At The Gardner School our child care students learn the importance of a well-balanced meal at an early age, but if you ask them what organic means you may get some funny responses! The word “organic” has been displayed across all elements of grocery shopping and dining, but what does this mean? It can be confusing for not only children but adults as well. Fortunately, buying organic doesn’t have to just mean that items are more expensive. It’s a movement towards better food safety, nutrition and knowledge!
Here’s a quick “All You Need to Know” list:
1. The definition of organic is the way products are produced. There are specific requirements a manufacturer has to hit to attain this status. Check out the USDA’s standards here.
2. There are fewer pesticides in organic produce. Pesticides are chemicals used to get rid of unwanted vegetation like weeds, insects or fungi-like mildew.
3. Companies that produce organic food usually have fresher food and help improve our earth. Because this type of food doesn’t contain preservatives, it’s stocked at its freshest level in stores. The farms that practice organic farming help the environment because it minimizes pollution and energy use, conserves water, increases soil fertility and more.
4. Animals raised organically mean they aren’t given antibiotics, hormones or fed animal byproducts.
5. Organic foods are GMO-free, which means they haven’t been altered in an unnatural way.
Do your kids know what organic means? Ask them to get their thoughts on the subject and teach the about clean eating. When you take your children to the store, show them how to read labels and what to choose and what to leave behind. Create a game out of it! Teach your kids that purchasing organic products creates a huge impact on the earth.