Grocery shopping can be overwhelming at the best of times. From trying to navigate the one-way aisles of COVID to translating misleading labels and choosing between what feels like hundreds of options of the same thing, deciding between whether to buy organic or non-organic foods can sometimes feel like it’s all just too much.
The obvious downside of eating organic foods is that it can be expensive. You’ve likely found yourself at the grocery store, standing in front of two boxes of blueberries that look the same. Or, looking down that meat aisle and the organic chicken is almost double the price of “regular” chicken. Really though… what gives?
Understanding the differences between organic and non-organic foods allows us to make informed decisions when it comes to choosing which foods to buy for ourselves and our families. Let’s break down the basics.
The difference between organic and non-organic food simply comes down to how the food is produced. Organic farmers produce food without the use of any of the harmful chemicals, pesticides, hormones and antibiotics that conventionally grown crops might be grown with. Check out the official specifications and technical guidelines here, especially the section on Permitted Substances.
In addition to following the guidelines, the products also have to pass inspection by a 3rd Party Certifier. At Elias, we rely on Pro-Cert as our Certifier, given their stringent processes, and great reputation. In fact, they work with over 1,400 producers across Canada, and are responsible for certifying tens of thousands of products!
It’s easy to assume that choosing organic foods is always the healthier option, but that really depends on your needs… and of course, your budget! Studies have shown that there isn’t actually much difference in nutritional value when comparing the two. Once the food is picked to be sent to the grocery store it can lose up to half of its nutritional value by the time it reaches your home. Washing your vegetables thoroughly before being consumed or cooked also helps reduce the amount of pesticides entering your system.
Prioritize! Develop a meal plan, buy organic for the foods you’re going to eat in the biggest volumes and work your way down the list of products until you exhaust your budget. Using the EWG’s list of The Dirty Dozen and The Clean Fifteen can also help fill in the gaps. These are great resources that will show you which foods should as much as possible be bought organic, and which foods you can get away with buying non-organic without the threat to your wallet or well-being.
Another great tip is to shop local! Buying from your local farmers market is a great way to pick up inexpensive organic produce, and to support our local ecosystem and environment.
Or, for the truly ambitious folks out there… try growing your own produce! It’s easier than it seems, and having a vegetable garden at home is not only fun, but it’s also completely free!
What about Elias Organic Honey?
While there are hundreds of varietals of honey to choose from, they are not all created equal. It’s also important to remember that honey labelled “organic” is not necessarily raw or minimally processed unless labelled as such. Look for both raw and organic on the label because not all organic honey is raw, and not all raw honey is organic!
Elias Organic Honey is Pro-Cert Certified and tested by the batch.
Our honey is collected from apiaries which are at least 10km away from farms that use non-organic farming practices. Since bees typically fly between 3-5km to collect nectar, we have a pretty solid buffer zone when it comes to making sure organic means organic.
You’ll notice that our Organic Honey is churned. Why? Churning it allows us to control the granulation process as pure organic honey tends to granulate quickly – by churning it, we control the granulation and make sure that you can enjoy it for as long as possible without having to repeatedly heat-liquefy it.
How does Elias Organic Honey taste? Incredible! Delicate, versatile and less sweet-tasting than our regular liquid honeys, with a creamy, fluffy cool sensation that melts in your mouth. Raw and creamed to retain all of its subtle flavours, natural aromas, health benefits, and a delightful texture that won’t crystallize over time. You could use it in a recipe, but this one is so good, we love to eat it by the spoonful!