Just a few years ago, there were a limited number of categories for food: there was food according to taste (sweet, sour, salty, bitter) and there was food according to what it is made of (meat, fruit, vegetable, fish). In recent years, however, a new category was introduced, that is, food according to how it is made. With this, the term organic foods comes into the picture.
According to the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), organic foods are those foods that are made or grown without the use of pesticides, artificial fertilizers, growth hormones or any form of biotechnology. They are those foods that grow at a natural pace, are plucked when ripe and are taken as is. In contrast, non-organic foods are those that are grown for commercial consumption and are hence aided by pesticides, artificial fertilizers, growth hormones and biotechnology to grow faster, become plumper and appear more appetizing. In line with this new distinction among foods, a new age argument has (literally) been placed on the table: which is better, organic food vs. non-organic food?
Powerful arguments support each side. For those who believe that organic food is better than non-organic food, they adhere to the belief that all the pesticides, artificial fertilizers and chemical enhancers that go into non-organic foods are the reason behind many human ailments and diseases. While this belief can be backed up by some research, this research is still not conclusive and hence cannot yet be considered as fact. In addition, those who are supporters of organic food also pride themselves in the fact that creating organic foods is far less expensive and friendlier to the environment. For those who do not believe in buying organic food, they stress on the points of organic food being far more expensive to purchase and much harder to keep because of the lack of preservatives. They bank on previous studies linking organic foods to no more health benefits than non-organic foods and they also point to the fact that organic foods are not necessarily 100% free of artificial additives as the USDA still permits the use of some chemicals in growing them.
Because research on the topic has not yet completely been verified, the difference between organic and non-organic foods rests primarily in ones preference; at least for now. What scientists and most doctors are urging people to do is, rather than focusing on how healthy organic foods might be compared to non-organic foods, they should take a closer look at their daily diets and determine the health of their lifestyles from there. It is said that it happens all too often these days that people obsess over organic foods and yet have diets loaded with artificial flavouring, trans fats and processed sugars, i.e. junk. Before joining in on the argument of organic foods vs. non-organic foods, one must first make the necessary changes in ones diet in order to be able to call oneself truly healthy and health-conscious. As for organic foods vs. non-organic foods, let that be the next step.