Hands up if you have ever chosen organic raspberries over regular raspberries? What about organic milk? Chocolate? Apples?
Pretty much most of us will have raised our hand to this question. Let’s face it all of us will probably have made this choice at one time or another. But what are we actually paying the extra for? Is the product healthier because it is labeled organic? And what about that higher price tag, is it worth it?
Sorry to say as with most things in life …….It depends.
What Does Organic Actually Mean?
By definition, organic means that there has been an approved method of farming and production of a food or food product. Companies that label their products as organic cannot use synthetic additives or preservatives in production, nor can they use antibiotics or hormones.
It is the USDA who actually approves the above mentioned methods; and if 95 percent or more of the product is organically made, then it is worthy of the USDA Certified Organic Seal.
Research is inconsistent in it’s results with regard to the nutrient density of organic foods to conventional foods. There have actually been no conclusive long-term studies on the subject so the truth is, we don’t really know if organic food is healthier than conventional, non-organic food.
So have we actually all fallen into a clever marketing ploy by believing organic food is healthier than non-organic food?
I have always found it interesting when I study the nutritional facts on a box of organic chocolate chip cookies. I must admit I have noticed that they are just as high, if not higher, in saturated fat, added sugar and calories than conventional cookies. Not only is this against what I would have expected to find because of my belief that the word organic should mean it is better for me, but I am often paying twice as much for less cookies!
My other thought on the matter is that a cookie is a cookie no matter how it is dressed up. They really are not healthy no matter whether they are organic or not.
So whilst the jury seems to be still out on this matter, it’s up to you I guess but one thing is for sure: eating whole foods is the way to go. Limiting as much processed food from your diet as you can and consuming whole foods is the path to overall good nutrition and superior health in general.