As the organic trend continues to grip home shoppers, natural food groceries seem to be all the rage. And why not? They’re naturally produced, fair-trade, and quality products that are great for your health. But despite these benefits, there is another side to organic food.
It is essential to consider many factors when you are tasked to look for organic food for your family. Some of these factors include the price, nutrition value and whether the product is actually organic. Without this, you cannot really take advantage of organic produce.
1. Avoiding Tricky Labels
Many processed foods are marketed as “natural” or “all-natural” even though they contain artificial ingredients or genetically modified organisms. This can be confusing, so it’s important to understand what these labels really mean.
A good rule of thumb is if you see the words “natural” or “all-natural” on an item’s packaging, look at its ingredients. If there are more than five items listed, it’s probably not as natural as you think. Alternatively, if the ingredients list contains specific chemicals, they should show exact amounts.
2. Buying Organic Food
Because organic foods are more expensive to produce, they cost more than conventionally produced foods. But if you buy in bulk at a natural foods store or online, it may be less expensive than buying smaller amounts at a grocery store.
If you’re buying food that you can’t afford to buy organic, look for labels that say “made with organic ingredients.” This means the product has a larger organic-to-inorganic ratio of ingredients.
3. Health Factors
When buying natural food groceries, health factors are paramount. This is another area where you need to look at is what’s on the ingredients list. They are listed in order of how much they’re in the product. So, the first ingredient listed is usually the most prevalent one in the product.
With naturally-produced groceries, many people might not respond well to a lack of inorganic additives. The truth is, some people may have adverse reactions to certain foods. If you or someone else has certain allergies, be careful about what you’re planning to use.
4. Shelf Life
The shelf life of food is an important consideration when buying natural grocery products. Natural foods are more likely to have a shorter shelf life than processed foods, as they’re not preserved with chemicals.
Keeping it in the fridge helps, but some foods have a short shelf life anyway. Remember that when you’re wondering if some organic purchases are best complemented with other options, which they might be.
How easy is it for you to find certain products? Natural food grocery stores are often smaller than their conventional counterparts. So, they can’t always stock everything. If you’re looking for a specific food item or product, it’s best to call ahead and ask.
Meanwhile, some stores might try and stock items out of season if there’s demand. While this is certainly convenient, shipping these foods might undo the carbon gains of producing them organically. Try and support seasonal, local alternatives where possible.
Ultimately, the decision of whether or not to buy natural food groceries is a personal one. Organic food may cost more, but its benefits may be worth your investment if you can afford it. These products often offer a wide range of health benefits that conventional processed and synthetic products do not.
Plus, there are some serious legal ramifications of buying non-organic foods when it comes to avoiding genetically modified organisms. You’ll have to gauge how you feel about these things personally, depending on your needs and your budget.
At the same time, however, investing properly in the right food might amount to a mission for you. Not doing so means that you probably aren’t making the best out of local organic food stores. With these tips, you can ensure that you’re getting the most out of your choices.