Skip to main content

Food Trends: To Be Organic Or Not To Be, That Is The Question

I recently purchased Netflix and have been watching all the food documentaries.  If you’ve watched any of them and are like me, you may have felt quite nauseas by the end of most of the movies.  Shortly after watching all movies I have been known to say “that’s it we’re eating all organic.”  Honestly, I do not purchase all organic right now.  It becomes quite expensive and also research can still not prove that organic is healthier from a nutrient composition. So, I pick my battles. Being a registered dietitian has its upsides when reading food labels, but when I speak to clients, friends, or even my husband, the labels can be quite confusing. 

The term organic references the way farmers grow and process dairy, meat, fruit, vegetable, and grain products.  Instead of farming the conventional way, utilizing pesticides, and such or regulating where livestock lives and matures, organic farmers utilize crop rotations, mulch, manure, compost and such to prevent disease.  Animals are given organic feed, allowed to be outside, and live in a clean household.

The USDA (United States Department of Agriculture) regulates and certifies organic products and different foods have seals that state where they stand organically.  It is important to realize that the seal is voluntary and that producers who sell less than five thousand dollars of product a year are exempt from certification, but still need to follow USDA standards.

So what does each seal or statement mean?

100% organic
Everything plus ingredients is organic. Usually a single ingredient food
95% - 100% of everything plus ingredients is organic
Made with Organic Ingredients
70% of ingredients are organic
Contains Organic Ingredients
Contains less than 70% of organic ingredients

A lot of times meats will utilize different terms instead of organic. Here's some clarification.

Minimally processed, no artificial flavors or coloring but may still receive antibiotics
Grass Fed
Fed grass or hay, access to outside. Usually healthier/leaner
Free Range
Not caged, allowed to be outdoors, however this label is unclear. Best to call to get clarification
No Hormones Added
No growth hormones are added. Keep in mind by law poultry and pigs cannot be given hormones

To be organic or not to be is the question.  Research is inconclusive regarding if organic foods are healthier from a nutrient composition, but I feel there is an argument worth stating that organic foods are free of hormones, genetically modified organisms (foods that have altered DNA), food additives, food coloring, and many more. 

If on a budget it is always worth checking out your local farmer markets, food co-ops, and community supported agricultural farms as prices may be more reasonable.  Do you do organic? What’s your trick to the trade? 



Kathryn said…
I try to follow the dirty dozen and clean fifteen rule. It strikes a reasonable balance for me.

Popular posts from this blog

Food Trends: Macros Misconstrued

Oh Macros, how I love thee. You are the foundation of my nutrition recommendations. You should be individualized and different for everyone although you are "prescribed" routinely the same person to person. You are scientific, there is not a one size fits all, and frankly you are misunderstood.

A couple of years ago Macros started to become more popular in the www world when a brilliant someone decided to market magical macro percentages to induce weight loss, body massing, and everything else under the sun. The thought process is to start with grams of protein needs dependent on body weight, to then look at range of fats between 25-35% dependent on goals and body type, and to provide the remaining of your macro goals from carbohydrates.  How easy, especially since everyone has the same protein needs, insert sarcasm here.

Right away many bought into this bullet proof hope and we now have too many folks determining and "prescribing" ratios for people who aren't …

A Note to Self before "Bathing Suit Season"

We are coming up on Memorial Day Weekend. The pools will open, beach season begins, and everyone is scurrying around to buy new bathing suits or cover ups. Although I LOVE summer there's an aspect of this time of year that I very much dislike.  I absolutely cannot stand the insecurity bathing suits bring to the mind. How many of your friends' Facebook and Instagram posts read "Gotta get bikini ready" or "I'm not ready for bathing suit season?" It's on everyone's minds and we have much better things to worry about people.

The fact of the matter is that MOST people feel vulnerable in a bathing suit. Think about it you are practically naked and I'm pretty sure the woman whose body modeled your final product may have had longer legs or is 15 years old.

Is it really worth allowing yourself to feel vulnerable and insecure over something that realistically isn't even created to showcase your body's strengths?  What in the world does how yo…


I am a runner, although not currently training for anything. I started off running track in high school, short distance sprints ( an 800 was LONG for me) and I've always run many miles with my soccer endeavors.  In college I dabbled with running longer mileage but would cap it at 30 minutes. Ahhh the days of exercising 30 minutes a day, I remember those!!  

Shortly after I had my second child I realized how crazy life was with two children under the age of 18 months. I started running for two reasons: 1) It was the only time I had to myself  2) I lost so much of my core strength and endurance with back to back pregnancies I needed my strength back.  I've run 5 half marathons, many 10 milers and more than I can count 10 Ks, 5 milers, and 5 K's. My closet is lined with ribbons, medals, and trophies and even some podium awards.

Once I felt I mastered my running goals, and tired or runners knee,  I started competing in triathlons. What a challenge! I was stoked to make the p…