There are so many messages out there about what we should and shouldn't put in our bodies. Since this is National Nutrition Week, let's answer the question "What is a healthy snack, and does it need to be organic to be truly healthy?" There is not one answer to this question, but we will try to help you sort through the myths and facts about organic foods.
Once you've learned which foods should be organic, then making a healthy snack with easy snack recipes becomes simple. So, what is organic? We turned to a leading health authority, the Mayo Clinic, for some information.
What is Organic
"Organic" refers to the way farmers grow and process their products. This includes meat, dairy products, fruits and vegetables, and even grains. Organic farming uses natural methods of fertilizing, weed control, or even feeding livestock.
Conventional farmers may use chemical fertilizers, spray synthetic insecticides, or even give growth hormones, antibiotics, or medications to prevent disease or encourage growth. Those chemicals wind up in the food we eat.
The USDA (United States Department of Agriculture) awards certification to producers who follow USDA standards for producing organic food.
The seal they provide can only be displayed by producers that meet the criteria set by the organization. Foods that contain completely organic ingredients may use a "100 percent organic" label. Those that are at least 95 percent organic ay simply use the term "organic".
For the most part, it is important to purchase whole organic foods. There may be some variation about which foods you should always purchase as organic, but here's a list of the 10 most important ones.
- Baby food
- Green Beans
When it comes to packaged foods, look for the seal, or the USDA wording and read those labels for organic ingredients.
So, what about healthy snacking? Not everyone wants to munch on organic carrots and fruit all day long. There are organic party foods and easy snack recipes that are made with organic ingredients that are surprisingly good. Organic foods taste the same as conventional foods, and there are numerous certified organic items that are tasty ingredients.
How does Avocado and Chipotle Black Bean Dip sound? Here's the easy snack recipe for this delicious dip:
½ cup warm water
1 package Simply Organic Chipotle Black Bean Dip
2 just-ripe avocados
Combine the Black bean Dip Mix and water in a saucepan and bring to a boil. Cover and remove from heat and allow to cool to room temperature.
Stir in diced avocado. Add finely chopped organic tomatoes.
Here is a list from "Simply Organic" USDA certified organic foods that are all easy snack recipes and party food. Recipes
Remember, while you may not feel it's necessary to use all organic foods in every recipe, buy healthy packaged snack foods and purchase organic whole foods to ensure a tasty and healthy National Nutrition Week, and beyond.