Interest in healthy food is booming, and many producers are trying to tempt us to buy with attractive slogans on the packaging label. Food items with "BIO" and "natural" labels, considered "health food," are not the same as certified organic food. While there is no lack of them on store shelves, not all of them are what we think they are. You'll read about the differences in this article. You will also learn the importance of choosing products from a safe source!
Leading a healthy lifestyle and maintaining a well-balanced dietis quite a challenge. Perhaps the relevant grocery shelf for you is the one labeled "BIO", " ECO" or "organic products" and you are looking for items free of harmful chemical ingredients, hormones or GMOs.
But in practice, the difference between "healthy food"and certified organic food is huge. That's why it's so important to know the facts and buy consciously.
Not every product described as "healthy food" is organic. How to understand this? In the case of EU-certified (green leaf logo) food, the farm that supplies it must meet a number of requirements set out in a European Parliament regulation.1 These regulations include composition, production methods and the extent of the environmental impact of farming.2
Terms such as "BIO," " ECO" or "natural product" are not registered trademarks. In essence, any producer can so label the food provided, even if it contains preservatives or artificial colors. Although the product is de facto approved and deemed safe for the consumer, it does not have the advantages of organic food.
Be careful not to be misled. As a consumer, you are not in a position to check the quality of the "healthy food" on offer, or the process of its production. When buying products marked with the green leaflogo, you can feel safe. EU authorities carry out regular inspections to ensure that certified farms maintain high standards at every stage of production, which you will read about below.3
Choosing products from EU-certified farms offers numerous benefits that consumers in Europe and other countries appreciate. The entire production process remains under strict control, and each farmer undergoes a special certification procedure.4 This guarantees the high quality of the final product. The advantages of food with the green EU logo include:
- More vitamins and antioxidants. A study conducted by U.S. nutrition expert Virginia Worthington (J.H. University, 2001) indicated that organic crops yield foods with higher levels of vitamin C, zinc and iron, as well as flavonoids, which have antioxidant properties.5
- No residues of antibiotics, hormonal drugs, pesticides and otherchemicals. EU regulations extremely strictly come to their use, which translates into complete product safety.6
- No GMOs (genetically modified organisms). For EU-certified products, farmers are not allowed to feed modified feed to animals or use GMOs along with chemicals such as herbicides.7
You've probably already guessed that in the case of "healthy food", inscriptions such as "BIO" or "natural" are usually treated as marketing slogans to attract the consumer, but the actual composition often leaves much to be desired. In turn, the right to use the green leaf logo is granted only to farms that meet strict quality and safety standards.
The conclusion is simple - food from EU organic farms is a much better choice. Therefore, read labels and buy consciously. Bet on naturally tasty, organic food products from the EU!
 Regulation of the European Parliament and of the Council (EU) 2018/848 on organic production and labeling of organic products, https://eur-lex.europa.eu/legal-content/PL/TXT/PDF/?uri=CELEX:32018R0848&from=GA (access 6.07.2022)
2 Official website of the European Parliament, „Nowe surowsze zasady na żywności ekologicznej w UE”, https://www.europarl.europa.eu/news/pl/headlines/society/20180404STO00909/infografika-nowe-surowsze-zasady-dla-zywnosci-ekologicznej-w-ue (access 6.07.2022)
3 Official website of the European Union, Kontrola i egzekwowanie: System kontroli produkcji ekologicznej, https://ec.europa.eu/info/food-farming-fisheries/farming/organic-farming/controls_pl (access 6.07.2022)
4 Official website of the European Union, Certyfikacja: Przekształcenie w gospodarstwo ekologiczne, https://ec.europa.eu/info/food-farming-fisheries/farming/organic-farming/becoming-organic-farmer_pl#certification (access 6.07.2022)
5V. Worthington, Nutritional Quality of Organic Versus Conventional Fruits, Vegetables, and Grains, The Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine,nr 2(7)/2001, Mary Ann Liebert, Inc., p. 167
6 Official website of the European Parliament, Ibid