We all want to provide the best and most nutritious food for our families along with minimizing or totally eliminating the toxins to which we are exposed. Grocery shopping can be difficult and expensive, especially if we are constantly worrying about whether we should purchase organic vs. non-organic foods. Let’s talk about the difference between organic and non organic foods.
I’m sure that many of you are like me and are a little skeptical of the crunchy, Yoga Mom, gluten-free, organic craze that we find ourselves in the middle of. So is organic worth it?
Let’s get to the bottom of the “organic” trend. What’s the difference between organic and non organic foods?
In my quest for the truth on the organic food issue, I soon found a raging debate about the difference between organic and non-organic foods that usually centers around these 3 concerns:
In the words of the University of Arizona’s College of Agriculture and Life Sciences: (1)
“Organic foods are defined as those foods that are grown without the use of synthetic fertilizers, sewage sludge, irradiation, genetic engineering, pesticides, or drugs. Pesticides are chemical or control agents made to kill insects, weeds, and fungal pests that damage crops.”
Non-organic foods, therefore, are either directly manufactured with or are indirectly contaminated by synthetic fertilizers, sewage sludge, irradiation, genetic engineering, pesticides or drugs.
Many people argue that organic food looks and feels differently than non-organic food. They feel conventional food items almost look too “perfect;” whereas organic produce resembles the fresh fruit and veggies in your back yard garden with non-symmetrical shapes, varying colors and even some blemishes. Food Sentry offers one explanation why this is so:
“The short version is that much non-organic, unprocessed or minimally processed produce is treated with a variety of growth-enhancing substances and is also commonly subjected to U.S. Department of Agriculture grading and quality standards (voluntarily), while organic produce is not.”
We cannot prove whether or not this is true, but it does give some credence to the Ugly Food Movement, doesn’t it?
The Mayo Clinic claims that organic foods are not more nutritious than non-organic varieties. A recent study examined the past 50 years’ worth of scientific articles about the nutrient content of organic and conventional foods and the conclusion was that there was not a significant difference in the nutrient content. (4) Yet, this perspective isn’t supported by everyone.
The British Journal of Nutrition published a paper that evaluated 343 studies on the topic, and decidedly concluded that organic foods are truly the healthier option because they contain up to 69% more antioxidants than non-organic foods. Because of the importance that antioxidants have in the prevention and successful treatment of chronic illnesses – such as heart disease, neurodegenerative disease and cancer – this information should not be taken lightly. The study also showed that organic f