The hype around organic food has been doing the rounds for a while now, especially with the growing concerns pertaining to staying fit and healthy. According to Technavio’s report on the Organic food and beverages market 2017-2021, the global organic market for food and beverages is expected to grow at a CAGR of close to 14% by 2021. While investing in the organic market looks lucrative, the success of this sector depends mostly on how well the companies educate their customers on the benefits of going organic. With the insatiable need of companies to maximize their profits, customers often fall prey to unscrupulous marketing campaigns and advertisements. Here are a few things about organic food and the trends in the organic food market that customer must be aware of to help themselves from getting scammed:
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Organic Does Not Always Mean Healthy
We often tend to believe that a product is 100% safe as soon as we see it labeled as ‘organic.’ What we as consumers need to understand is that being labeled as organic food doesn’t necessarily make a food product pesticide-free. There have been many instances in the US where organic food products have been found to have chemical traces. One of the main reasons for this could be through uncontrolled contamination. It takes place when the wind blows pesticides and other chemicals in the direction of organic crops, or even when contaminated water seeps into the organic farm from nearby farms. Additionally, even if the products go through an inspection process, it is not foolproof. The main reason for this being often, third-party inspectors perform audits only by going through documents and interviewing transporters and farm owners. This might not be a reliable source to treat the products as organic.
Keep an Eye on the Labels
Customers often get deceived by the packaging of the products that look similar to the authentic organic food products. It is essential for buyers to clearly understand what are the ingredients that should be avoided from their product if they are indeed looking to go organic. Any food product with the mention of preservatives or chemicals on the labels should be avoided. Some of the ingredients that you must avoid are parabens, GMOs, and fragrances. To make it to the organic food category, a product must have at least 70 percent organic content. As much as possible, customers must try to opt for products that are 100% organic.
Start with Small Lifestyle Changes
While shifting to organic is not as simple as it sounds, consumers can try to make the transition with small steps. To avoid being deceived, customers can start by cultivating their herbs and organic food products, replacing household items with organic ones, visiting local organic farms for daily supplies, etc. Rushing into buying organic food products from the market without doing adequate research and knowing what is right will only defeat the purpose of resorting to organic.
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‘Natural’ and ‘Organic’ are not the same
Natural and organic food products sound more or less the same – but unfortunately, they are not, and they cannot be used interchangeably either. The key difference between the two is that natural food products are not as regulated as the organic ones, i.e., there is no guarantee to the content or the safety involved in its usage. Since there is no regulatory body or strict parameters involved in ‘natural’ products, manufacturers can use it on their labels even for products that contain substantial amounts of synthetic and processed ingredients.