Organic Foods... Worth the price?


| 2 Comments
My mother is obsessed with eating healthy. However, she has a perfectly normal obsession because she suffers from health issues such as diabetes and high cholesterol, so proper dieting is necessary for her survival and comfort. 

The only problem is that she bleeds it out to the rest of the family like a diaspora of healthy foods, especially with the big debate that I have with her about organic foods vs. non-organic.

What do they do? Are they worth the much more expensive price? What does it mean for a product to be organic? Let's see if we can prove my mother wrong (sorry mom).

Organic foods are any food product that have not been treated with any sort of chemicals. Basically, they are grown as naturally as possible.There are boundaries to what and what doesn't make a food organic, but basically, if you minimize the number of outside contaminants, you get organic products.

So what do they do?

The lack of pesticides in fruits and vegetables causes those fruits to have higher nutritional value, meaning a higher amount of vitamins and minerals. For meats, the concern is more about the antibiotics being fed to animals, and bacteria gaining resistances. Therefore, organic meats have a less amount of weaker bacterias because they have not built up resistances. It also decreases the amount of pesticides we consume, which is more beneficial towards small children and pregnant women who have weaker immune systems or have too much strain on their bodies.

Organic foods are also better for ground soil making it less contaminated with pesticides, which aids in plant growth. Also by decreasing the amount of pesticides in foods, we decrease the amount of pesticides in our day-to-day life.

However...

Their high cost is not worth these small benefits. According to a research team at Stanford, organic foods showed no more nutritious than conventional foods. They did lower the exposure to pesticides but only by a small amount with small consequences.

As for antibiotic resistant bacterias, the bacterias growth of resistance would be the same whether the foods were organic or not and diverge into a different topic which Andrew could probably explain better. The problem with conventional foods, however, is that livestock are being fed antibiotics to make them bigger, rather than to keep them healthy, therefore the bacteria begin to grow resistances a bit faster.

In my own opinion, it really doesn't matter which one you eat. The only difference is in price. Both organic and conventional foods provide similar nutritional value to you. 

My suggestion would be to find a local farmer's market and buy food from there. It's highly likely that it is organic and you'd be helping a local farmer make it through the day. Plus, it is probably much cheaper than buying organic foods at a supermarket.

We actually have a farmer's market at State College! Check it out at http://www.statecollegefarmers.com/

So the next time you're craving some juicy fruits, go to Locust Lane on Fridays from 11:30-5:30 for some fresh produce.

Sources:

2 Comments

I completely agree with what you are saying. Organic food is overpriced when conventional foods provide almost the same nutritional value. My mom is a huge health freak too but she prefers eating the conventional while maintaining a regular work-out schedule. I think that just eating organic food will not help in the long run keep a healthy body. Everyone needs exercise like it says in this Harvard Medical School Health guide: http://www.health.harvard.edu/fhg/updates/Why-we-should-exercise-and-why-we-dont.shtml . Eating healthy and exercising are the main factors in staying healthy even if it is organic or not. But that is just my opinion.

I also agree. Exercise is equally as important as watching what you eat in order to stay healthy.

But I wanted to touch upon the few cases where diet can be extremely important or where exercise can't really be a huge factor, such as in the case with diabetes, or maybe even if you have cancer.

Exercise is a little harder to manage, but diets can be changed fairly simply.

Do organic foods give a better nutritional value to people in those extreme cases? I think that the difference is not big enough to constitute a need for the organic industry.

But from an environmentalist standpoint, eating organic could help save our planet and preserve the Earth.

It all depends on our point of view, and how we want to place our biases on it.

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