5 Common Mistakes People Make When Selecting Organic Foods

organic foods

Photo by Jessie Thomas-Blate / CC BY

There was once a time when a person needed to be a nutritionist to know anything about proper diet or organic foods. Now we have organic options everywhere we look, from fruits and vegetables to cleansers to cookware. Having a thorough understanding of what organic means is crucial to making wise food choices for you and your family.

1. Understand where your food comes from.

It is well known that large feed lots exist around the country in which thousands of cattle are raised for human consumption. These cattle are fed diets that include preservatives, antibiotics, and hormones which are known to cause disease in humans. Cattle that are labeled as organic cattle are supposed to be farm raised and graze in pastures filled with grass; however some farmers will label their cattle as organic when it is really not. Then there are other farmers who do the right thing and feed their cattle a grass diet, but cannot afford the “organic” seal of approval so they will instead use the “certified naturally grown” seal which is less costly.

2. To choose or not to choose foods with edible skins.

Not all fruits and vegetables should be treated the same. Strawberries, peaches, plums, apples, these are all fruits that most people eat with the skin left on. Obviously if pesticides are used on these fruits and the top layer is not peeled away before eating, some pesticides will be ingested no matter how much you wash them. On the other hand, things like avocados and bananas are normally peeled before being eaten so the chance of chemicals being ingested is much less. Foods that are grown in the ground are a risk if not grown organically such as potatoes, carrots and onions because they will absorb the chemicals while growing in the contaminated soil.

3. Watch what you’re cooking with.

If you think that choosing organic foods is the answer to being healthy, think again. Cooking in butter or using large amounts of sugar or dairy can make all the healthy gains from going organic spin right down the drain. Ensuring that your entire diet is a healthy one is the only way to maintain a healthy body.

4. Don’t think organic equals less calories.

Organic chocolate is still chocolate and is going to have all the calories non-organic chocolate has. When asked many thought that the word organic meant fewer calories, which is completely untrue.

5. If it’s organic it’s going to cost more.

While this is true of most supermarkets it is not usually true of farmers markets. Some of the best organic and less costly foods can be found at your local farmers market. Buying from a local farmer also gives a person the opportunity to support their local economy.