Debunked: How to Determine Organic and Non-organic Food

Internationally renowned farm-to-table Chef Fung offers some advice as we continue to decode food labels and find the best eats around

Organic food is food that has been grown without the use of synthetic fertilizers or pesticides. Farmers growing organic crops also do not use ionizing radiation on their fields. In short, organic products are grown in a natural state, avoiding the toxic chemicals that are often used in conventional farming practices. Many individuals and families are choosing organic foods because they feel they are healthier for themselves as well as for the environment.

Many vegetarians and vegans support organic farming. Those choosing to eschew animal products from their diets are often tuned into the environmental impact that their choices have, and they appreciate how organic farming is better for the earth as well as their health. There are many people who feel that organic produce tastes superior to conventionally grown crops. Vegetarian foodies who truly savor their vegetables will find great enjoyment with locally and organically grown products.

One of the best ways to know if a food is organic or not is to ask. In a supermarket, organic products are usually labelled. But, when you’re at a restaurant or market, it may not be marked as such. Speak up and ask your restaurant server or market purveyor how their products are grown. There are many farms that are not officially certified organic due to the costs involved in such labeling, but they do practice organic methods. It’s also prudent to be wary of labeling that does not state “certified organic.” Some companies are misleading customers by using the word organic on their packaging when only a very small percentage of their product’s ingredients are organic. Starting a conversation and doing prudent research are always the best ways to learn more about your food.

Organic foods can often be found at local fresh air markets at a much lower cost than in a supermarket. Markets allow customers the benefit of buying directly from the farmer, instead of dealing with the middleman that bumps costs up. When the cost of buying organic seems to be out of your budget, head to your local market or farm stand and you’ll be able to enjoy organic products directly from the farm.

Plenty of people who are looking to enjoy a first class brunch are also seeking restaurants that support the farm to table movement. In Hong Kong, this is starting to get a lot of buzz. I, as a Chef, hope that farm-to-table gets recognition and attention worldwide as it is proven to be good for our bodies. Chefs should always pride themselves on providing the latest food related knowledge and information to all who wish to learn. There is always something new to learn in the food world and they strive to remain on the pulse of all that’s happening in the culinary world.

Screen Shot 2014-11-05 at 4.36.45 PMChef Fung is a veteran of the food industry. He is a world-class chef, a master of the Cantonese cuisine that makes irresistible recipes. He cooks old-school; he uses ingredients that has natural flavors and would shine in his dishes. Together with the talented Malcolm Wood, Fung built Mott 32, a Chinese restaurant that is currently known as a marquee brand in Hong Kong.


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