Pack some organic in that lunchbox
More families than ever before are choosing organic products, and lunchtime is a super easy way to bring organics into your routine. Here’s what to know to get started:
What does the USDA Organic seal mean?It means the ingredients in the product were grown or produced without the use of synthetic pesticides and fertilizers, hormones, or antibiotics. It takes a lot to earn that seal!
What’s the difference between organic and natural? It’s simple: Organic is regulated, natural isn’t.A product that boasts the word “natural” might be great—but it’s hard to tell. You have to do more digging, which the people who granted the organic seal already did for you.
Is organic healthier?There’s more and more research that says yes! Pesticides are dangerous, especially for kids, and some experts say organic foods may be more nutritious than their conventional counterparts.
How is organic better for the environment?Organic farmers just say no to toxic pesticides and fertilizers. They work with the environment instead of against it to conserve resources, promote ecological balance, and conserve biodiversity.
Do organic products have GMOs?They’re not supposed to—but it’s tricky. Due to recent government deregulation of some genetically modified crops, it is possible for some organic crops to cross-pollinate with genetically modified ones and become contaminated. For extra insurance, look for organic products that are verified to be GMO-free.
Are organic products more expensive?They can be, since organic production methods are more labor-intensive than conventional. Good news, though: There are plenty of ways to save. Look for organic store brands, and seek out coupons and deals from organic name brands (often available on their websites). When buying organic produce, always opt for fruits and veggies that are in season.
How can I teach my kids about organic?Help them connect with their food! Plant an organic garden in your yard or at a community garden plot, shop together for organic goods at the farmers market, or even visit an organic farm.
How can I teach my child’s school about organic?
Your child’s school may already agree that organic is important for kids, but think organic options are too expensive to serve in the cafeteria. If you’re committed to having organic food served in your child’s school, research how it could be done on the school’s existing food budget (like through deals with local farmers). Chances are, school officials will be interested!