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Organic Does Not Mean Non-GMO: Understanding the Difference

Organic Does Not Mean Non-GMO: Understanding the Difference

If you are committed to purchasing organic produce when you head to the grocery store, like any product you are buying, it’s important to understand what you are getting and what impact your choices are – and aren’t – having on your health.  For many people, the choice to go organic comes with a lot of assumptions, or in some cases misinformation, of what equates to an organic product.  Given the extra cost, let’s get really clear on what you are getting for your money.

Organic Products May Still be Sprayed

Just because an item is organic doesn’t mean it is automatically avoided by all the pests, diseases, bugs and infestations that affect non-organic produce.  In fact, it is still at just as much risk as its non-organic counterparts.  Growers still need to address these issues within their crops or else their produce won’t survive. To do this, they have a selection of approved herbicides and chemicals that they are allowed to use on organic produce. This means, when you buy organic items, they may still have been sprayed, just with an industry approved option.

Organic Does Not Necessarily Mean Non-GMO

Before you head out to buy organic produce, it is important to understand the difference between organic and non-GMO. Non-genetically modified organisms (GMO) are those that have not been altered at all at the cellular and DNA level.  In other words, the seeds for example, are the natural seeds and the qualities of the product means it has not been bred to resist or promote any specific characteristics (such as apples that do not brown). But when those seeds grow and turn into the produce, that produce is not necessarily organic. It can be grown as an organic or non-organic item, but non-GMO and organic are not inherently one in the same.

Organic Doesn’t Equal Nutrients

Many people opt to purchase organic products because they feel they are more nutritionally beneficial than non-organic products and that the nutrient content of the organic fruit and vegetables is higher.  While this could be the case, it Is not necessarily because of the organic status itself. The nutrient content of foods grown on the land, in the soil, is directly related to the health of the soil.  When you have healthy soil that has a lot of nutrients, these get transferred to the food during growth and development, and upon consumption of the produce, you are able to take advantage of these nutrients. 

Unfortunately however, in both non-organic and organic farm products, the soil has been greatly depleted over the years and often is low in vitamins and minerals, especially more trace minerals and vitamins, such as selenium and vitamin D. The only reason you may be gaining more nutrients from organic produce is because the farmer puts more effort into the soil and seeks to improve the soil’s health and vitality.

Opting to buy organic produce for your vegan meal kit 100% of the time can be expensive, and it might be money you are spending unwittingly if you think it is giving you something that is inaccurate – such as a non-GMO product.  Before you commit to only purchasing organic, make sure you are getting what you think you are, and if you want someone else to do the shopping instead, just sign up to Savor Living’s meal subscription service.


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