It seems that organic food is everywhere nowadays. Consumers of organic food used to have to search for organic produce and animals products in specialty grocery stores or they were limited to a small section of organic food in conventional supermarkets. The organic industry has seen massive growth: in the U.S. alone organic food sales have skyrocketed from $3.6 billion in 1997 to $43.3 billion in 2011. [1] It seems that nowadays we can find organic food in every local grocery store. Organic food is often pricier than “conventional food”, yet it is still purchased because it is considered much healthier and more nutritious… but, is it really?

 

What is organic food?

Food must meet certain USDA criteria to be classified as “organic”. Organic produce must be grown without the use of synthetic pesticides, genetically modified organisms or ionizing radiation. However, pesticides derived from natural sources can still be used. Organic animal products such as meat, poultry, eggs and dairy products must come from an animal that was raised without antibiotics or growth hormones. Organic livestock must only receive certified-organic feed. Additionally, 30% of their feed must come from certified-organic pasture.

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