Throwing around the word organic in a conversation may only go so far until you realize you probably don’t know what the hell it is you’re talking about. Maybe it even get’s you thinking about leaving the processed stuff behind and heading into an organic future, but, what exactly does that mean? About one year ago HuffPost published an article about how you can order organic entrees off of a restaurant menu, however, we also thought it was the perfect guide for researching the huge step you would take into an organic lifestyle. Within the article, author Sara Boboltz breaks down some of the common terms associated with most popular entrées you’ll see when dining out. Most of these terms (if not all) can also be applied to organic grocery shopping and preparing organic meals at home. We feel that this is a perfect guide for exposing yourself to the world of organic and setting yourself on the right path to a healthy lifestyle.
Check the full article HERE and the broken down meanings of “organic” after the jump.
Fruits and Vegetables
Organic: Whereas produce must be USDA-certified to earn an “organic” label in the U.S., restaurants may label food as “organic” on their menus without regulation. The establishments themselves may apply for organic certifications, but very few have. So if a menu explicitly calls out organic ingredients and claims they are certified, you can reasonably assume they’ve been grown in a way that restricts the use of many pesticides and any synthetic fertilizers. “Organic” also means “not genetically modified,” although the USDA has been accused of watering down its labeling standards as demand for organics increases.
Beef and Pork
Organic: This term refers to meat from animals raised on 100 percent organic feed and not given antibiotics or hormones. Organically raised pigs and cattle may be vaccinated against disease and, if they get sick, may be given painkillers and a few approved synthetics. (If the animal must be treated with antibiotics for the sake of its health, its meat can no longer be labeled “organic.”) The animals must also have “access to pasture,” consuming at least 30 percent of their dietary intake from that pasture over at least 120 days during the grazing season.
Chicken or Eggs
Organic: Like cows and pigs, organic poultry products come from animals raised on 100 percent organic feed, without any antibiotics or hormones. Use of this term, as regulated by the USDA, also requires access to outdoor space, which may be caged or covered with netting. Organic chickens may be confined in close quarters as they’re being transported, and they may also be starved for short periods to force molting, which kick starts their egg-laying. Other farm-raised fowl, such as duck and pheasant,may be USDA-regulated on a voluntary basis.
Converting to full on organic food can be a challenge and a much greater expense out of your pocket. However, we were approached by Health Ambition to add a link to this article and once we read it we knew that it was the perfect fit. Going full-on organic isn’t going to happen overnight, but you can start by optimizing your overall health with good eating habits. It doesn’t have to be organic all of the time, but you should learn that developing good eating habits can really get you to where you’d like to be if you’re still chasing the organic lifestyle. You can read Health Ambition’s full article HERE.
***In an effort to thank you for reading our blog, making an effort to eat organic and visiting ChefLife altogether. We want to reward the first 3 people who read this post by giving them a coupon code for 10% off their next ChefLife order. Visit our shop to check out some of the hottest clothing for chef’s on the market today and, of course to get that 10% off your order!
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