Organic Food Tips
Everything is going organic these days. You can find an organic version of your favorite fruits and veggies, meats, milk and dry goods, too. But before you shell out the cash for those inevitably pricier organic items, you want to make sure you are actually getting more bang for your buck. Are organic options really better for you, or is it all a bunch of hype?
Is it really organic?
First, you have to determine what is really organic. By definition, organic food is grown without pesticides, chemicals or fertilizers; these can't be in the soil, either, unless the chemicals themselves are organic versions.
So is a piece of fruit or a vegetable actually healthier if it's grown without those harsh additives? In the past, government research has found little or no nutritional difference among organic and traditionally grown produce, milk and meat, according to an article on ABCnews.com.
A recent study by the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry now disputes that same research. The study found that organic tomatoes actually have two times the level of two flavonoid compounds — quercetin and kaempferol — compared to their traditionally grown counterparts. Quercetin and kaempferol are antioxidants that have been linked to reducing heart disease risk.
The other thing to consider is the harm the pesticide levels in non-organic produce can cause. Research suggests that pesticide levels are possibly linked to cancer, and there are also concerns
they can cause neurological damage since most pesticides are designed to kill insects by attacking the nervous system.
If this is enough to convince you of what organic purists have believed all along, then go ahead and fill your grocery cart with organic food. But keep in mind a couple things:
Good for the planet
Regardless of whether or not they are organic, fruits and vegetables are good for you. A study that was conducted on conventionally grown produce, not organic, shows that a diet rich in fruits and vegetables can help with heart health and can lower the risk of diabetes, cancer and stroke.
Organic, of course, does offer the planet as a whole a healthier future. According to the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, "Organic agriculture already uses less fossil fuel based on input and has a better carbon footprint than standard agricultural practices."
Organic or conventionally grown? You decide.