An Uncomplicated Life Blog: What Does Eating Organically Mean?

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Thursday, January 3, 2019

What Does Eating Organically Mean?

Confused about what the food label "organic" means? This post breaks it down for you!


This post is sponsored by Happy Family Organics but the content and opinions expressed here are my own.

I remember when the term "organic" became popular. Food marketers recognized it as a trend and started putting it on anything remotely "natural" to help sell the product. Back when it first gained public recognition, the term wasn't regulated. Fast forward to today, and there are strict standards a food must meet in order to get the USDA's "organic" label. But what does that label mean? What's different about organic food, anyway?! Why is it important for our health, especially for the health of our babies, toddlers and children? If you've ever wondered about any of that, you've come to the right spot because I'm breaking down the big question: what does eating organically mean?


I'm a fan of history, so I'll give you the brief overview of how regulating organic foods began, and how we got to where we are today. In 1990, a law was passed by congress that stated the USDA needed to begin regulating this term (as well as food terms and contents of processed foods). It wasn't until 2000, ten whole years later, that a board made recommendations on what should constitute an organic product. And it wasn't until 8 years after that, in 2008, that the National Organic program started to actually hire staff to enforce these recommendations. Beyond that, the department didn't get fully formed and staffed until 2011. As you can see, it took the government a good long while to develop standards for the term organic! Today, a food can only get the USDA organic stamp if 95% of its ingredients are certified organic.

I remember very well having friends in the sciences snort their nose at "eating organically." Their most common complaint? "That term doesn't mean anything!" And it's true - it USED to not mean much. It's taken a long time for there to be standards and regulations on the term, and of the quality of the food that gets the stamp of organic approval! But in modern day, the term organic has a strict standard of quality that carries huge health implications for you and your family, and for the health of the environment, too.



So what does it mean when you see the organic stamp on, say - a yogurt bite snack you're about to feed your toddlers? First, organic means there are NO GMOs, or genetically modified organisms. Food has changed. The corn we eat now is not the same as the corn your grandparents ate. Conventional corn has been genetically modified for mass production. To withstand climates it wouldn't naturally grow in. To last longer once harvested. All of this sounds great, but the genetic changes has effected the quality and nutrition of the corn. And it's not just corn. It's wheat, soybeans, fruit, and vegetables. Conventional farming has modified the very genetics of the food you're eating everyday. But organic food, when labeled with the USDAs organic label, contains none of the genetically modified foods.

In addition to always being non-GMO, organic foods mean that toxic pesticides haven't been used on the food you're feeding your family. Toxic pesticides can reach you and your children via processed foods like crackers, or in the meat you consume (as the animal was fed feed used with the toxic chemicals). But buy and eat organic food, and you're avoiding some of the most harmful chemicals used in farming. Speaking of farming, organic foods use sustainable farming practices. These practices ensure preservation of the land and natural resources so our world will remain clean, green and enjoyable for the generations that come after us.


I've personally committed to buying organic foods for my family, because I believe in the health benefits of eating non-GMO foods, avoiding toxins where ever I can, and in promoting sustainable farming. If I have a choice of organic or conventional, I reach for the organic product every single time! And I sure don't want to put some of the junk chemicals of conventional foods into my children's little digestive system.


One of their favorite snacks is Happy Family Organics. I've bought just about everything they make, and there has not been one thing my kids don't like. As you can see, they still gobble these yogurt bites up (even though they're safe for babies just learning to self feed). In fact, I was scrolling my own Instagram feed during one of my late night nursing sessions of the twins, and saw these products in photos of the boys from years ago! Totally un-sponsored; we just love the brand and have been feeding it to our kids for that long. It's not an everyday occurrence, but I love it when I get to work with brands I actually keep in my cupboard regularly to help spread messages I deeply believe in and practice everyday! This is one of them. Eating organically is important to me and my family, and Happy Family Organics is a snack food staple here.

10 comments:

  1. This idea is good, I think it is very novel.
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  2. Such a great post. Thank you! My children have recently started learning about organic food and they are loving it. We have a small vegetable garden at our home and they love helping to grow and then eat the food! It's so satisfying teaching the kids and watching them learn!

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  3. I watched a documentary about pesticides and GMOs and it was quite scary. I try to buy organic products when possible. We have been buying Happy Family products for years!

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  4. I couldn't agree more with you. Food today is completely different & ridden with tons of toxic ingredients & chemicals. I eat a very clean diet & have committed to buying organic whenever possible!! So important to spread the word!

    -Madi xo
    http://everydaywithmadirae.com

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  5. Thankfully it's becoming easier to eat organic as supermarkets are stocking larger organic ranges. This always puzzled me. I thought it would be more time consuming to create highly processed food than to pull something out of the ground, box it and deliver it to a shop!
    Organic foods are considerably more expensive here in London, so I definitely buy the 'dirty dozen' foods organic when I can!

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  6. My kids loved those yogurt bites too, well past the baby stage I think they were designed for! It's been difficult living overseas where there are fresh farmers markets, stands, and markets within the city with fresh, locally grown food and produce, and then returning to the States where these are scarce. In Korea, the country allows any public green space to be used by locals to plant and harvest whatever they'd like!

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  7. There is so much confusion between organic and every company seems to use those words to sell just about anything. I also try to buy organic as much as possible, but I also value local as well. Great tips in this post!!

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  8. Thank you so much for breaking down this info - I try to eat organic as much as possible, and now I can explain WHY, haha!

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  9. I enjoy knowing my food was taken well care of before I ate it. Organic is the way to go for me!

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