If you think that the only difference between organic and inorganic food products is the price, consider that organic foods have less pesticides and higher Omega-3 content.
The jury is still out on organic versus inorganic food. A multitude of research shows support for both sides. A widely publicized, 2012 Stanford University meta-analysis of 250 studies came to the conclusion that “it did not find strong evidence that organic foods were more nutritious or carry fewer health risks than conventional alternatives.”
However, researchers did find that organic food has more phenols, which are linked to antioxidant activity. This protects your DNA from damage. Organic eggs and chickens contain more Omega-3 (an anti-inflammatory, essential fatty acid), there is 30 percent less pesticide residue on organic produce, and chicken and pork contain less antibiotic-resistant bacteria. These good things translate into a difference, unlike the study claims.
A huge difference between organic and inorganic is genetically modified organisms (GMO), super plants with increased yields and a built-in resistance to insects and pests. Unfortunately, these super plants have downsides, including links to infertility,2 organ failure,3 and cancer.4 They are not required to be labeled in the United States, so unless you’re eating organic, you may be eating GMOs.
Organic animal products contain less hormones, antibiotics, and toxins, and contain more of what makes animals healthy to eat. Genetically modified, pesticide-covered feeds, unnatural feedlot lifestyles, increased antibiotics, and growth hormones are all passed along to the consumer. If an animal is raised unhealthily and you consume the animal, how does that make you healthy? The health of the animal becomes your health also.
High-tech tomatoes. Mysterious milk. Supersquash. Are we supposed to eat this stuff? Or is it going to eat us?
– Annita Manning
Fresh Ideas to Extend Your Expiration Date
To my knowledge, there are no studies showing that conventional farming is better or superior to the organic approach. Evaluate the inorganic versus organic question by what is more natural or more capable of producing health. Ingesting pesticides, herbicides, and chemical fertilizers could be harmful to your health. They are obviously sprayed on and around the plants, affecting both the plants and the soil quality. Organic is the best choice to decrease exposure to pesticides, herbicides, and GMO products.
If you have to decide between organic produce and organic animal products, pick organic animal products. Organic animal products are a far superior product to their nonorganic counterparts. For example, nonorganic cows are mostly fed a diet of GMO corn and soy, which they are not designed to eat. They are designed to eat grasses. Due to high corn prices in 2012, cows were being fed candy as it was cheaper than their regular feed. Candy to cows? That can’t possibly make them healthy. Oftentimes these unnatural diets make them sick, causing an increase in antibiotic use. To top it off, growth hormones are often added to increase production.
Inorganic produce is designated with a barcode that starts with a 4 (for example, 4232). Organic starts with a 9. Be aware that organic cookies, crackers, and cereal may be marginally better than their nonorganic equals because of no GMOs or pesticides, but they still aren’t the best choice.
To Buy or Not to Buy Organic: What You Need to Know to Choose the Healthiest, Safest, Most Earth-Friendly Food, by Cindy Burke, is a very practical organic guide to food. If you have an unlimited budget, always eat organic. If you have to pick and choose, this is the book for you.
Organic Manifesto: How Organic Farming Can Heal Our Planet, Feed the World, and Keep Us Safe, by Maria Rodale, is a very slanted view towards organic food as the name suggests. She provides a very readable synopsis of how organic is good for the planet as a whole, versus just for us as individual eaters.
Can’t find grass-fed meats in your area? Go to eatwild.com to find local farmers in your area, or check out grasslandbeef.com and grassfedorganics.com for good meat sources you can have delivered to your door.
For a complete list of the dirty dozen and clean 15 foods, visit ewg.org/ foodnews.