Health Tip: Understanding Organic Foods
And whether they’re healthier for you
Organic foods must meet certain standards established by the U.S. Department of Agriculture.
They must be produced without the use of hormones, herbicides, pesticides, antibiotics or fertilizers created with sewer waste or ingredients that aren’t natural, says the Nemours Foundation.
Animal products that are labeled as organic — including dairy, meat, poultry and eggs — must come from animals that are only feed organic feed, without antibiotics or growth hormones. These animals must also be able to go outdoors rather than be constantly stuck in cages or pens, Nemours says.
The USDA doesn’t make any statements about organic foods being healthier or better for you than non-organic foods. But even if you do buy organic foods, it’s still important to follow basic food safety, says Nemours. That means making sure that you carefully wash all fruits and vegetables, and all meat and poultry should be cooked thoroughly.