Organic or Conventional, What Will You Choose To Put In Your Body?

by Elana Schwartz on March 28, 2014

Hello again!

Do you ever find yourself wondering whether or not there is a real difference in organic foods versus non-organic, conventional foods? Most people will tell you to buy organic products, but why? Are there any benefits to your health? If so, what are they? Why is eating organically so costly, and what can you do to be a practical organic consumer?

 

First off, what does “organic” really mean?

The term indicates how farming for fruits, vegetables, grains, dairy products, and meat is done. Overall, the organic farming practice is more natural than conventional farming. Instead of using chemicals and synthetics to promote plant growth and reduce pests and disease, organic farmers use manure or compost and environmentally-generated plant-killing compounds. You will know if an item is organic based on its label. The U.S. Department of Agriculture holds producers accountable for meeting strict government standards that control the way foods are grown, handled, and processed. Products comprised of less than 70 percent organic ingredients cannot use the USDA seal or the term “organic” on their labels. Foods that are grown and processed following USDA organic standards merely are labeled organic.

Conventional Organic
Apply chemical fertilizers to promote plant growth. Apply natural fertilizers, such as manure or compost, to feed soil and plants.
Spray synthetic insecticides to reduce pests and disease. Spray pesticides from natural sources; use beneficial insects and birds, mating disruption or traps to reduce pests and disease.
Use synthetic herbicides to manage weeds. Use environmentally-generated plant-killing compounds; rotate crops, till, hand weed or mulch to manage weeds.
Give animals antibiotics, growth hormones and medications to prevent disease and spur growth. Give animals organic feed and allow them access to the outdoors. Use preventive measures — such as rotational grazing, a balanced diet and clean housing — to help minimize disease.

 

Second, what are the health benefits of organic diets?

Since organic farming is a natural process, eating organic products reduces one’s exposure to pesticides. In addition, organic food is more nutritious. According to Beyond Pesticides, “A study published by The Organic Center reveals that organic food is higher in certain key areas such as total antioxidant capacity, total polyphenols, and two key flavonoids, quercetin and kaempferol, all of which are nutritionally significant”. Found in another study, organic foods have more phenolics, which help plants defend against insects and diseases and help humans with a variety of pharmacologic properties such as “anticancer, antioxidant, and platelet aggregation inhibition activity”. It has been proven that organic dairy products are also healthier than conventional dairy products due to the fact that animals organically raised are organically fed and, therefore, do not receive antibiotics. Moreover, in order to avoid pesticides, eat organically

 

Why is organic food more expensive than conventional food?

There are multiple reasons for the increased price of organic products. While there is an elevated demand, the supply of organic goods is limited. There is a large amount of labor put in to produce these goods, and not as much output, so production costs tend to be high. Processing, transporting, marketing, and distributing organic goods can be costly as well. All of these aspects combined produce an overall higher price for organically farmed foods.

 

So, what can you do to shop organically and still be cost efficient?

If you do not want to spend the extra buck to eat completely organically, there is something you can do. Obviously, not all food you consume needs to be organic, especially if you cannot afford it. Experts recommend spending money on the produce that you eat most often and on the produce that is most susceptible to pesticide residue. To find out exactly which foods these are, visit this website: http://www.webmd.com/food-recipes/ss/slideshow-to-buy-or-not-to-buy-organic

 

As you can see, eating organically has many benefits and there are ways to get around the increased prices. From now on, what will you choose to put in your body?

The “Dirty Dozen” is produce that you should buy organically in order to avoid pesticides. The “Clean Fifteen” is produce that can be conventionally bought.

 

http://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-living/nutrition-and-healthy-eating/in-depth/organic-food/art-20043880?footprints=mine

 

http://www.beyondpesticides.org/organicfood/health/

 

http://www.fao.org/organicag/oa-faq/oa-faq5/en/

 

http://www.webmd.com/food-recipes/ss/slideshow-to-buy-or-not-to-buy-organic


{ 3 comments… read them below or add one }

april schwartz March 31, 2014 at 11:21 pm

Great!So informative,now I know what I should buy organically! Thanks!

Reply

Carlos Antonio April 1, 2014 at 10:12 am

We use organic , great flavor and avoiding the pesticides !

Reply

Noemi Antonio April 1, 2014 at 11:09 am

I love organic! It’s makes a big deference in flavor and avoiding the pesticides! Great info!

Reply

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