organic food

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organic food,

food raised without chemicals and processed without additives. Under standards adopted by the U.S. Agriculture Dept. (USDA) in 2000 and fully effective in 2002, synthetic fertilizers and pesticides and antibiotics may not be used in raising organic foods, and the use of irradiation, biotechnology, and sewer-sludge fertilizer is also banned. Food whose ingredients are at least 95% organic by weight may carry the "USDA ORGANIC" label; products containing only organic ingredients are labeled 100% organic.

Proponents of organic food have claimed that it is more nutritious, safer to eat, and usually tastes better because it contains no synthetically compounded fertilizers, pesticides, herbicides, hormones, medicated feed, or antibiotics or chemicals used in food processing (see also organic farmingorganic farming,
the practice of growing plants—especially for fruits and vegetables, but for ornamentals as well—without the use of synthetic pesticides, herbicides, and fertilizers, or of raising animals without the use of growth regulators, synthetic pesticides,
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); these claims are disputed by conventional-food growers and processors. The farming methods used to produce organic foods are also regarded by many as having less of an environmental impact than standard commercial farming methods. Organic foods have become steadily more popular as the public has become more concerned about health risks associated with chemicals in food products. Organic produce is now available in many food outlets, including major supermarket chains. Organic food is generally more expensive because organic farming requires more manual labor and attention.


See D. Steinman, Diet for a Poisoned Planet (1990).

References in periodicals archive ?
Rising awareness about the benefits of consuming organic food products coupled with rising health concerns is driving the consumption of organic food products in India.
A growing number of consumers are moving towards consumption of organic food in place of conventional food, to avoid adverse health effects caused by chemical preservatives or genetically modified ingredients present in inorganic food.
Organic food producers say this production is more expensive than the conventional one yet they are happy it is much in demand on world markets and therefore expect to receive government assistance in promoting their output.
An overly restrictive fortification policy may have the unintended consequence of negatively impacting organic businesses, the certified farmers who produce organic foods and the retailers who sell organic products, he added.
Organic food products are also 10 to 50% more expensive compared to non-organic products, making up for their low yield in terms of economic feasibility.
Both the number and type of new products reflect the expanding consumer appetite for organic foods.
The fruit and vegetable category accounts for the largest portion of organic food sales.
It's great to read organic champions such as Yeo Valley are continuing to invest and bring consumers into organic food.
That guidance led Environment Secretary and South Shields MP David Miliband to say that organic food was a "lifestyle choice", though he later added that he ate organic food because of its taste and environmental benefits.
But organic food campaign group the Soil Association rejected the criticism, maintaining that studies have shown there are more nutrients in organically produced food.
His comments drew an immediate response from the Soil Association, the main regulatory body for organic food, which said studies show a difference between organic food and food produced using industrial methods.