Once reserved for earth mamas willing to shell out $12 for a pint of blueberries, organic has gone mainstream. In fact, organic is so ubiquitous that you can now pick up organic milk at the gas station.
But what exactly is organic? Are people organic? (Spoiler alert: yes!) What about water? (The answer may surprise you.) And more importantly, is organic really better for you? (Sorta. Not really. It’s…complicated.) Confused? Don’t be. We’ll break it down for you. (Pun intended.)
TRUE OR FALSE? ORGANIC HAS TO DO WITH FOOD
The term ‘organic’ is thrown around a lot. Are those grapes organic? What about those eggs? Do these sheets qualify as being organic? We tend to think of organic in terms of produce or farming techniques, but it is also a scientific term relating to carbon compounds. In order for something to be organic—that is, living—it needs carbon. Which should help explain the next two T/F answers…
ANSWER: TRUE AND FALSE
TRUE OR FALSE? PEOPLE ARE ORGANIC
Scientifically-speaking, humans contain carbon, which makes us very much alive.
TRUE OR FALSE? WATER IS ORGANIC
Water, on the other hand, has two hydrogen molecules, one oxygen molecule, and zip, zero, zilch carbon. Which means IT IS NOT organic. (Mind = Blown.)
TRUE OR FALSE? ORGANIC FOODS AREN’T HEAVILY REGULATED
The United States Department of Agriculture (the head honcho of organic labeling) begs to differ. USDA-certified organic foods are grown and processed according to federal guidelines addressing soil quality, animal raising practices, pest and weed control, the use of additives, and more. Certifiers verify and document the claims of more than 37,000 organic farms and businesses around the world. And when it comes to organic labeling there are some pretty strict rules. Luckily, products with any of the following don’t qualify: sewage sludge (ew), irradiation (huh?), synthetic fertilizers (with hard-to-pronounce names) and genetic engineering (no thank you).
ANSWER: VERY FALSE
TRUE OR FALSE? ORGANIC PRODUCE IS PESTICIDE-FREE
Total shocker: Organic farms do use pesticides. In fact, Scientific American reported that over 20 chemicals “commonly used in the growing and processing of organic crops…are approved by the US Organic Standards.” (In contrast, there are some 900 synthetic pesticides approved for use in conventional farming.) The main difference is that these are (mainly) natural chemicals…although, even then, there are some exceptions.
ANSWER: FALSE (WITH A FEW BUTS)
TRUE OR FALSE? ORGANIC = NO. GMOS. EVER.
In terms of what the USDA considers organic, GMO is a big no. (Yay!)
TRUE OR FALSE: ORGANIC = NATURAL (AND VICE VERSA)
“Natural” on a food label doesn’t refer to the methods or materials used to produce it. A “natural” product can still contain high-fructose corn syrup or genetically modified organisms. Your best bet? Always peep the ingredients list.
TRUE OR FALSE: ORGANIC TASTES BETTER
This one’s up for debate as it’s somewhat of a personal preference. But let’s compare apples to apples for a sec (literally). An organic apple *may* taste a tad fresher since small organic growers often sell their products closer to the point of harvest. Yet, in terms of hard evidence…no.
AND NOW, THE MILLION-DOLLAR QUESTION…
TRUE OR FALSE? ORGANIC IS BETTER FOR YOU
Let’s cut to the chase. The American Academy of Pediatrics expert opinion is as follows: “In the long term, there is currently no direct evidence that consuming an organic diet leads to improved health or lower risk of disease. However, no large studies in humans have been performed that specifically address this issue.”
ANSWER: FALSE…AS OF NOW
ORGANIC AS ANOTHER OPTION
SmartyPants believes that more choices = better choices. Our new SmartyPants Organics gummy multivitamin is certified organic by Quality Assurance International (QAI), which means that the ingredients used are sustainably-grown and cultivated in accordance with the USDA’s National Organic Program’s standards. In an (organic?) nutshell, we developed organic vitamins so that you can choose what’s best for you and your family.
ORGANIC + VEGETARIAN = WIN-WIN
Bonus for VegHeads…Our yummy new gummies are vegetarian! We were itching to create a vegetarian vitamin, so we killed two birds with one stone (ok, maybe not the right word choice for a vegetarian vitamin). SmartyPants Organics gummies are packed with vegetarian omega-3 (sourced from organic flaxseed oil), probiotics for digestive health,* and essential nutrients—all in one delicious gummy. This means no gelatin, no gmos, no icky stuff, no worries.
Whether you choose organic or not, a diet rich in fresh fruits, veggies, whole grains and lean meats is healthiest. But that’s not always possible. (Darn you, french fries!) So play it safe, and always take your vitamins.
*THESE STATEMENTS HAVE NOT BEEN EVALUATED BY THE FOOD AND DRUG ADMINISTRATION. THIS PRODUCT IS NOT INTENDED TO DIAGNOSE, TREAT, CURE, OR PREVENT ANY DISEASE.
Posted on June 22, 2018