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

The Truth Behind Clean Eating

A quick trip to the grocery store or chain restaurant and you will likely be bombarded with the concept of “clean eating” foods that claim to be “organic”, “natural”, “non GMO”, and “gluten free”. There is also the laundry list of foods you should avoid such as high fructose corn syrup, processed foods, and various toxins or chemicals. As a consumer it can be very overwhelming and intimidating to choose which foods are best for you.
While clean eating is not a new sensation, it has become increasingly popular in part due to misinformation on social media. Fear mongering is the latest marketing strategy in which companies are deliberately arousing fear in consumers to help sell their product. For example, products claim to be non-GMO when in fact it is not produced as a GMO food in the first place. There are only 8 genetically modified crops commercially prepared in the U.S. Products that have never contained gluten have a “Gluten free” label on them. Then there is the irrational conce…

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…

You are what you eat BUT it takes longer than a day!

Recent research by Cornell University published a week ago in the New England Journal of Medicine proves that holiday weight gain does happen and most of it is from October to about ten days after Christmas.  The study analyzed 3,000 individuals over a years time focusing on daily weights that were collected and analyzed by a wireless Withings Scale.

Although the average weight gain from October to November was only 1.3 pounds this may prove that holiday weight gain is not a myth. Of interest, the study also showed that fifty percent lost the weight shortly after the holiday season while it took the other fifty percent about five months to lose the excess weight, shortly after Easter.
Author Dr. Wansink advises “Instead of a New Year’s resolution to lose weight, have an October resolution not to gain too much weight in the first place. Then you won’t have to worry about five months of struggling."
At Kindred Nutrition we tend to agree with Dr. Wansink's advice.  Our society is s…