Sign up now Organic foods: Discover the difference between organic foods and their traditionally grown counterparts when it comes to nutrition, safety and price. By Mayo Clinic Staff Once found only in health food stores, organic food is now a regular feature at most supermarkets. And that's created a bit of a dilemma in the produce aisle.
Up until three months ago I used to buy organic, without exception. My first wake up call was right after I researched the organic milk vs regular milk issue. Give her a warm welcome! During that whole time, I never justified my choice by claiming that non-organic vegetables were less nutritious or somehow less healthful.
I just thought that the environment was better off with organic farming. That is another story: Natural assumptions and On farming, animals, and the environment. Why would there be a difference?
Still I kept running into arguments insisting that the jury was still out there, or that, indeed, that organic food was most certainly superior. If any evidence is provided, it may often be in the form of an anecdote — that people can taste the difference. This is a poor way to truly determine nutrition or truly, even taste perception, as being told the food is organic makes people rate it higher.
Is organic food really more nutritious than non-organic? Shortly, sould we start buying organic food to reap health benefits? Several comprehensive reviews support the view that there are no nutritional or health benefits from organic products.
I will lay them out for you below. The next logical step after that was to compare it to other similarly extensive sources — other reviews and meta-analyses. The antioxidant study First I found a source, Science 2.
They used a lot of papers, that is a good thing if there is actually a large body of knowledge and it is rigorous, but in even the most controversial toxicological issue, the EPA will end up disqualifying all but about a dozen papers due to lack of underlying data being included or methodological concern.
In a review, they look at no data, of course, and papers becomes the problem rather than the solution when the methodology is flawed. Meta-analysis, as everyone with statistics knowledge knows, can boost the strength of systematic reviews when done properly but easily suffers from bias unless the researchers are truly interested in controlling eligibility criteria and methodological quality.
Then they synthesized their dramatically different studies using a random effects model. While consumption of antioxidant containing fruit and vegetables have been associated with better health outcomesthe antioxidants themselves do not appear to have any role in this effect see also herehere and heredespite the number of television advertisements that exhort us to buy antioxidant enriched food.
Indeed, the major finding is that high concentrations of fat soluble antioxidant vitamins are associated with detrimental effects.
Pesticide and cadmium levels were likewise low for both, with no demonstrable harm from residue of either the food we have in the western world is the safest humans have ever eaten, and pesticides are one of the least of our worries, see more here and here.
Even different cultivars of the same crop may vary significantly in composition due to the factors above. My bias might let me take the word of one, and falsely ignore the points of the other. How could I avoid that? The Conversation mentioned two other reviews concluding no difference.
I found that a medical science blogger, Steven Novella MD, had made a summary of the existing meta-analyses on the topic.
He had looked at the High Antioxidant study and laid it out with four other reviews on the topic. He begins with a great principle of how to approach a scientific question.
Whenever I am trying to quickly grasp the bottom line of any scientific question, I look for a consensus among several independent systematic reviews. If multiple reviewers are looking at the same body of research and coming to the same conclusion, that conclusion is likely reliable.
In this case, there are three [he later added a fourth, see below] other recent large systematic reviews and meta-analyses of the same research on the nutritional content and safety of organic vs conventional produce.
The other three studies all came to the opposite conclusion as the current [High Antioxidant] study. On the basis of a systematic review of studies of satisfactory quality, there is no evidence of a difference in nutrient quality between organically and conventionally produced foodstuffs.
The small differences in nutrient content detected are biologically plausible and mostly relate to differences in production methods.Thus, when you measure the pros and cons of organic vs. non-organic food, organic food is better, as it has lower health risks.
Food Poisoning There are more chances of food poisoning with conventional farming food products because of the use of chemicals in the form of fertilizers and pesticides.
Recipes and uses the whole family will enjoy Adding plant-based diet options is important to many of our customers. As versatile as it is flavorful, Pacific Foods Organic Oat beverages are a plant based alternative that can be sipped, blended, stirred, or baked into your favorite recipes.
But recent studies reveal that organic foods, especially raw or non-processed, are also substantially more nutritious. They contain higher levels of beta carotene, vitamins C, D, and E, health-promoting polyphenols, cancer-fighting antioxidants, flavonoids that help ward off heart disease, essential fatty acids, essential minerals, and significantly lower levels of saturated fats.
Meat, eggs and dairy products with the organic label must come from animals fed organic – which also means non-GMO – feed, given fresh air and outdoor access and raised without antibiotics or added growth hormones*. The Difference Between Organic and Non Organic Foods: Clean Fifteen ™ On the other end of the spectrum is what the EWG calls “The Clean Fifteen,” fresh fruits and vegetables that are the least likely to contain significant pesticide residues.
Beyond Pesticides, GMO Free USA and Organic Consumers Association filed a lawsuit against Pret A Manger restaurant chain for the deceptive marketing and sale of certain bread and other baked goods as “natural food,” after the products tested positive for glyphosate, a component of Roundup weedkiller.