When it comes to choosing healthy foods and snacks, you have a wide variety of different options. Within this segment of the food industry, two of your biggest options are organic and non-organic foods and snacks.
With all the different food labels and options these days, it can be somewhat confusing to know the exact differences between organic and non-organic foods. Before we compare the difference between organic food bars and non-organic ones, let’s first do a quick review of these terms and what they mean.
What do organic and non-organic mean?
Organic is a type of way food is grown and processed. Food is grown or produced in such a manner that is free from chemical fertilizers, pesticides, and additives. It can imply the food is grown or processed naturally, but you do need to be careful when looking at food labels.
The term “natural” is not one that is currently regulated by the USDA or FDA, so any food manufacturer or producer can put a “natural” label on their products, even when they are not organic!
In addition, organic foods must always be non-GMO or GMO-free. Non-organic foods can be produced and manufactured with non-GMO ingredients, too. Just like “natural,” the use of a non-GMO label can be used on both organic and non-organic foods.
Non-organic, though, means the food was probably grown and produced using chemical pesticides, fertilizers, solvents, and other such synthetic additives. As we’ve already mentioned, non-organic foods can be labeled natural and non-GMO.
What is the difference when it comes to non-organic and organic food bars?
With non-organic food bars, the ingredients can be grown and produced in environments where the use of chemicals, fertilizers, and so on can involve any combination of man-made and synthetic products.
With organic food bars, the ingredients are sourced from farmers and other food suppliers that take an ecologically friendly approach to food production. People who eat organic foods and snacks can rest easy knowing what they are eating has not been touched by chemicals and synthetic products.
For instance, Betty Lou’s Inc.’s Chocolate Dream Greens organic food bar is made using non-GMO, organic, gluten-free, and vegan ingredients like bananas, kale, and cashews, sourced from responsible farmers.
Are there health risks with non-organic food bars?
It really depends on the types of ingredients used in the food bar. You should get in the habit of reading ingredient labels to see exactly what you are eating. Non-organic snack bars can use natural sweeteners like honey and no artificial flavors or colors.
On the other hand, food and snack bars that have sugar, corn syrup, artificial flavors and colors, and other such questionable ingredients, could pose certain health risks. For instance, bars that have large amounts of sugar could potentially increase the risks of diabetes in some people.
In addition, some people have food allergies that can be aggravated and heightened when consuming non-organic food and snack bars. The allergy triggers could be the result of the types ingredients used or be related to how the food was grown and processed.
The thing to keep in mind is that, in order to grow non-organic foods, there is often an increase in the number of chemicals and synthetic pesticides used. While these protect the plant from pests and disease, it can increase the levels people are exposed to when consuming non-organic foods.
Even though recent studies have not established a strong correlation between non-organic foods and the effects on human health, you have to wonder what all this exposure to chemicals is doing to our bodies.
Do organic food bars help prevent/reduce health issues?
In more recent years, some people will only eat organic foods and snacks. Part of this change might be related to how their bodies react to non-organic foods and snacks. Based on a recent survey by the Soil Association and published by The Guardian, people had different reasons for choosing organic, as follows:1
- 55% of respondents choose organic because it promotes healthy eating.
- 35% of respondents found organic food tastes better compared to non-organic.
- 53% of respondents choose organic to avoid chemical and pesticide residues.
- 44% of respondents choose organic because it shows their support for a better environment.
- 31% of respondents choose organic because they are concerned about the welfare of animals.
Are there any other benefits of eating organic foods and snacks?
While recent studies have not delivered much, in regards to the effects on human health, according to the Mayo Clinic, these studies have found eating organic foods and snacks does have some added benefits, as follows:2
- The studies did demonstrate there are increased amounts of nutrients in organic foods that range from small to moderate. Some of these foods also have more antioxidants, which are good for the body.
- Organically grown foods showed significantly lower amounts of pesticides and chemical residues.
- Organic food can have more Omega-3 fatty acids, which are considered a good fat and promote better heart health. These were typically found in livestock and animal products due to the types of feeds used.
- Organically grown grains were found to have lower levels of cadmium, a toxic metal which occurs naturally in the soil and is absorbed by fruits, vegetables, and grains.
- Organically grown and processed meats were found to have lower occurrences of resistant strains of bacteria.
The thing to remember, when it comes to eating healthfully, is to eat a balanced diet. This means you should be getting the right amount of nutrients, vitamins, and minerals every day. You should also avoid foods and snacks that are made from processed sugars, are high in cholesterol, and are packed full of sodium.
If you want the very best organic foods and snacks, look for those that have the USDA Organic certification stamp of approval. Products with the label have to meet specific requirements and standards, which include:
- Organic foods cannot be irradiated or genetically engineered.
- No cloning of animals is allowed.
- Animals must be allowed access to roam outdoors and have access to pastures.
- Organic foods cannot be grown using sewage sludge, synthetic pesticides, or synthetic fertilizers.
Eating organic foods could potentially provide you with certain health benefits over non-organic foods. However, you may not always have an organic option available for all types of food. In these cases, you should still be able to find non-organic health food options that are better than overly processed ones. Just remember to read the labels on food to help you make wise choices.
Fortunately, when it comes to snacks, you do not have to worry about not being able to find organic options. Here at Betty Lou’s Inc., we provide a wide variety of healthy, natural, and organic snacks and foods to choose from to satisfy your cravings.
From our popular healthy snack on the go, Nut Butter Balls, to our Organic Just Great Stuff Bars, you will discover our products are made using the very best ingredients. We believe that people should be able to eat healthfully and have easy access to all-natural and organic options without having to sacrifice on taste or quality.
Feel free to explore our website further to learn more about our wide range of products, including:
- Protein Shakes
- Fruit Bars
- Powdered Peanut Butter
- Baking Mixes
- Probiotic Bites
- Crackers, and More
If you have any questions about our products, their ingredients, healthy snack ideas, and organic options, please feel free to contact Betty Lou’s Inc. directly by calling 800.242.5205 to speak with a representative. You may also use our online submission form to electronically send us your questions, comments, and feedback.