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But, after all, the word (in its commercial sense) simply means that the raw materials going into the thing on the shelf has not come into contact with any of the plethora of artificial fertilisers, treatments and other farm products that modern farming increasingly relies on to churn out the maximum amount of food or raw material. There have been debates about whether it is worth eating organic – although most of us accept that, if you can afford to, it is – and there is greater still suspicion amongst some over the ‘organic’ claims of soaps, shampoos, toothpastes, cotton buds and so forth.

So it seems that we are largely agreed that there at least some benefits to eating organic. We are less sure about ‘washing organic’ or ‘giving your ears a bit of a clean organic’. So – what about wearing organic? Organic cotton t-shirts, pants, socks and trousers have all appeared in greater and greater numbers on our shelves of late – often at greater and greater prices, too. But is there anything to be said for them?

One thing we need to remember is that organic cotton may still have been subject to plenty of decidedly inorganic substances and processes after being picked. Take pyjamas – organic full-boby garments of the sort we wear at night would surely be the most health-benificial if there really is anything to be said for organic clothing generally. Does paying a premium for your childrens pyjamas to be made of organic materials (usually cotton) make any real difference? Perhaps there are a little less of the ‘nasties’ in the fibres of the garments – but then, surely, the difference would be far less than the difference between cotton and synthetic garbs?

Another note of caution to those thinking of spending that bit extra on organic PJs is that there is definitely something to be said for the suspicious argument that this is a marketing fad. Of course parents would like their and their childrens PJs to be as ‘nasties free’ as possible, so the offer of ‘100% organic cotton childrens sleepware’ has a certain amount of appeal to it. But surely, if there really was a health benefit of any sort, synthetic PJs (or for that matter, clothes in general) would be far more of a concern than inorganic cotton. Put simply, it is difficult to see how buying organic sleepware could be better for you, but remarkably easy to see how it could be better for the people selling it. And that probably tells you something.

Of course, it is more than a little possible that we are really just buying what we perceive to be ‘luxury’ because we want to feel like we are pampering ourselves and our kids. If this is the case (it certainly is some of the time) it hardly matters whether there is any difference between organic and inorganic at all.

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You probably have heard about them, but are they really that much better?

The Organic Trade Association defines organic products as a farming system that not only maintains the soil but nurtures the soil without any added fertilizers or harmful pesticides which have been determined to be harmful to our ecosystem. These foods or products have been processed very little without any artificial ingredients or preservatives, which more and more people are looking for.

Americans are becoming more and more environmentally aware these days and you likely have noticed that organic products are becoming more popular everywhere you seem to go.

The term organic also includes other items other than foods or organic products, such as personal care products like shampoo, soap, toothpaste and more that are also available in organic form. There are also organic products such as cosmetics, organic mattresses and even organic pet products such as organic cat litter.

Although there are a few laws that govern the personal care ingredients within personal care products, most personal care products are exempt from strict guidelines, so you really need to check the labeling to see what the ingredients are before choosing something that may not be all that beneficial.

The USDA (United States Department of Agriculture) allows products that contain at least 95 percent organic ingredients to display the the organic label. Certainly, there are organic farms that exist here in Arizona, but one of the more popular organic farms is Shamrock Organic Farms. I don’t know about you, but I personally believe that it can be quite confusing when looking for organic products.

Here’s the USDA Definition of Organically Produced Organic Products Regulations and tips to help you decide if these products are right for you.

In order for products to be able to display the USDA Certified Organic seal, each product is required to contain 95 to 100 percent organic ingredients.

Products can be labeled 100 percent organic if they contain 100 percent of organic ingredients.

In order for an organic label to be displayed on a product, the item must contain at least 70 percent but less than 94 percent of organic ingredients to make the statement that organic ingredients make up the product. (These products cannot use the USDA Certified-Organic seal, however)

Stiff penalties as much as 10,000 dollars can result for any violators misusing these organic labels.

Farmers need to do their homework if they are to display an organic label. Farmers are required to document and prove that their products and farming operations actually comply with these USDA guidelines. In addition, farmers are required to submit their farming system plans along with their well documented records in order to remain compliant with the guidelines. Inspections are required on the farms and the farmers understand that they can have their goods inspected at any time.

There are many reasons why people believe in organic products and are probably the same or similar reasons that others in any other country or state believe that these products are truly better.

More and more Americans are in agreement that organic food and products made without pesticides and fertilizers are the best thing for the future. Many consumers and environmentalists firmly believe that going organic isn’t just about promoting better health. They also believe that organically grown food is good for the soil, the environment and certainly our children and others for many years to come.

Many people believe that eating organic foods is healthier because these products contain very little, if any, pesticides or chemicals that will harm you or your children.

Many people believe that choosing 100 percent organic products benefit consumers because these items do not contain any chemicals such as fertilizers or pesticides or any growth hormones and antibiotics.

Many people will agree that by supporting organically grown products, we are doing our part for a healthier environment for everyone. Organic crops do not require any fertilizers because of the fact that they are rotated, which in turns replenishes the essential nutrients needed for healthier and more nutritious fruits and vegetables.

To know whether you are really purchasing something that is said to be organic, look for the organic certification. If you do not know the difference between organic and sustainable, you are not alone. It can be very confusing trying to decide whether or not food without pesticides are better.

Just keep in mind that, organic farms must be independently certified every year and then approved by the USDA, to be officially identified as an organic farm.

Organic products may not be a priority to some people, but there is one thing that cannot be disagreed upon. Fertilizers are not used with these products which is always a benefit when it comes to pollutants that enter our rivers, lakes and streams.

Organic certification and the global marketplace

Organic product sales in the food and textile markets have risen considerably since the organic movement kicked off in the 1960s. The last ten years have seen a surge in growth with global sales of organic food and organic textiles amounting to nearly $50 billion (USD). While sales of organic produce have dropped in some Western countries as a consequence… Read more →

Online grocery store Thrive Market sells affordable, organic food up to 50% off

The Insider Picks team writes about stuff we think you’ll like. Business Insider has affiliate partnerships, so we get a share of the revenue from your purchase.

Thrive Market

Thrive Market curates the highest quality organic, non-GMO products (food, beauty, cleaning supplies) for you to shop from at 25% – 50% off retail prices.

The annual membership is $59.95. If you don’t save at least $60, they’ll give you the difference in credit at the end of the year after you renew.

85% of orders ship in two days or less. Orders over $49 always ship free.

Get 20% off your first 3 orders with the code “FIRST3” at checkout.

Here are Thrive Market’s must-haves.
I just recently came out of what was essentially a reverse-cleanse: a 12-pack of macaroni and cheese that I bought at a ‘great deal’ on Amazon groceries. A couple months of eating that semi-regularly and an unrelated but still unsettling health scare and I had reached the last impetus needed to commit to a complete pantry overhaul. 

I wanted and needed to expand my idea of value to include nutrition as well as quantity per dollar. It’s easy to default to your usual choices when the healthy substitute you’re considering trying for the first time is double the price of the product you habitually buy. The healthy option might actually taste good, and it may be better for your body, but it’s the classic case of the “better the devil you know.” On a budget, you go with a sure bet.

This concern of healthy foods being somewhat inaccessible through cost and education is something that the open-secret of a healthy grocery store, Thrive Market, is trying to address. And I can honestly say I wish that I had known about them sooner.

What Thrive Market is:
Thrive Market is an online marketplace that curates high-quality organic, non-GMO products at a discounted rate of 25% – 50% off retail prices to its members. Or, as they put it, “wholesome food at wholesale prices.”

An annual membership costs $59.95 (or, $5/month), and 85% of orders ship within two days or less. If you spend over $49, shipping is always free. 

Thrive Market currently ships to all contiguous US states and is looking to expand in the near future. 

How it works:

Register for free to browse the catalog and see member savings. You’ll receive 15% off your first purchase.

Start your 30-day trial: with your first purchase on Thrive Market, you’ll start a free 30-day membership trial. Cancel anytime.

If you love it, join Thrive Market for $59.95 for a year’s worth of savings on the site’s healthy product selection. When you join, you’re also sponsoring a free membership for a low-income family. 
You can shop by category, by values (ie. gluten-free, paleo, raw, vegan, for moms, etc.), or by current deals. You can also shop in the ‘My Aisle’ section that Thrive Market populates based on your interests noted in a shopping quiz you will take during the short registration. For me, that meant their “Top Organic Bundles”(for instance, this Healthy Snack Sampler they curated), best-sellers their shoppers love (like Avocado Oil Mayo),  and the “Organic Brand Spotlight” which was Annie’s Macaroni & Cheese. 

In addition to offering thousands of organic brands you could find at your local grocery store and online, they also have an in-house brand that packages organic products (the equivalent of your supermarket chain’s generic brand).

An example of potential savings when using Thrive Market or traditional grocery stores.Thrive Market

Who would get the most value out of Thrive Market:
If you spend a lot of time researching/want to eat healthy foods, have a dedicated diet or food restrictions, or consistently buy organic or non-GMO foods online, you’ll likely find at least a few compelling benefits to Thrive Market. 

I am considering a membership because I want to make healthier choices across the board in my life, and sometimes I can find the research and continuous trial-and-error testing too exhaustive and expensive. Quality is a concern with organic substitutes (great, but does it work?), and it’s helpful to have experts and customer ratings to simplify that judgment. The healthy eating community is an intense one, so it’s nice that Thrive Market makes use of all that helpful, accumulative passion.

When possible, I buy most of my groceries online to avoid the time commitment of in-person shopping, and I appreciate that Thrive Market makes healthy eating this simple. All the excess items in the local aisle have been removed, and I can scroll through and pick what I want and feel good buying it. Plus, while I’ve been reading a lot about healthy substitutes, it takes work to figure out which local grocery store will reliably carry them. I want fewer steps, not more. This is a much lower barrier to entry for me as a beginner in the health food market.

The 25% – 50% off also helps to close the gap between the sometimes inflated “organic” prices at the grocery store and removes that barrier as well, making Thrive Market an equally viable choice for the average person on a budget. Even if you’re not on a tight budget, who doesn’t love saving money?

Thrive Market also has recipes available if, like me, you’re still figuring out how to work new ingredients into your life. 

What you can buy:
Thrive Market carries 4,000+ healthy products, and you can shop hundreds of categories. Food; beauty, bath and body; health; babies and kids; home; pet supplies; and the all-inclusive “other”.

Find popular brands like Burt’s Bees, Acure, Annie’s, Seventh Generation, KIND, Bragg, Califa, Milkadamia, and Primal Kitchen.

While you can buy staples like meats and seafood (a new addition), the rest of Thrive Market’s selection is mostly shelf stable options, like a canned olive spread rather than a bushel of apples. For produce, you’ll probably still want to stop at your neighborhood store or Farmers Market. 

What other people are buying on Thrive Market:
You can shop best-sellers and the top customer-rated picks here, but some of the most popular items are Thrive Market Organic Extra Virgin Olive Oil ($14.99, 170+ reviews), Primal Kitchen Avocado Oil Mayo ($7.49, 1,070+ reviews), and Mushroom Coffee Mix ($11.99, 49 reviews).

Concerns:
Some people couldn’t conceive of buying groceries online — “but if I can’t hold the tomato in this hand, how do I know it will be the ripeness I like?”— and that’s obviously a legitimate concern. However, like most retailers, you will be protected by a return policy from Thrive Market (with traditional exceptions for things like intimates or perishables). If anything is wrong with your groceries or your order, though, let them know here within 7 days.

For me, the benefit of an all-organic shopping center and the convenience of savings and online shopping have meant that I’m willing to sacrifice the added insurance of picking everything out in person. But, like I said, I’m already an avid proponent of online grocery shopping to avoid lines, congested aisles, and the weighed-down 15 block walk back to my apartment.

Similarly, products are supposed to be markedly cheaper (25% – 50% off retail) but are they? We price-checked some of the most common purchases with Amazon, another cheap online grocery resource. 

Primal Kitchen Avocado Oil Mayo, 12 oz (Thrive Market: $7.49, Amazon Groceries: $11.39).

Dr. Bronner’s Organic Virgin Coconut Oil, 30 Fl oz (Thrive Market: $15.99, Amazon Groceries: $24)

Napa Valley Organic Extra Virgin Olive Oil, 25.4 Fl oz (Thrive Market: $10.99, Amazon Groceries: $13.82)

Simple Mills Almond Flour Pancake & Waffle Mix, 10.7 oz (Thrive Market: $5.99, Amazon Groceries: $7.99)
Thrive Market was not always cheaper, but when it was, it usually offered a large enough gap in savings to be substantial overall. 

Also, if you’re concerned about getting value out of your membership, Thrive Market guarantees their annual membership will pay for itself. If your membership fee was $60, but you only saved $40 in a year, they will automatically give you the difference ($20) in Thrive Market credit after you renew. 

If you need an added incentive, Thrive Market also has a program called ‘Thrive Gives’, which is their way of making healthy living affordable and accessible to anyone. Thrive Market understands that their yearly membership of $60 may not be in every single person’s budget, however, so, for every paid membership the site sells, they gift a free membership to someone in need. They also offer custom educational content to Thrive Gives members (shopping lists, recipes, a 22-part video course about how to eat healthy on a budget).

Thrive Market and Thrive Gives members enjoy the same access to “wholesome products at wholesale prices.” The Thrive Gives memberships are distributed through their nonprofit partners. The free membership also includes teachers, veterans, and first responders.

Start a free 30-day trial to Thrive Market >
Get 20% off your first three orders with the code “FIRST3” >
 

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Disclosure: This post is brought to you by Business Insider’s Insider Picks team. We aim to highlight products and services you might find interesting, and if you buy them, we get a small share of the revenue from the sale from our commerce partners. We frequently receive products free of charge from manufacturers to test. This does not drive our decision as to whether or not a product is featured or recommended. We operate independently from our advertising sales team. We welcome your feedback. Have something you think we should know about? Email us at insiderpicks@businessinsider.com.

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Organic Options

More and more people are deciding to choose an organic lifestyle to counteract the imbalances of todays fast-paced world. An organic lifestyle consists of using products, eating food and generally living a lifestyle, which is free from the chemicals that are present in so much of the commodities that we use to live life in the 21st century developed world.… Read more →

Aside

Organic production is ubiquitously present in our markets today. Either it is for Organic Food (just click the up coming internet page) ororganic beverages such as green organic tea, more and more consumers are adapting to organic products. This is particularly a healthier option for the propagation of fair trade.

Organic Tea, by Definition!

Talking of organic tea, the term is most often misread. It is a common conception held by majority that organic tea refers to only a tasteless kind of food tea. This is a totally false idea, since the basic understanding of organic tea lies in the method of its production, but has nothing to do with flavour. Organic tea is cultivated by sustainable and natural farming practises. The method is kept away from inclusion of chemicals or pesticides. The result is an unpolluted tea for the joy of the finest taste.

Organic Tea A Fair Trade

The predicate of terminology, organic tea production, refers to the fair trade policy of producing tea. Production of organic tea is tightly coupled with the fair trade route, where human capital is respected for their intense laborious efforts, and is provided enough opportunities to continue growing superior quality tea.

Why choose Organic Tea?

The main advantage of choosing organic tea over others is that it is unpolluted. Because of the natural way that it is produced from, organic tea satisfies people having superior taste. It assures purity and high quality.

Scientific reason for choosing organic tea is due to the higher concentration of polyphenols and catechins present in it. Natural plantation technique employed for growing tea is higher in health because of these two compounds, which are found in abundance in organic tea.

Growing tea organically is very important for preventing deforestation. This is another reason why consumers give preference to drinking organic tea; because of the farming practises that allow tress to live a healthier life of more than hundred years.

Buying organic tea also gives you a philanthropic edge. Knowing that the tea that youre drinking comes from lands where farmers are given appropriate working conditions, puts you on a satisfied edge. Organic tea is traded through a fair route, giving farmers and their cooperatives deserving compensation and more opportunities for growing superior quality tea.

Organic Tea is not Tasteless

Mixed with fruits, spices and special herbs, organic teas are designed very creatively for taste, colour and aroma. For many of you who have been thinking that organic teas are plainly tasteless beverages, then it is certainly not the case. There is a wide variety of organic tea blends and fruit- teas available in the market today. List of flavoured teas is endless, and which is good in quality and taste both.

Francois Cambell Creator of flavoured Organic Tea

For those who keep the love for tea, they know Francois Cambell as one of the finest creators of flavoured organic tea. For the sake of his passion, this man has taken every step to bring high quality organic tea to his fellow tea lovers. Not only that he has brought quality to tea but he has literally designed a thousand and more flavours for organic tea. Enormously talented Francois, has just recently created a range of 32 new teas which bring real joy to the senses.

Does Organic Tea Guarantee Flavour?

Organic production is ubiquitously present in our markets today. Either it is for organic food ororganic beverages such as green organic tea, more and more consumers are adapting to organic products. This is particularly a healthier option for the propagation of fair trade.

Organic Tea, by Definition!

Talking of organic tea, the term is most often misread. It is a common conception held by majority that organic tea refers to only a tasteless kind of food tea. This is a totally false idea, since the basic understanding of organic tea lies in the method of its production, but has nothing to do with flavour. Organic tea is cultivated by sustainable and natural farming practises. The method is kept away from inclusion of chemicals or pesticides. The result is an unpolluted tea for the joy of the finest taste.

Organic Tea A Fair Trade

The predicate of terminology, organic tea production, refers to the fair trade policy of producing tea. Production of organic tea is tightly coupled with the fair trade route, where human capital is respected for their intense laborious efforts, and is provided enough opportunities to continue growing superior quality tea.

Why choose Organic Tea?

The main advantage of choosing organic tea over others is that it is unpolluted. Because of the natural way that it is produced from, organic tea satisfies people having superior taste. It assures purity and high quality.

Scientific reason for choosing organic tea is due to the higher concentration of polyphenols and catechins present in it. Natural plantation technique employed for growing tea is higher in health because of these two compounds, which are found in abundance in organic tea.

Growing tea organically is very important for preventing deforestation. This is another reason why consumers give preference to drinking organic tea; because of the farming practises that allow tress to live a healthier life of more than hundred years.

Buying organic tea also gives you a philanthropic edge. Knowing that the tea that youre drinking comes from lands where farmers are given appropriate working conditions, puts you on a satisfied edge. Organic tea is traded through a fair route, giving farmers and their cooperatives deserving compensation and more opportunities for growing superior quality tea.

Organic Tea is not Tasteless

Mixed with fruits, spices and special herbs, organic teas are designed very creatively for taste, colour and aroma. For many of you who have been thinking that organic teas are plainly tasteless beverages, then it is certainly not the case. There is a wide variety of organic tea blends and fruit- teas available in the market today. List of flavoured teas is endless, and which is good in quality and taste both.

Francois Cambell Creator of flavoured Organic Tea

For those who keep the love for tea, they know Francois Cambell as one of the finest creators of flavoured organic tea. For the sake of his passion, this man has taken every step to bring high quality organic tea to his fellow tea lovers. Not only that he has brought quality to tea but he has literally designed a thousand and more flavours for organic tea. Enormously talented Francois, has just recently created a range of 32 new teas which bring real joy to the senses.

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Organic certification and the global marketplace

Organic product sales in the food and textile markets have risen considerably since the organic movement kicked off in the 1960s. The last ten years have seen a surge in growth with global sales of organic food and organic textiles amounting to nearly $50 billion (USD). While sales of organic produce have dropped in some Western countries as a consequence of the recent economic crisis, the Organic Trade Association in the US reported an impressive rise of 17% in organic sales in 2008. The total value of organic sales in the US currently stands at $24.6 billion thats half of the entire organic market. Organic cotton is a very strong growth area and has seen a sales rise of 63% in the US in the last year, with annual sales currently valued at $3.2 billion.

Certification is vital. It not only regulates the sale of organic products but makes it possible. While many products make the claim of being natural or wholesome an organic label is often seen as a mark of quality. Above all it prevents misrepresentation and helps promote organic produce. As the market for organic produce continues to grow and become more and more mainstream, consumers require third-party certification to identify what they are buying. In the biggest organic markets the US, EU and Japan – the commercial use of the term organic is legally restricted and may only be used by organically certified producers.

In the US for example, only two product categories can be given the coveted USDA Organic Seal those that are 100% Organic and those that are Organic (i.e. contain a minimum of 95% organic ingredients). Products made with at least 70% organic ingredients/materials qualify to be labelled made with organic ingredients but products with less than that content cannot use the word organic at all.

Because organic produce is a massive growth industry, hundreds of certifying bodies exist to administer a range of standards which can vary greatly in their value and stringency. Globally-recognized certification bodies tend to be members of the International Federation of Organic Agriculture Movements (IFOAM) (the Organic Crop Improvement Association (OCIA) or Ecocert.

There are also a number of smaller non-organic standards which are used to signify the natural qualities of produce and are often awarded to small organic farmers who cannot qualify for organic standards because of size or other issues, however, their commercial value is far less than being certified organic. Examples of such certification providers are the UKs Wholesome Food Association, and Certified Naturally Grown and Certified Vegan in the US.

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Benefits of Organic

If you go department store and check the prices of some organic products you can observe that they are more expensive that non-organic goods. Maybe you can think that why you should choose to buy organic products that is more expensive. The reason why you should buy organic products is that there are benefits that you can get if you buy and consume them. Below are the reasons why you should choose organic products.

Products Environment
With natural farming, you don’t need to use chemicals that are use to improve the quality of your product. And some of these chemicals like pesticides can contaminate our water that we drink every day.

Natural farming does not require chemical spraying. Because are possibility that if you spray chemicals it can leave linger in the air that we can inhale.

The product of organic farming is healthier than conventional farming. Because the soil of organic farming is compost of organic materials that can help improve the nutrients of foods.

Organic Animals
Did you know that animals that are raised organically are very safe? Because they are not given any growth hormones that are not safe to our body.

We all know that animals that are raised organically are feed by organic foods only. That’s why organic animals are very safe to eat because you can ensure that there is no chemicals like pesticides that can be pass to your body. Some contaminated meat can cause very dangerous diseases. Just like a dangerous disease called Creutzfeldt-Jacob is cause by contaminated beef.

Helping Farmers and Workers
The conventional farming is not that safe. It can increase the risk of cancer because of daily exposure of chemicals.

Organic farms are usually small farm and owned by normal people. By buying their organic products you can help them survive and help them to produce more healthy and safe foods.

Health Facts
Although there are many conflict about the research of which is safer and healthier, eating non-organic foods are not already proven to be completely safe to eat. But nobody knows what the effects of chemicals from non-organic foods that we digest to our own body.

As mentioned above, organic farming does not encourage using chemicals that can pollute our environment, so we can breathe and drink freely with less worries.

Try It!
If the mentioned reasons above still didn’t convince you, you can try consuming organic foods because personal experience is the best reference.

The above reasons why you should choose organic is can also be apply to non-food products as well. Wearing and using organic materials like organic clothing will eliminate the harmful chemicals that your skin may absorb and can cause skin diseases.

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