Is Organic Food Healthier?

Monday November 30, -0001 comments

If you are spending the extra money on organic vs. conventional foods you probably want to know if organic is “healthier” than non-organic.  The answer, it seems, depends on how you define the word healthier.  If your definition of healthier means more nutritious, as in more vitamins and minerals, the answer is no, organic is not healthier.  If your definition of healthier means less pesticide and antibiotic-resistant germ exposure, the answer is yes, organic is healthier.

These are the findings of recent research by Stanford University published in the Annals of Internal Medicine journal.  The U.S. Department of Agriculture certifies products as organic if meeting certain requirement including no routine use of synthetic pesticides or fertilizers, antibiotics, or growth hormones.  Therefore, the research shows the organic products do live up to this requirement. 

Some other reasons people buy organic are to support sustainable farming practices, disinterest in GMO’s and the industrial food complex, superior omega-3 profiles in grass vs. grain fed animals, and sometimes better taste. 

For those on a budget, as organic food costs more than conventional food, the Environmental Working Group publishes a “dirty dozen” list of produce with the highest pesticide residue – in other words those to buy organic.  However, remember that eating conventionally-grown produce is far better than not eating fruits and vegetables at all.

The dirty dozen list includes apples, celery, bell peppers, peaches, strawberries, nectarines, grapes, spinach, lettuce, cucumbers, blueberries, and potatoes, plus honorable mention for green beans and leafy greens that are commonly contaminated with highly toxic organophosphate insecticides.  Also, some 85% of conventional sweet corn is a GMO so if you want to avoid that buy organic sweet corn.

Research clearly demonstrates that poor dietary habits can promote a state of chronic inflammation leading to body aches, pains, disability, and most chronic diseases such as diabetes, heart disease, cancer, osteoarthritis, as well as neurological diseases like Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s and multiple sclerosis.  We should therefore heavily favor the consumption of fruits, vegetables, fish, fowl, meat, roots, tubers, and nuts in our diet, and limit grains, most vegetable oils and partially hydrogenated oils, sugars and sweeteners, and fatty meats and egg yolks.