When we think about healthy products, one word that may come to mind is organic.  But once we start looking at organic, understanding the benefits, claims, and what qualifies as organic, it can all become confusing. 

If you are looking to revamp what you put in and on your body around organic, read on to find out more about what makes certain products organic and how you can benefit by making organic part of your life.

What is Organic?

Products can be classified as organic depending on the way the ingredients are grown or processed.  Regulations may vary from country to country, but for the most part, for a crop to be considered organic, the crops needs to be grown without the use of synthetic pesticides, bioengineered genes (GMOs), and petroleum and sewage based fertilizers.  Meat, eggs, and dairy products must be sourced from animals that were provided with access to the outdoors and given organic feed only, with no antibiotics, growth hormones, or animal byproducts.

Benefits of Organic Products

Organic products have a number of benefits for mental and physical health, as well as the environment.  If you choose to live or eat organically, here are some ways you can benefit from doing so.
•  The elimination of preservatives and chemicals can reduce allergy symptoms.
•  Food contains more nutrients and antioxidants than conventionally grown food.
•  Organic food is fresher because it does not contain preservatives that make it last longer and because it is usually produced on small farms that are located near to where it is sold.
•  Organic farming helps the environment because the practices it employs reduces pollution, conserves water, reduces soil erosion, increases soil fertility, and uses less energy.  The elimination of pesticides also makes the air quality better for the people and animals that live nearby.
•  Because livestock is raised organically, and not given antibiotics, growth hormones or animal byproducts, they are healthier and enjoy a better quality of life.  They are less likely to contract mad cow disease and antibiotic resistant strains of bacteria that can form as a result of being given antibiotics.  They are also healthier due to the fact that they can move around in the outside air.
•  Organic milk and meats are richer in certain nutrients, including omega-3 fatty acids.
•  Organic food is GMO free.  GMOs are genetically modified organisms that have been altered in a way that cannot occur naturally.  This is mostly done in order to make the organism resistant to pesticides and insecticides.

Getting the Best Value When Shopping for Organic Products

It’s great to know you are eating or drinking healthy stuff when buying organic.  However, organic food and drink (as well as other products) also tend to be more expensive.  One way to get the most bang for your buck when shopping organic is by knowing which types of foods and drinks contain the most pesticides.  You are best off buying those types of products organic, while there are other types of products where it may be okay to save money by purchasing conventionally grown food or drink.  It is always best to buy organic meat, eggs, and dairy if you can afford to.

Below are some other ways to save money when buying organic:
•  Shop at Farmer’s Markets:  Farmers there usually sell produce at a discount when compared to grocery stores.
•  Join a food co-op:  Typically, food co-ops charge members an annual fee.  Members are then able to buy natural products at lower prices.
•  Join a Community Supported Agriculture Farm:  Individuals and families can join to purchase ‘shares’ of produce in bulk, directly from a local farm.
•  Buy in season:  Fruits and vegetables will always be less expensive and freshest when they are in season.
•  Shop around:  Compare prices to make sure you are buying at the market or grocery store with the lowest prices.
•  Use Makeena’s App:  The Makeena App offers cash back rewards when you buy organic, eco-friendly, and healthy products.

Eating, drinking, or using organic, healthy products is beneficial, and helps you avoid chemicals that can negatively affect your health.  Although buying organic can be expensive, there are ways to do so while staying within your budget.  Good luck and happy shopping! 

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