Organic vs. Processed Foods
Organic foods are more popular than ever these days. But what do you know about them?

Organic foods and processed foods are two of the types of fruits, vegetables, and meats that can be found in grocery stores these days. In relation to this, there are several labels that are used in order to determine how much processing food has gone through. One of the steps in determining how nutritious your lifestyle is knowing whether there is a difference in organic or processed foods. Knowing what is contained in each and the effects that they have on your body can help you decide which foods to eat.  

The first thing to understand is the definition of the word organic.  When food is organic, it means that no preservatives, added chemicals or other types of fertilizers and/or pesticides have been added to the food.  With meat, the animals can not have been given any antibiotics or growth hormones. Usually, organic foods must be approved by the USDA in order to be defined as such.  

Next are the definitions of “natural” and “processed.” These types of foods can have preservatives, chemicals, fertilizers, and pesticides added to them. The meat can have antibiotics and growth hormones in it. Depending on the label of the food, there will be different levels of these additives. There are several reasons why this is done to the food. The first is to prevent extra bacteria from growing on or in the food. The second is that more food can be produced for the consumer. If the food is being transported into a different area, these chemicals allow the food to last longer. Another method that is used is biotechnology and irradiation. These are becoming a standard procedure in killing pathogens while keeping foods fresher than they would have been otherwise.    

Another type of food that is often seen is organic that has had certain things done in order alter its content. Low-fat, whole-wheat, gluten-free and reduced-sodium are some of the popular labels that can be seen on processed foods. These foods may be organic, but have been processed in order to provide a different nutritional balance for your diet.
 
Organic food, however, still has to meet certain criteria in order to be ready to buy. For instance, if the milk is not pasteurized, it may contain bacteria that are not healthy for the consumer and can cause problems. There are also some food producers that do not follow the USDA guidelines for organic food. The products may have pathogens even though they may be available in the grocery store.

There are several different types of foods, all which have been processed to varying levels. Grocery stores offer these different levels of organic and processed foods to consumers.  Before going into a grocery store, know which type of food will be better for you to consume. This will help you figure out what balance of nutrition and food works best for you.