Organic meat, poultry, eggs, and
dairy products come from animals that eat organically grown feed, and they are
antibiotics or growth hormones. Organic food is
produced without using most conventional pesticides, genetic engineering, or
radiation, and its production emphasizes using renewable resources and
conserving soil and water.
Organic foods are not free of
pesticide residues, but they do contain smaller amounts than found in foods
that are not organic. Organic foods are an alternative source of foods for
those who are concerned about pesticides in foods.
Department of Agriculture (USDA) sets guidelines for the production of organic
foods and for when the
organic-food label can be used.
debate over whether organic foods are more nutritious than conventionally
produced food, and the USDA makes no claims that organic foods are safer or
For more information, see the topic
Vitamin and mineral supplements
Certain groups of
people need to pay attention to specific nutrients, including:
Infants and children, who may need
supplements such as iron, vitamin D, and fluoride.
Girls and women, who may need iron, folic acid, and calcium supplements, for
- People who are recovering from an accident or an illness,
have a chronic disease, or are unable to eat a variety of foods. People with
these problems may need a dietary supplement to help meet their nutrition
- People older than 50. Because people older than 50 tend to
have trouble absorbing enough vitamin B12, calcium, and vitamin D, it is
recommended that they take a supplement or eat more of the foods that contain
Dietary supplements can't make up for poor eating habits.
They don't contain all the vitamins, minerals,
phytochemicals found in food. For most healthy people,
a balanced diet can provide all the nutrients needed for good health, and
supplements are not necessary. Ask a
registered dietitian or other health professional
whether you need to take vitamin or mineral supplements.
information on vitamin and mineral supplements, see the topic
Choosing a Vitamin and Mineral Supplement.
Conditions for which nutrition
plays an important part in treatment include:
You may get more information about diets for these
conditions by contacting a registered dietitian in your area.