What Is Organic?

Other Considerations

According to the National Society for Nutrition, there is no clear definition for the term "natural" and you’ll see terms Many factors influence the decision to choose organic food. Some people choose organic food because they prefer the taste. Yet others opt for organic because of concerns such as:

  • Pesticides. Conventional growers can use synthetic pesticides to protect their crops from molds, insects and diseases. When farmers spray pesticides, this can leave residue on produce. Organic farmers use insect traps, careful crop selection (disease-resistant varieties), predator insects or beneficial microorganisms instead to control crop-damaging pests. Some people buy organic food to limit their exposure to these residues. Organic produce typically carries significantly fewer pesticide residues than does conventional produce. However, residues on most products — both organic and nonorganic — don't exceed government safety thresholds.
  • Food additives. Organic regulations ban or severely restrict the use of food additives, processing aids (substances used during processing, but not added directly to food) and fortifying agents commonly used in nonorganic foods, including preservatives, artificial sweeteners, colorings and flavorings, and monosodium glutamate.
  • Environment. Some people buy organic food for environmental reasons. Organic farming practices are designed to benefit the environment by reducing pollution and conserving water and soil quality. Other practices in agriculture designed to protect the environment, especially the soil, are sometimes referred to as “regenerative” or “biodynamic.” Some see these methods as being a next phase for organic agriculture practices.

What Else Should You Know About Organic?

According to the National Society for Nutrition, there is no clear definition for the term "natural" and you’ll see terms Organic food is expensive for a reason. While you may not see a difference between the conventionally and organically grown tomatoes in the supermarket, you will definitely notice a difference in the price. The conventionally grown tomato is $2.99 per pound, while the organic tomato is $4.99 per pound. The organic tomato is higher because of the cost of certification, higher rate of crop failure, and the longer time it takes to grow the organic tomato.