Organic foods are a viable alternative to the unhealthy fare we are accustomed to in the 21st century. It is an unfortunate fact that the human body accumulates debris on the walk of metabolic life. Various contaminants find themselves into our systems via the food we eat, the water we drink, the air we breathe – and not least of all via our lifestyles. The symptoms of poisoning usually pass for stress, general sickliness and fatigue. However, they have organic origins. We can reverse such poisoning by switching from junk foods to organic foods. It is possible to rid the body of a large amount of contaminants by eating organic foods. We first learn to choose healthy foods when we learn how our present ‘junk’ diets destroy our health. We have lost out in this respect because of our hurried lifestyles. Apart from the fact that they are instantly available, we choose fast foods because they zap our palates. Unfortunately, the tasty ingredients are often very harmful to our bodies. They are loaded with calories and often have very little nutrients. To top it off, they contain hazardous additives. These additives include pesticides, artificial fertilizers or sewage sludge and food additives consisting of genetically modified organisms.

Organic food must qualify as such by adhering to certain quality standards. Such standards differ from country to country. For example, in the United States, foods qualify as organic if they meet NOP Program Standards. In Australia, they must conform to NASAA Organic Standards and the UK has Organic Farmers and Growers Organic Standards.

Those who choose organic foods have a high level of awareness of what our body requires, and of what harms it. Our diets must have nutritional balance so that we get our daily dose of vitamins, minerals, proteins and other necessary elements. Organic foods literally eliminate harmful hydrogenated fats, cholesterol, refined sugars, refined flours, milled grains, artificial sweeteners and artificial food colors/flavorings. They are prepared in a healthy way, using processes that do not affect us adversely.

At one time, organic food consisted solely of fresh produce bought directly from organic farms. However, the definition has broadened in the current context and now includes both fresh and processed foods. Organic food is not limited to vegetables and includes organic meat, eggs and dairy products.

Organic certification is applicable to any manufacturer or establishment that meets the required standards of growing, storage, processing, packaging and presentation. Therefore, concerned authorities award organic food certification not only to seed suppliers and farmers but also to food processors, retailers and restaurants. The basic criteria are that the food or processes involved should not involve synthetic chemical inputs such as fertilizer, pesticides, antibiotics and food additives. They should come from farmlands that have not used chemicals for a specified number of years, and there should be a verifiable record of production and sales records.

An organic food producer or any establishment dealing with such products is required to maintain uncompromising physical separation of organic products from non-certified products and is subject to periodic on-site inspections. Additionally, the requirements on non-certified producers in terms of agricultural, food safety and other government regulations also apply in the case of organic food producers.

By eating organic foods, we improve our chances of living longer, healthier and more productive lives. Health foods include green vegetables, fruits, whole grain wheat and seafood like salmon. We must allow a professional nutritionist to plan our health food regimen. Establishing a correct nutritional balance is very important for overall health.
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