Organic vs. Conventional Foods

Whether it’s on the products you see in the grocery store or in an article published in your favorite health magazine, you have surely heard of organic foods.

According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, organic food products are those that follow the production restriction imposed by the association, which limit the use of chemicals, hydrogenation, trans-fats, pesticides, antibiotics, and hormones.

These products are often more expensive than the conventional ones, however, is their nutrition quality worth spending a few extra bucks on?

A great debate has sparked concerning the organic food products that, lately, have been increasingly demanded by consumers, according to the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.

A study was conducted by the AJCN to seek evidence proving that organically produced foods had better nutritional quality than conventional foods; results showed there is no difference in nutrient quality between the two.

The issue here is, can that be concluded based on nutrient content alone? Is the value of food defined merely by it?

There are multiple factors to consider when making the decision of grabbing the regular or the organic package of an item. Taste, cost, and the presence of pesticides, antibiotics and chemicals in foods also contribute to their value.

The presence of pesticides in fruits and vegetables is a reality, and so are the associated health risks.

Cancer, hormone disruption, infertility, birth defects, and toxicity of the brain and nervous system are just some of the issues on the rise.

A study conducted by the National Resources Defense Council found that memory and hand-eye coordination impairment, low physical stamina and other health issues were found in children exposed to pesticides.

In addition, genetically modified organisms should also be considered when defining the value of foods.

Currently, there are no regulations on GMO labeling in food products and yet, they are associated with several health risks: liver problems, reproductive problems, infant mortality, and allergies.

Organically produced food products are the number one alternative to avoid these risks. Even though they tend to be more expensive, preventing these health issues will save you the big money in the long run.

To conclude that organic foods are no different from conventional foods based on nutrient quality is quite unfair.

Shop locally; buy from the farmer’s market, because despite the very small difference in nutrient content, organic foods are the healthier choice to feed your body today.

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