.
Difference Between Organic Medicines and Herbal Medicines
There is good deal of confusion that herbal medicine means organic medicine. According to an estimate by the World Health Organization, about 4 billion people around the world use herbal medicines for their primary healthcare needs. So does this mean that all these 4 billion people use organic medicine? Not at all. Often people including several experts also would say that the herbal and organic mean the same. However, legally, the three words do not have same meaning.Let us look into what herbal and organic mean.
Does Organic Have a Legal Meaning?
Yes, in most countries, using the word organic has legal significance and the organic label should be used only as per the organic standards of that country. The organic standards are legally enforceable if a manufacturer or processor uses the organic certification label.
Do I Help Conserve the Environment by Eating Organic Food?
Yes, since no chemical fertilizers and pesticides are used in producing organic food, consuming organic food means conserving the environment.
The pesticides used in non-organic farming are wiping out numerous species of beneficial insects, butterflies, and birds. It is estimated that about 672 million birds are affected by large amount of pesticides used on US agricultural farms and 10% of these are killed due to these pesticides.
Why is Organic Food Priced Higher?
The biggest concern of people all over the world is that organic food products are priced higher than conventional food products. However, it should be noted that organic food is becoming popular in spite of the higher prices. People are willing to pay the high premium due to the various benefits offered by organic food products.
What is Organic?
When you go to the supermarket, you can see several food products that claim to be organic. Numerous people are seen discussing benefits, prices and stores of organic food. Schools have started using organic milk in their cafeteria, lunch rooms and vending machines. Demand for organic beef is doubling every year in the US.
What is Natural?
While the USDA has set guidelines for producing, processing and handling organic products through its Organic Foods Product Act, it has not taken such steps for natural products. The question 'What is natural?' has, hence, troubled all since many years and has become very important due to increasing popularity of organic and natural food.
Organic Food FAQs
What is organic food?
Organic food referes to food items that are prepared according to the norms set by an organic certifying body. On an overall basis, organic food is food prepared and processed without using any chemicals, that is, organic food production does not involve the use of chemical fertilizers, chemical pesticides, chemical preservatives, etc.
Is Organic Food Better in Quality?
The USDA and FDA clearly mention that organic food is not superior to conventional food in any respect. It also mentions that conventional food is as healthy as organic food. There are no additional nutrients in organic food and they also taste, look and smell exactly same as conventional food products.
How to Identify Organic Products?
Organic products have labels on the packing stating that the product is organic. Do ensure there are logos of the certification body that has issued the organic label. If the product just mentions organic or certified organic, do ask the shopkeeper about the certifying body.
How is Organic Food Produced?
Organic food production involves following stringent environment friendly standards in every stage of production, right from farming to processing and retailing. Organic food is produced in the following manner:
Health Benefits of Organic Food
The health benefits of organic food are more perceived than real. However, the public opinion that organic food is healthier than conventional food is quite strong and is the sole reason for about 30% growth in the organic food industry since the past 5-6 years.
Organic Facts is a strong proponent of organic food; however, the website believes in putting across the facts right to its visitors.
There is little scientific evidence to prove that organic food is better in quality than conventional food. Scientific research conducted so far on various organic food items have not been able to give strong signals about the superiority of organic food over non organic food. As a result, even the FDA and the USDA clearly mention that non organic food is as healthy as organic food. However, there are some scientific studies that have proved organic milk and organic tomatoes to be better than the non-organic ones.
Who Can Produce Organic Food?
Anyone can produce food through organic means. There are no restrictions on producing organic food for self consumption. You can produce organic food in your farm or garden. Many farmers who practice chemical farming produce some crops through organic means for their own consumption.
Are Organic Food Standards Same in All Countries?
No, each country follows its own set of rules. Some countries collectively follow standards. An excellent example is the International Olive Oil Council (IOOC). Over 30 countries follow these standards for labeling their products.
These countries include European countries such as the UK, Italy and Croatia, as well as countries from Africa and South America such as Argentina, Chile, Egypt and Libya. US, on the other hand, follows it own set of rules which were set in 1948.
Health Benefits of Food
The health benefits of food have been studied by various ancient civilizations and modern herbalists, naturopaths, and dieticians. Doctors have always told us that a proper balanced diet will help us prevent the incidence of a number of illnesses and diseases, treat most of the ailments, and live a healthy and happy life. Yet most of us limit ourselves to only a few types of food items.
Our body requires a variety of nutrients for its metabolism. Here is a short list of nutrients that our body requires – calories, carbohydrates, fats, proteins and fiber, minerals such as boron, calcium, chlorine, chromium, copper, fluorine, iodine, iron, magnesium, manganese, molybdenum, phosphorus, potassium, selenium, silicon, sodium, sulfur, vanadium and zinc, vitamins such as vitamin A, Retinol, Vitamin B, Vitamin B1, Thiamine, Vitamin B2, Riboflavin, Vitamin B3, Niacin, Vitamin B5, Pantothenic Acid, Vitamin B6, Pyridoxine, Vitamin B7, Biotin, Vitamin B9, Folic Acid, Vitamin B12, Cyanocobalamin, Vitamin C, Ascorbic Acid, Vitamin D, Vitamin E, Tocopherol, and Vitamin K. To get all these nutrients, it becomes necessary to eat a variety of food items.
Nutritional Value of Food
The nutritional value of food that we eat greatly governs our health and therefore most of the activities that we do in our life. Our food is the only source of energy, minerals and vitamin for our body and is responsible for the efficient metabolism of the same.