5 Ways to Find Out if Your Food is Organic
Have you ever wondered whether or not something really was organic? When you’re navigating a grocery store or a farmer’s market, you’ll notice a wide variety of produce – some of it is organic, and some of it is not. Knowing how to spot what’s organic is easier than you may think. Organic foods are unique enough to stand out from the crowd.
1. The Label
This, of course, is the most obvious way. Organic fruits and vegetables will often have stickers on them that denote their origins. You may have heard that examining the first digit of a PLU code, which is the inventory sticker on the particular produce item, can help you determine whether or not that item is organic. This is somewhat misleading. While some suppliers use PLU codes beginning with the number 9 designate organic produce, others do not. The only way to be sure is to look for a sticker that explicitly states that the produce is 100% organic.
2. The Size
Fruits and vegetables such as potatoes, tomatoes, and cucumbers are generally hefty. When you think of these foods, you likely imagine them as being large and ripe. With organic produce, that’s not what you’re getting. Organic foods are much smaller in size and weigh less, because organic growing allows the chips to fall where they may. These items are not designed to grow to their maximum potential and aren’t pumped full of nutrients. A typical organic harvest will produce a smaller yield of smaller produce.
3. The Shape
Non-organic foods tend to be uniform. If you’re looking at a barrel of capsicum and they all seem to be perfectly formed, they’re probably not organic. Things that grow in nature are often full of quirks. A crate of onions may vary in color from light pink to deep purple. The skin of an apple may have patches of different shades of red. If a capsicum appears as though the top is melted, or a tomato seems to be a conjoined twin, this is a surefire sign that they’re organic.
4. The Smell
Organic foods have a much shorter shelf life than non-organic foods. They haven’t been engineered to last longer for wider distribution. This means that they’ll develop a scent faster than their non-organic cousins. They’re quicker to break down when they aren’t refrigerated, which causes them to release a stronger aroma. By smelling the flesh of the fruit or vegetable, you can determine whether or not the particular food is organic, and also how old it is. This is especially true with ripe fruits, which will smell especially strong. You may have heard that organic foods cook faster, and this is the same process that incites that phenomena.
5. The Damage
Is there any evidence that bugs have gotten ahold of the produce? Small bite marks in the leaves, or insect exoskeletons in your grains? These are part of the natural process of organic foods. Because pesticides are not used, your food has probably also fed some insects at the farm. Insects are perfectly natural and safe for your food, provided that you wash the food properly before preparing it. Washing produce under hot water with organic food safe soap will remove anything insects have left behind.
If you’re making the switch to organic foods, you’ll notice that the landscape is a lot different. The process of selecting foods will drastically change, and you’ll wind up with a product that strongly differs from what you’re used to. Any differences you see are normal and a sign that your food was naturally grown.
Author’s Bio: Isabel Wiliams works for bizdb.co.uk – a UK firms database. She is a green-minded person and a great fan of organic foods. She combines her environment-friendly attitude with her love for writing.