As people start to become more aware of the benefits of eating healthy, there has been much confusion with the use of the word “organic”. The term has been thrown around so much that it has become hard to decipher what it really stands for. There’s organic lechon, organic make-up, even organic laundry.

What does the term “organic” really mean and how does it affect our health?

Define “Organic”
Merriam Webster defines organic (for food) as “of, relating to, yielding, or involving the use of food produced with the use of feed or fertilizer of plant or animal origin without employment of chemically formulated fertilizers, growth stimulants, antibiotics, or pesticides organic farming organic produce”.

With this definition alone, it is clear that organic pertains to the process on how the ingredients of certain food products are grown and processed. It means produce sans chemicals and food products sans artificial ingredients.

What is “not” organic
In the Philippines, the term organic is used quite loosely. Without a governing body requiring products to undergo a certification process to call their product organic, most brands label their products as such as long as there is one or two ingredients that come from nature.

This is not the essence of the word organic. Just because a product has one or two natural ingredients, it doesn’t make it organic. For example, just because a pandesal has added malunggay in it, it doesn’t mean it is organic. The same goes for cosmetics, just because your lipstick is enriched with natural oils, it doesn’t automatically warrant the label “organic”.

Why choose organic
Choosing organic means choosing food and products that contain no or very little chemicals or pesticides, as in the case of livestock there should be no artificial hormones. Why go organic? Because you don’t want all that chemicals in your body. Consuming food that has chemicals, trace pesticides, artificial hormones helps make your body prime environment for disease. Going organic may be costly, but whatever money you spend on organic food is the money you will potentially save on maintenance medication and hospitalization.