Purchase produce emblazoned with the USDA’s official organic seal, and you should be able to assume several things are true: Your food will have been grown without the benefit of synthetic fertilizers and pesticides, sewage sludge or irradiation, and it won’t contain genetically modified organisms. Meat labeled organic will have been raised on such crops, and will be free of antibiotics and growth hormones; pre-slaughter, the cow or chicken or pig’s handlers were held to certain standards of animal health and welfare.
Whether or not you’re buying something that’s healthier than conventional food is still up for debate — the biggest analysis to date found little evidence for this being the case, although it did suggest that eating organic can reduce your risk of exposure to pesticide residues and antibiotic-resistant bacteria.
It is, of course, almost certainly going to cost more. The reasons why people decide to shell out for organic may vary depending on how well they understand the specifics, but at the very least, most recognize that buy choosing organic, they’re purchasing a product grown in ways that subvert the worst, environmental-damage-causing practices of conventional food production.
May 23 2015