Organic: adjective | or·gan·ic – ôrˈɡanik/

Definition: Produced or involving production without the use of chemical fertilizers, pesticides or other artificial agents.

We are sure you’ve seen organic foods while strolling through the local grocery store, but do you know what makes them different than traditional goods?

The term “organic” refers to the way products are grown and processed. For organic fruits and veggies, this means the crop has not been exposed to synthetic pesticides or fertilizers. Livestock that produce goods like meat, eggs and dairy must not be given any animal byproducts, antibiotics or growth hormones to be considered organic, and they must have access to the great outdoors.

Because traditional, cheap practices are kicked to the curb, organic foods do tend to be a tad more expensive than conventionally grown products. However, the mind-blowing benefits and money you’ll save by becoming healthier are well worth it. We could write a novel on the benefits of organic eating, but to keep this as a quick read, we’ve outlined just a few for you to check out.

Pesticide reduction

Harmful pesticides used to keep bugs away from crops are terrible for our bodies. Besides affecting the bugs, pesticides also have a negative impact on all things living near where they are sprayed—animals, humans, other plants, etc. Many of these pesticides have been linked to various types of cancers, as well as to immune disorders, infertility, cardiac disease and hypertension, among other things. Yikes! Luckily, organic foods do not come in contact with pesticides, making your food choices clean and healthy.

Avoid weakened immune system

Because genetically modified foods have only been around for a few decades, we don’t know much about the long-term effects they have on our bodies. However, in animal testing, foods with genetic modifications resulted in a major reduction in immune system strength.

More nutrients

A study funded by the European Union found that organic fruits and veggies have up to 50 percent more antioxidants than those grown conventionally! That’s a huge benefit for sure. Scientists also believe this increase can cut the risk of cancer and heart disease, the leading cause of death in the U.S. Plus, they contain more vitamins and minerals, like iron and zinc. If that doesn’t convince you, I don’t know what will!

Fortunately for Memphians, organic eating is no longer just something that can only be enjoyed at home. Mama Gaia, the Bluff City’s first all-organic restaurant, is opening soon! Located in Crosstown Concourse, the fast-casual eatery will provide guests with the chance to enjoy delicious, affordable vegetarian dishes with safe ingredients that are not only good for the body, but the environment as well.

Are your taste buds watering yet? We thought so! Check out our menu to decide what you’ll have as soon as the doors open.