Strictly speaking, it is the skin of citrus fruit which adds spice to life, but not to get tangled up in words, spices add a little je ne sais quoi which add taste and depth to ordinary food. Cook cauliflower on the grill with a hint of cardamom and you will get the idea immediately.
Spices in history
Ancient civilizations used spices for taste, as a preservative and medicinally too. Originally spices were limited to their geographic climate. Vanilla, for example, was found first in Mexico only. It did not become a part of a wider diet until Europeans started making their way there. Now, vanilla is produced in Indonesia and Madagascar in much greater quantities than Mexico produces.
Trend toward organic
As spices have their own inherent qualities of taste or medicinal property there has been a movement of late to produce spices organically, just like every other crop.
If you are using turmeric as an ayurvedic detox it makes no sense to use turmeric that was grown using pesticides and chemicals. How can you detox if you’re adding a toxin?
The best way to get organic spice
The very best way to buy organic spices is in their natural state. Instead of buying powdered ginger, buy ginger root. Scrape the skin with just the edge of a spoon, (you keep more than using a knife). Then either slice very finely or use a mezzaluna to chop very finely. The result will be a much more gingery flavor than the powder every time.
Buying spices in their natural state ensures the spice is fresh and uncontaminated. If you want to be sure that it’s is gluten free this is the best way. Spices are the great enhancer. Give them a try!