‘Organic’ is a word that gets thrown around a lot in any conversation about food, so much so that it has lost a lot of its original meaning and became tricky to define. You can find the word organic on dozens of food items from produce to dairy all the way to meat and flowers. You may even know a farmer or vendor who says that their produce is organic, but what does that mean? Many people don’t know the benefits, damages or even how to define organic; some just know that it is ‘good for you’. We'll walk you through some facts about organic food you would want to know.

What's the meaning of an ‘organic’ label?

‘Organic’ is a label that can be awarded after a certification process that establishes quality controls. Specialized companies monitor everything from water and pesticide regulations, and sanitation standards to the types of equipment that bring you fresh fruit and vegetables to you. If you’re buying your food from a supermarket, then a third party regulator approves organic goods. They provide the ‘organic’ sticker. Many countries have their own certification processes, regulators like SGS Egypt abide by EU and USA standards. They state their goals are to “…ensure regulatory compliance and enhance brand value while safeguarding the environment and satisfying consumer demand for organically produced foods.” Certifications like this should guarantee you, the consumer, a high-quality product coming at a higher price. Organically certified foods are almost always more expensive than common foods.

What's different about ‘organic’ labelled products?

If you are interested in staying healthy, it is important to know what you’re putting in your body. What you’re are eating. Then you should also be interested in what goes into your food, where it comes from, and how it is grown. Certified organic produce isn’t exposed to harmful pesticides or fertilizers. Organic animal products aren’t injected with hormones to make them grow faster or subject to horrible living conditions. This is a no-brainer; it is clear that organic eating has positives for your health and many people report it tastes better.

Sustainability is another integral benefit of the organic label. Eco-friendly standards are used in organic farming, leading the food industry in environmental awareness and giving a more sustainable option for customers is better for the environment. Minimizing waste and pollutants, as the organic business tries to do, not only benefits consumers and producers but the planet.

Why are ‘organic’ products more expensive?

Organic food is decidedly good for us and the planet, but there are drawbacks and costs. The prices you pay for the organic label are higher than average, and sometimes the label is used to deceive consumers. Organic versions of products with a higher price exist when the regular version is the same because organic ingredients were used anyways. Like everything in life, be savvy and watch out.

Can you be 100% sure that your food is actually ‘organic’?

In our busy modern world, it is impossible to know the exact history of everything you eat. It would require lots of effort, and time to find out where your food grows, how it was fertilized and kept safe and clean, how it is transported, where it was processed, packaged and for each and every ingredient. A lot of people don’t have time for this. Certifications do a good job of guaranteeing quality and make life easier, but they aren’t perfect. Trusting the producer, produce and your judgment. Make sure to be happy with what you eat, and most importantly of all of all, enjoy the food.