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Is Organic Better?

Lots of conflicting information about organic versus conventional produce, until now.

‘This study says and that study says’ has driven may of us to have doubts about organic versus conventionally grown fruits and vegetables.  Some say at least with organic product you have a 50/50 chance of chemicals where as with conventionally grown you have a 100% chance of chemicals in your food.  Know your source helps with this fear.

The debating will go on so you should decide for yourself.  To start ask what is important for you and your family?  There is little debate about organic growing methods helping soil management practices, water conservation, reduces worker chemical exposure, and reduces runoff pollution (to name a few).  So organic is more environmentally sound.

Price of organics is also a major concern for some people.  That too is changing daily with more availability of organics at larger markets with discount pricing.  Spend your money up front on quality food or later on medicine for diseases.

Regional availability of organics is still a big issue.  Farmers markets and urban gardens fill the void more and more. When there is no reasonable fresh organic product accessible definitely select conventionally grown fruits and vegetables over processed foods for healthier choices.  Fresh produce is still better than can’t pronounce the ingredients packaged food.

The term “better” has many definitions so the best question is “What is more important to you?”

Read below to see if organic is better nutritionally than conventional.  What do you think?

…. A new study by Newcastle University on organic versus conventional crops confirms that organic farming methods do have a positive impact on health. Results found substantially higher levels of antioxidants and lower levels of pesticides in organic crops versus conventional crops. Antioxidants have been linked to a lower risk of cancer and other diseases in humans. ….

Benbrook and his colleagues analyzed 343 studies, which is the most extensive analysis of nutrient content in organic versus conventional food to date. Significant findings from the study include:

  • Organic crops contain an average of 17 percent more antioxidants than conventionally grown crops.
  • Some of the organic crops, including fruits, vegetables, and grains, had as much as 60 percent higher concentrations of antioxidant compounds than conventional crops.
  • The level of flavanones, which are associated with a lower risk of stroke, were 69 percent higher in organic foods tested.
  • Pesticide residues were found to be three to four times more likely in conventional crops compared to organic.
  • Overall levels of pesticides were found to be ten to 100 times lower in organic food than in conventionally produced food.

The research team has translated the executive summary and press release into more than 20 languages and made the study’s database free and accessible to the public. The entire study is available from the British Journal of Nutrition. …

For a list of which produce should be organic get the Dirty Dozen and Clean Fifteen by clicking here.


PSConsumer Reports’ From Crop to Table – Pesticide Use in Produce, is a 30 page guide release March 2015.  Lots of informative studies on pesticide, environment, public health, etc.  Rating charts (pg. 18) for fruits and vegetables grown in other counties, serving size and actual pesticide residue found in produce with recommendations when to buy organic versus conventional.

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