Is organic food better for you?


| 5 Comments
Over the last few years organic food has been becoming more and more popular. It is popping up all over the stores. There are even aisles in supermarkets that are devoted to only organic food. 
      Organic refers to the way that the farmers process and grow certain agricultural products such as fruits, grains, meats, and vegetables. The way that these products are grown are not the conventional way that non-organic foods are grown. Organic farmers rotate their crops are certain way and use other unconventional methods instead of using chemicals. Instead of using chemicals these farmers use natural methods such as manure or compost.
     The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) has come up with a rigorous system that the products must pass in order to be considered "organic" This system has to do with how the products are grown, handled, and processed. 
     There was an article in the Los Angeles Times that talks about a study that was conducted to see if eating organic foods was really better for you.The results were as follows:
1) allergies such as remained basically the same
2)It was not found that organic foods contained more nutrients
3)There was a 30% lower contamination rate 

green-basics-organic-produce-stand.jpg

So...
This study concluded that organic foods are better for you in only some aspects. Foods generally contain more nutrients and a lower contamination rate which is obviously beneficial to your health. Although you may spend some more money at the store when you buy organic foods, just remember that you are receiving more nutrients and less risk for contamination. The lower risk for contamination is enough of a reason for me to spend the extra money.

5 Comments

I am originally from Danville California and organic food is a trend out there. It is all we eat in my family and I love it. Here is the thing you are saying is organic food better for us. Here is what you are missing, biomagnification. Biomagnification is defined as an increasing concentration of a pollutant (pesticides) from one link in a food chain into another. The pesticides that are sprayed on the non organic food are in your system and will continue to build up the more you have over time. The environment is something I hold near and dear to my heart and the accumulating pollution from pesticides just in the ground are polluting the food we eat so if the grounds polluted and the farmers are spraying more pesticides on the food how much is really biomagnifing in your body? In the long run I would have to firmly say that organic food is better for someone to eat. I know that once I leave college I will be going back to an organic diet as soon as I can.

What kind of contamination?

I found your article interesting because it addressed something very prevalent to all of us. I really wish you had included the link to the article from the LA Times so we could find out more about how the study itself was conducted, in addition to the findings!
Of course we've heard of/know people who eat all organic, all the time and I have to wonder whether people to do it to make them feel healthier or whether there are physical health effects. Natasha's blog post from September discussed the same type of argument. She too found that there were no real health benefits, though there is less bacteria and pesticides. However, I wonder if people who make the choice to but organic eat more produce than those who do not. If buying organic will make you eat more fresh fruit and vegetables, then is it worth the price?
I think another interesting twist to this issue would be to examine whether or not there are health and environmental health benefits to using organic cleaning products like Seventh Generation.

Hi Hannah! Interesting article because I am one of those people who are very concern when it comes to grocery shopping. When I was in Thailand (before I start to become concern about healthy lifestyle), my mother tends to be the healthiest person in the family. She ALWAYS buys organic foods as much as possible. Nowadays, I do follow her steps, concerning about healthy lifestyle by choosing organic foods. However, I saw many articles debating among the problems behind organic food. Is it really true that organic food improves one's health? Or in fact, it does not really do anything beneficial to your body. Another (very) interesting article I found from The New York Times, mentioning about how organic food has become a wildly "lucrative business for Big Food". What they mean by this is how organic products we see in grocery stores are just a little part of the common food company! For example; Bear Naked, Wholesome & Hearty, Kashi: all three and more actually belong to the cereals giant Kellogg. Naked Juice belongs to PepsiCo of Pepsi and Fritos fame. Walnut Acres, Health Valley and Spectrum Organics belongs to Hain Celestial, once affiliated with Heinz, the grand old name in ketchup! Yes organic foods sound healthy...but who knows what really holds behind the term "organic"!

I also agree with you that eating organic is beneficial. Often the extra money spent is stimulating the local economy as well, as that a lot of organic food is locally grown where it is sold. One interesting this about contamination and pesticide use that I've always wondered is could there be some sort of negative affect that pesticides have on the human body that we have yet to discover? Could these negative effects maybe become known years after we begin consuming them in our produce similar to how the onset of the negative affects of cancer show up?

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