Organic foods refer to plants that are grown (and animals that are raised) without being exposed to synthetic fertilizers, pesticides, antibiotics, hormones, ionizing radiations or herbicides. Recent global movement against the harmful effects of the food produce has increased awareness about organic foods. Estimates from organic trade association indicate that sales of organic food are pegged at approximately 30 billion dollars.
Health Benefits Of Consuming Organic Foods
Benefits of consuming organic foods are many,
- Regular or non organic foods can result in higher risk of absorbing residue of pesticides or hormones. This in turn has been linked with host of medical conditions including nausea, vomiting, allergies, asthma, rashes, neurological disorders, infertility, ADHD, birth defects and cancers.
- Non organic food have toxins which increase the risk of chromosomal and DNA changes. These changes result in higher frequency of birth defects and neurological disorders. In addition, they increase the risk of developing genetically linked disorders like autoimmune conditions and cancers.
- Consuming organic food in general is considered to be environment friendly. In order to produce food organically, farmers have to avoid the use of pesticides and fertilizers. This in turn protects the soil, air and water from getting polluted by these toxins. Further, studies have shown that sustainable organic farming can conserve energy and reduce the use of fossil fuels. Organic farming also prevents soil erosion.
- Experts suggest that organic food produce is better tasting compared to conventional food produce. Non organic food produces are more likely to have added artificial flavors. On the other hand, organic foods have a natural flavor, which is lasting and has a better satiety.
Are Organic Foods More Nutritious?
Proponents of organic food continue to insist on the higher nutritional value of these foods. Media and marketing campaigns designed to educate customers may not always be completely accurate. In a recent study conducted by the Cornell University, about 115 adults were asked to estimate the caloric content of two cookie snacks, one organic and the other regular. Both the cookies were same in terms of calorie count and nutritional value. Almost all respondents assumed organic food to have better nutritional value and lower calorie count. Further almost all were willing to pay more for the organic cookie.
While it is undeniable that organic foods are lower in pesticide or fertilizer residue, are they more nutritious? This is a difficult question to answer. Currently, organic food produces are typically 20 to 25% more expensive compared to conventional food produce. Is the higher price really worth the benefits organic food can offer?
List Of Organic Foods That Are Not Healthier
A public health organization, Environmental Working Group analyzes over 28,000 samples of food produce collected by the Food and Drug Administration of the United States. The analysis helps identify top ‘clean’ foods i.e. foods that are least likely to test positive for pesticide residue. This means that it may be very difficult to decide whether these foods are organically produced or not.
Clearly, this list of organic food produces have limited value, especially given that they may be priced about 20 to 25% higher than their conventional counterparts. The list of these veggies and fruits includes,
- Sweet Corn
- Egg Plant
- Sweet Potatoes