Thinking about making the switch to organic foods but not sure what the big deal is; or confused by some of the food labels? With more discussion about going “green” and buying organic products, it might help to first explain some of the differences between organic foods and non-organic foods and clarify how foods earn their organic label.
Q: What’s the difference between organic foods and non-organic?
A: Organic foods are grown using sustainable methods of soil and water conservation and are minimally processed. Organic farmers use only natural fertilizers and pest controls. They concentrate on producing a fertile soil for which their produce can grow. Animals raised organically are housed properly, meaning they have room to move about and behave like animals. They are fed healthy food sources and not given any drugs, antibiotics, hormones, or any other chemicals to speed up their natural growth process.
Q: Why choose organic foods over others?
A: There are many reasons why one might choose organic foods over others. Some people choose organic foods because they are fresher than others since they have traveled shorter distances to get to the grocery store. Others choose organic foods because they have few or no preservatives and may have been locally grown. Some people choose organic to demonstrate support for sustaining a healthy environment. Organic foods are more likely to have been grown in a balanced ecosystem rather than an environment that uses herbicides and pesticides that can corrode the soil.
Q: How hard is it to switch to organic foods?
A: Making the switch from non-organic to organic has become much easier as organic foods have become more conventional and organic selections such as fruits, vegetables, eggs, milk and meat are now widely available. Grocery stores are offering more organic products in their packaged food section and meat departments as well. It’s much easier today to find canned or pre-packaged foods that are organic.
Q: Do organic foods taste different than non-organic foods?
A: Organic foods have more natural taste and often taste better than non-organic due to the fact they do not have any additives or artificial coloring added. Many people find organic foods such as dairy and meat products have a richer and wholesome taste compared to non-organic.
White Bean & Spinach Salad
- 3 cups cooked no-salt added cannellini beans
- 1 sm red onion, quartered and thinly sliced
- 4 cups fresh spinach, packed tightly
- 2 1/2 tbsp Dijon mustard
- 2 1/2 tbsp apple cider vinegar
- 1 tsp Italian seasoning
In a large mixing bowl combine beans and onion. Slice spinach into thin ribbons and add to the beans.
In a separate small bowl, whisk together mustard, vinegar and Italian seasoning. Pour dressing over the bean mixture and stir to combine all ingredients. Serve immediately or chill until ready to use.
This recipe is super budget friendly and can be made for around $1.06 per person.