When you walk through any supermarket, the chances are that you’ll bump into a shelf space devoted to organic food — food that is produced without the use of most synthetic pesticides and fertilizers, and animal products that are free of hormones and antibiotics.
Demand for organic food is up, with sales in the US reaching $47.9 billion in 2018. They are expected to rise in the foreseeable future due to a higher interest in healthier lifestyles and chemical-free foods.
What’s the Buzz About?
Organic agriculture is about preserving natural resources, supporting animal welfare, and avoiding potentially hazardous chemicals. But these are not just empty words; there are specific regulatory bodies that regulate the organic industry with strict standards.
For instance, if you plan to grow and sell organic crops on your farmland, the land must meet specific requirements. To produce organic livestock or dairy products, your animals must have nearly continuous access to the outdoors. Also, organic livestock must not be given antibiotics, hormones, or other animal by-products.
Should You Buy It?
The research on the health benefits of organic food is disjointed and unclear, so we still can’t know for sure whether organic foods are more nutritious or carry fewer health risks than conventional alternatives.
However, a study published in JAMA Internal Medicine revealed that eating organic food reduces the risk of cancer by 25%. This is one of the most critical facts about organic food benefits.
If you do want to go organic, you’ll likely notice a higher price tag on many items. In 2018, organic drinks and food cost $0.24 more than conventional options. So how do you make the decision about going organic? For starters, take a look at the infographic below — it provides insightful information on the organic food industry.