Do you like to help your parents shop for groceries? Shopping together can be a fun time as a family, and it also gives you plenty of opportunities to learn new things. From math and finances to health and nutrition, a trip to the grocery store can help you gain a better understanding of the world around you.

If you have shopped for fresh fruits and vegetables, you may have noticed that some products have a label on them that says “organic.” Have you ever wondered what that means? Well, read on and wonder no more!

Organic foods are foods produced according to strict guidelines set forth by the government. These guidelines state that organic foods must be produced without modern man-made processes and materials, such as man-made pesticides, chemical fertilizers, genetically-modified organisms, irradiation or chemical additives.

For most of history, almost all food was organic. However, during the 20th century, the principles of the Industrial Revolution were applied to agriculture.

This led to the development of many man-made processes and products that were believed to improve farming techniques and yields. In other words, small farms grew larger as the ideas that were used by factories and big business were put into action to grow more food faster.

Over time, the organic movement started to get back to the old, traditional methods of farming. Those in favor of organic food believe that the man-made chemicals and pesticides used in modern farming can be harmful to your health. They also believe that organic foods are naturally more nutritious.

Scientists have studied organic and non-organic foods for many years now. Many people find it interesting that scientists have yet to find a significant difference between organic and non-organic food in terms of safety, nutrition or taste.

If you go to the grocery store, you will notice that organic foods tend to be more expensive than non-organic foods. This is due, in part, to the fact that the government requires organic food producers to obtain special certification for their products.

Is organic food worth the extra cost? Some people believe it is. Despite the lack of scientific findings to support their claims, many people still prefer organic foods. Some people believe they taste better, while others prefer to eat food that has not been grown, made or processed using man-made chemicals.

If you wonder whether you should choose an organic food instead of a non-organic one, the best thing you can do is try it for yourself and see which you prefer. Although organic foods were once only available in health food stores, you can find them today at most grocery stores.

12 Join the Discussion

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  1. Wonderopolis,

    I loved today’s Wonder! I think tomorrow’s wonder of the day is about flashlights.

    Sorry I didn’t leave a comment for a while. I was too busy over the past week.

    Remember Wonder of the Day #642 – Where is the largest zoo? I thought wonder of the day #643 was about languages, and I was right! :) Wonder of the day #643 was about languages. Wonder of the day #643 “Is It Ever Too Late to Learn a New Language?”

    And one question, how do you type in the cool face? ;)

    TJ :)

    • TJ,

      You’ll have to wait and find out what tomorrow’s Wonder of the Day® is all about! :-)

      As for the smiley faces, when you type the emoticon, Wonderopolis’ site automatically turns it into a cool smiley face for you!

      Have a great weekend!

  2. I am wondering if there any organic perfumes in the world? Are fair trade products equal to organic products?

    How do you make smiley faces? You type in a emotion like ‘happy’ or like this :) ?

    Please reply AS SOON AS possible!

    • Great questions, Sophie! Yes, there are organic perfumes. Some people also use special oils from plants, flowers and even fruits as perfumes. These are called “essential oils.”

      We think fair trade would be a great topic for a future wonder of the day. You can nominate it here: http://wonderopolis.org/nominate-wonder.

      ps: Yes! You are making smileys just by typing the symbols. :-)

      Have a great weekend!

  3. I was WONDERING how the girl in the video grew vines from the potato. I’ve never done that before, but I hope to try it soon.
    I would not like to eat vegetables with chemicals on them.

    • Thanks so much for sharing your thoughts and WONDERings about the video for this Wonder of the Day®, Helena! Please let us know if you get to try growing those vines! We’d love to know how it works for you! :-)

  4. I WONDER if you can grow vines from any other plants. Maybe I could experiment to find out.
    I never knew that non-organic foods may not be good for your health. I think I should try to eat as much organic food as I can.

    • We think experimenting with growing vines from plants sounds like a FUN way to WONDER, Charlie! We sure do appreciate you and Helena visiting this Wonder today and leaving us comments…you guys ROCK! :-)

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Have you ever wondered…

  • What does organic mean?
  • Is organic food safer than non-organic food?
  • Is organic food more nutritious?

Wonder Gallery

Try It Out

Does your family purchase organic food? Ask a friend or family member to take you on a field trip to a local farmer’s market or grocery store. Your goal? Get an up-close look at what types of organic foods are available.

Take your time and explore the farmer’s market or the aisles of your grocery store. You’ll want to pay special attention to the fresh fruits and vegetables. Do you see foods marked with “organic” labels?

Pick out a couple of examples of organic foods and put them in your cart. Then look for non-organic versions of the same foods. Compare them. Which is more expensive? How much more expensive is it?

If you can, purchase an organic and a non-organic version of the same food. Then take them home and prepare them the same way. Which tastes better? Can you tell the difference between them? Based upon your personal experience, which do you prefer?

Still Wondering

In ReadWriteThink’s How Does My Garden Grow? Writing in Science Field Journals lesson, children plant a garden and study its growth using the inquiry process of questioning and exploring.

Wonder What’s Next?

Tomorrow’s Wonder of the Day will really light things up!

Upload a Photo or Paste the URL of a YouTube or SchoolTube Video.