Have you been mystified about the meaning of ‘organic’ food? In almost every supermarket, there’s a section dedicated to organic produce. There’s even organic oats and organic chicken. What exactly does the label really means and how different it is from conventionally produced foods? Here are some popular questions and answers.
Q: What is organic food?
A: To distinguish foods are that are organically grown, processed and handled, food experts have set a standards for the certification. Here are some internationally recognised organic standard guidelines:
- Grown without synthetic chemical fertilisers and pesticides
- Ready-to-eat oats are processed without preservatives, synthetic colour and artificial sweetener.
- Food that are “certified organically grown” are not allowed to be treated with radiation. (Normally, potatoes are treated with gamma rays to prevent them from sprouting)
- Genetically modified food are not accepted as organic food.
Q: Is it true that true organic vegetables must show signs of insect attacks such as leaves with many holes?
A: No. Organically grown vegetables looks healthier and may not have holes on leaves caused by insects.
Q: Are organic fruits and vegetables more nutritious?
A: According to food chemist, Chia Joo Suan, this is a highly controversial question. There are many conflicting reports regarding the nutritional value of organically grown crops and organically raised animals.
While some studies report that organic food are safer and more nutritious, others found no significant difference to non-organic food. Though the main reason to buy organic food is to avoid pesticides on fruits and vegetables.
More questions about food and health? Write in to [email protected] and we’ll have it answered!
Eat Well, Live Well addresses popular natural remedies and recipes from Malaysia’s different communities, and offers scientific studies to show that these may not be mere old wives’ tales, after all. From making children grow taller by boiling peanut root with chicken in soup to advice on abstaining from chicken to help treat a bad cough, Chia clarifies truths and debunks the myths behind seemingly ambiguous traditional recipes for good health.
Eat Well, Live Well is for anyone with an interest in food safety and nutrition and who wants to know more about food ingredients, additives, toxins and nutrients. Those who are health conscious and yearn for a healthier life and well-being will also find this book most useful. Chia is a food chemist who advocates safe eating habits for a healthy life.