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Fact and Myth About Organic Food

Do you find yourself in a dilemma when it comes to buying organic food at the supermarket? The demand for organic products continues to rise despite being more expensive than non-organic products.

Undoubtedly, the desire for a healthy lifestyle has become a trend nowadays. Consumption of healthy foods, such as fruits, vegetables, and whole grains, has increased. Nonetheless, there are a few things you need to know about organic products.

What is organic food?

Organic foods are grown and processed using unconventional methods to conserve soil and water, promote ecological balance, and reduce pollution. Crop rotation, natural fertilizers, and mulches are examples of how organic farmers grow and process their products to achieve environmentally sustainable goals.Suppose you want to determine whether a food product is truly organic. In that case, you can look for national and international certification seals on food packaging in stores. 

Organic Products Certifications

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) has the following requirements for organic certification:

  • 100 percent organic products. No other ingredients are added or are completely organic.
  • Products must contain at least 95 percent organic ingredients.
  • Made with organic ingredients., or at least products that contain 70 percent organic ingredients. Although there is no USDA certification seal on the package, this product may contain organic ingredients.
  • Contained organic ingredients. Products with less than 70 percent organic ingredients do not carry the USDA seal. However, they may list certain organic ingredients on the package information.
  • Certification in Indonesia

In Indonesia, the Organic Food Certification Agency (LSPO) is Indonesia's certification agency for organic products. As of now, only 40 percent of the archipelago's organic farmland is certified at both the national and international levels, and only 20 percent is certified at the national level.

Therefore, before you buy organic produce, read food labels carefully. Ensure that organic products have a certification seal. Hence, you know they are organic. You can also buy organic products at the market and stock up while they are in season. If you're lucky, you can find lower-cost prices and fresher food there.

Nine common perceptions about organic products

Even though organic foods are popular and people are becoming more aware of environmental and health concerns, not all common perceptions and assumptions about organic products are accurate. Which perceptions are true and what are not?

1. Organic Products are Healthier: Myth

The United States government began regulating organic products in 1990, which led to claims that organic products were healthier. The validity of this claim is questionable, however.

A study published in the Annals of Internal Medicine in 2012 analyzed 240 studies on the nutritional value of organic products. It determined that they were not significantly more nutritious than conventional foods.Additionally, the scientists found that organic products reduce consumers' exposure to pesticide residues. They also prevent the ingestion of antibiotic-resistant bacteria.

2. Have less artificial ingredients: fact

The second perception about organic products is true. Some rules prohibit the use of artificial ingredients in organic products. These include preservatives, artificial sweeteners, colors, and monosodium glutamate.

3. Contains fewer pesticides: fact

Thirdly, pesticides are chemicals that kill pests on plants. As a result of conventional agriculture's use of pesticides, pesticides remain on the food.

4. No need to wash the organic one: myth

It is advisable to wash all organic produce before eating it, whether you buy it at the grocery store or the farmers market. Washing fruits and vegetables under running water help remove dirt, bacteria, and pesticides from their surfaces.

5. Support go-green: fact

In addition to reducing water, air, and soil pollution, organic farming methods increase soil fertility, reduce soil erosion, and use less energy. Reducing pesticides also impacts animals (especially birds and small animal species), including nearby residents.

6. Organic products contain more nutrients: myth

As of now, there is no actual proof that organic food has more nutritional value than non-organic counterparts. According to current research, organic and non-organic products contain similar nutrient content.

7. Invironmentally friendly: myth

Currently, research at the Hudson Institute, led by Dennis Avery, suggests that organic farming products use more land to produce the same amount of food as non-organic produce. Changing from non-organic to organic farming requires cutting down miles of forest.

8. The organic label means it is 100% organic: myth

According to the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), you should be able to distinguish between "100% organic" and "organic." Organic labels usually contain only 95% organic ingredients.

Some organic ingredients are too hard to find, including foods that use sausage, dyes, celery powder, and fish oil. If the food label says '100% organic', all supporting ingredients must be certified organic.

9. Prevent certain illnesses: myth

Next, there is also an assumption that organic products can prevent certain illnesses. It is simply not true. American Academy of Pediatrics experts say organic products don't reduce the risk of certain diseases.


Now you know a few facts about organic foods. It does not mean organic products mean the best. Therefore, it's not enough to eat healthily; you must also exercise regularly if you want a healthier body.

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