Organic food is the buzz word these days in grocery stores. I am sure most of you have consumed organic food at some point of time. There is no doubt organic foods are much costlier and can put a strain in your monthly budget, in this tough economy. Generally, organic food is marketed as much safer, nutritive, and healthier for your body. In my previous post I presented excerpt from my research on the major differences between organic foods as compared to the conventional food. If getting high nutrition content by consuming organic food is one of your biggest reasons, you might be surprised to know that scientific data does not support that. Researchers at the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine found that there is no significant difference between organic food and conventional food on the basis of nutrition content.
The results of research, which was commissioned by the British Government’s Food Standards Agency, were published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, July 2009.
Alan Dangour, who is working for the London School’s Public Health Intervention Research Unit, said that “Our review indicates there is currently no evidence to support the selection of organic over conventionally produced foods on the basis of nutritional superiority.”
When organic food crops were studied, researchers found no significant differences in nutrient quality between organically and conventionally produced foodstuffs. Whereas the differences they found were attributed to the differences in fertilizer use (nitrogen vs. phosphorus) and the ripeness level at which the crops were harvested. The authors judged that the observed differences were “unlikely” to “provide any health benefit” to consumers.
Even US Department of Agriculture (USDA) doesn’t claim that organic products are safer or more nutritious than conventional products.
Here are few tips to protect you from “non-organic” pesticides produce:
As per Nutritionist Joy Bauer, these are simple but effective tips that can save you from the exposure of pesticides and save high amount of money:
- Buy fresh vegetables and fruits in...
season. When long storage and long-distance shipping are not required, fewer pesticides are used.
- Trim tops and the very outer portions of celery, lettuce, cabbages, and other leafy vegetables that may contain the bulk of pesticide residues.
- Peel and cook when appropriate, even though some nutrients and fiber are lost in the process.
- Eat a wide variety of fruits and vegetables. This would limit exposure to any one type of pesticide residue. I would emphasize again that you should wash the fruits thoroughly and peel the skin if needed.
- Purchase only fruits and vegetables that are subjected to USDA regulations. Produce imported from other countries is not grown under the same regulations as enforced by the USDA. Examples are strawberries and cantaloupes from Mexico.
- Trim the fat from meat, and fat and skin from poultry and fish. Residues of some pesticides concentrate in animal fat.
There is no way I am suggesting that the pesticides present on the conventional foods are good for your health. Generally, the amount of pesticides in conventional foods is below the recommended level and is safe for the body. But in any case be cautious and consider thorough washing, which can reduce or eliminate the effect of pesticides. The message I would like to drive home is, just do not go blind into buying of organic food, as it is marketed as the most healthy food on the planet. Scientific studies do not support the big promises made by the organic food producers. You should question yourself, is it actually worth to pay 50% or sometimes more – for organic food over conventional products, given the fact that both adhere to specific standards regulated by Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). If you like organic foods for other reasons, like they taste better, I would say go for it, as there is much more to a food than its nutritive content. I think more aware we are of the facts, better decisions we can make. I would encourage my readers to share your views on organic food, which can help all of us and can lead to a healthier community.