I’m getting a lot of questions lately about whether I’m eating organic or not, and why. I think this is an interesting subject and it’s something we should consider. So let’s dive into the main question: is organic food really better?
“Organic food is getting quite popular these days.”
It is not just for health food stores anymore, as there is a growing offer at the regular supermarket. First let’s make clear what organic food actually is. Organic means a more responsible way on how a product is grown, harvested and processed. This can be for all sorts of products, from fruits, veggies and meat to our beloved chocolate! Factors like food conditions, pollution, and animal welfare are taken into account. The focus lays on naturally processing without chemical pesticides, antibiotics or hormones – all very good things! Regular fruit and vegetables are sprayed with pesticides to make sure the harvest isn’t affected by insects. Animals are often treated with antibiotics to prevent sickness, and hormones to stimulate growth. That doesn’t seem like something we want to eat daily…
There are lots of conflicting reports about organic food and whether farming has effect on the quality of our food. If one research claims eating organic is better for your health, there is another saying it doesn’t make any difference. However, research shows a connection between the chemicals in our food and how healthy we are. It could have a negative effect over the long haul. There are strict rules on the usage of toxics on food, however pesticides stay in or on a product to a certain degree. Washing fruit and veggies doesn’t eliminate all this, but I would still recommend doing it. Organic meat is also a good choice. Not only how the animals have lived, but also what they have been fed is important.
“The dose makes the poison”
I like to take into account all different factors and follow my instinct with this. One important issue would be the effect on our overall health. We should also cherish our environment and realize it’s something that we need to use for many more years to come. I believe that organically grown food is better for our health as it contains less toxins (xenoestrogens) and more protective nutrients (phytoestrogens), omega 3 and antioxidants. Organic farmers may also use pesticides, but from natural origin. That’s better than the regular chemicals. There are less residues of pesticides in organic foods compared to conventionally grown foods.
The downside of organic food is that it usually needs more land, energy, etc. to produce in relation to regular food. Organic food also has a higher price, due to more expensive farming, but also because conventionally grown food is usually underpriced. The Environmental Working Group is an organization that shows which fruits and vegetables contain the highest pesticide levels and the least. The Dirty Dozen are best bought organic. The Clean Fifteen are lowest in pesticides, so don’t have to be bought organic. Something to check next time you go shopping!
Natural food has my preference and I now choose organic about half of the time. Especially when it comes to animal products I prefer to choose organic. My conclusion would be to make sure to variate in your food and that enough veggies and fruit is most important. However you can improve it by choosing wisely when it comes to the origin of your food. It is the overall food pattern that determines our health.