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Myths About Organic Foods

Though the concept is becoming more mainstream these days, there are still a few myths and misunderstandings about the term "organic".

One large myth is that the word is just used as a marketing tactic, just like "natural", "green" or "eco". This is most definitely not true. In the United States, the labeling regulations for organic products are strictly controlled and the term cannot be used unless the food meets their standards. The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) regulates the labeling, and there can be a $10,000 fine for misuse. It can take years for a farm to get its official organic certification, so you can take it seriously.

Next, is the concept of how healthy organic foods. There is no question that eating foods without chemical residues is better for you but you shouldn't presume that organic foods have more vitamins, antioxidants or other nutrients. You are getting healthier foods because of what organic products lack, not because of what extra they contain.

And remember that processed foods made with organic ingredients aren't always healthy for you. You can buy completely organic potato chips for example, that are just as high in fat and salt as non-organic ones.

Do you still wash your organic produce when you get it home from the store? You should. It may not have been grown with artificial chemical treatments, but that doesn't make it clean. Many farmers do use sprays, just more natural ones. They can effect the taste of your food if not washed off, and you can't forget old fashioned dirt. Not to mention the fact that many organic growers use plenty of manure as fertilizer, there are some very good reasons why you must still wash your fruits and vegetables before eating.

And lastly, many people feel that organic foods and products are all sourced from small independent companies. Definitely not true. Kraft, General Mills and Kellogg's are behind some of the biggest organic brands.  In particular, they own Boca Burger, Cascadian Farms and Morningstar Farms (in that order). That doesn't make your food any less organic but be aware that your business may support the big agri-businesses you dislike.

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