Organic foods are grown without modern additives like pesticides, chemical fertilizers, genetic modifications, irradiation or industrial solvents. While many people associate the term "organic" strictly with produce, animal products like chicken, beef, and even dairy (including milk) can be deemed organic as long as the livestock have regular access to pastures and are not given growth hormones. More often than not, these natural products can be found at the local grocery store, though some services offer online shopping and home delivery of their products.
Food that comes from organic farms is highly regulated, unlike the food that comes from local gardens. It used to be that people looking for organic fruits, vegetables, and meats had to go directly to the growers. These farms were small and operated with or without certification. As demand to buy these products rose, supermarkets, brokers, and distributors replaced the direct connection with the grower. Now, there's no limit to farm size and the USDA (United States Department of Agriculture) carries out routine inspections to ensure that not only are the products being grown according to organic standards, but that the health of the American public is not in danger.
Many services are available for the distribution of organic products. Home delivery is usually limited to herbs, spices, fruits and vegetables. However, a full range of products is often available for catering and restaurant services to allow for a larger amount of recipes to cook with. The growing concern for the health of the average American and the apparent obesity "epidemic" has lead to more restaurants utilizing organics to bring in more customers.
Organic food distribution is growing in popularity with each passing year. Increasingly, the public is becoming concerned with environmentally conscious agriculture and farming, both in interest of preserving the environment, and for their own health. Because of this, there are also specific guidelines that must be met for food to be labeled as “organic.” Many distributors of natural produce must prove that they use natural, non-chemical pesticides, and do not inject hormones into their fruits and vegetables. In addition, any meat or dairy product, like milk, that has been labeled as organic must be mostly free of growth hormones and be kept in an acceptable living environment. There are stores that deal specifically with organic food and produce that they get from smaller distributors. If you are interested in finding one of these stores to purchase chicken, beef or fruit for the meal you will be cooking, simply go online and search for the local organic food and health store. You can even check their website to see if they offer home delivery of your groceries. Restaurant owners can also find wholesale organic distributors and recipes online. Be sure, if you are ordering from someone, to price out a few different options. Ask the broker that you are dealing with for certification of your food. Organic is a growing industry, and you have to watch out for brokers who may be lying about their food being organic just so that they can sell it for a higher price. Also, be sure to seek out a few different organic stores until you find the one with the best rates. Organic farming has a higher production cost, so the food will be more expensive. It never hurts to try and save where you can!