The benefits of organic food seem like a closed case to many proponents of healthy living.
For them, these advantages are a logical inference.
On the other hand, critics scoff at this current health craze.
They try to debunk such claims by stating that conventional foods are just as healthy.
Whom should we believe?
Since organically grown food is between 10 and 30 percent more expensive than mass-produced food, this issue affects everyone’s wallet.
After all, why spend the extra money if there is no difference in quality?
Before attempting to resolve these points of contention, we must first establish what makes food “organic.”
Before 1940, there was no such thing as non-organic food.
Conversely, most of the food bought in supermarkets today is non-organic.
So what’s the difference?
Organically grown foods are produced using old-fashioned farming methods.
Non-organic foods are produced using modern farming methods.
Of course, not everything modern is bad and not everything old-fashioned is good.
That said, here are some differences between these two types of foods:
- Organic farmers use natural fertilizers. Non-organic farmers use fertiliser.
- Organic farmers control weeds using herbicides generated from the environment, along with crop rotation, mulching, and tillage. Non-organic farmers use synthetic herbicides to control weeds.
- Organic farmers use natural pesticides to control insects and diseases. Non-organic farmers use synthetic insecticides.
- Organic foods don’t have monosodium glutamate, artificial colours and flavors, preservatives, processing aids, or added monosodium glutamate.
Of course, colours and flavours are added to mass-produced foods to make them look and taste better.
The billion dollar question is, “Are artificial additives harmful?”
Some say yes, some say no.
While the USDA admits that organically grown produce has significantly less pesticide residue, they would have us believe that it’s too insignificant to worry about.
Environmentalists argue that organic farming benefits the environment and argue that this type of farming reduces our water supply, soil, and pollution.
Taste the difference.
Most people who prefer organically grown foods over non-organic foods claim that these foods are not only more nutritious but also tastier.
What are the health benefits?
So what health benefits can be derived from choosing organically grown foods?
In short, these foods contain a higher concentration of vitamins and minerals, resulting in a better quality of health.
Synthetic vitamins and minerals are made and added to foods to make up for the natural vitamins and minerals that are lost when modern farming and food processing methods are used.
There is a lot of confusion and a lot of disagreement about how well synthetic vitamins and minerals work.
Are synthetic vitamins and minerals just as good as natural ones?
Some say yes. Some say no.
Assistant doctor at Duke Primary Care Timberlyne Margaret Jazayeri is sure that natural is better.
Natural vitamins come from sources found in nature, while synthetic vitamins are made from cheap artificial ingredients that try to mimic nature.
Jazayeri says that we get rid of synthetic vitamins because the body can’t use most of the nutrients in them.
More nutrients, fewer nitrates
According to a University of Missouri study, organically grown oranges contain 30% more vitamin C than non-organic oranges.
Certified nutritionist Virginia Worthington reports that, unlike vegetables grown using modern farming methods, it only takes one serving of organically grown lettuce, spinach, potatoes, carrots, and cabbage to provide the recommended daily amount of vitamin C.
Organically grown foods have about 27% more vitamin C than non-organic foods, as well as 29% more magnesium, 21% more iron, 13% more phosphorus, and 18% more polyphenols.
Polyphenols protect the body from allergies, arthritis, heart disease, cancer and more.
The disadvantage of switching to organically grown food is that you will probably spend 10 to 30% more on groceries.
The benefit of switching to organically grown food is better health, better taste, and lower doctor’s costs.
Is the trade-off worth it?
Only you can answer that question.
Tom Gruber started the My Health Wealth Team and sells organic health products on his own.