Organic vs Conventional Foods

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Organic vs Conventional Foods

Whether it is on the products you see in the grocery store or in an article published in your favorite health magazine, you have surely heard about “organic foods”. According to the USDA, 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. It is no secret that these products are more expensive than the conventional ones, however, is their nutrition quality worth spending a few extra bucks on?

 

A great debate has arisen concerning the organic food products that, lately, have been increasingly demanded by consumers, as said by The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition (AJCN). A study was conducted by the AJCN to seek evidence proving that organically produced foods had better nutrition quality than conventional foods; the result was that 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 that should be taken into consideration when making the decision of grabbing the regular or the organic package of eggs. Taste, cost, and the presence of pesticides, antibiotics and chemicals in foods also contribute to their value. The existence of pesticides in fruits and vegetables, which are regularly recommended by health professionals, is a reality, and so are the associated health risks. Cancer, hormone disruption, infertility, birth defects, and toxicity of the brain and the nervous system are just some of the issues on the rise. The National Resources Defense Council conducted a study that concluded that children exposed to pesticides suffered memory and hand-eye coordination impairment, low physical stamina, and other health issues. Additionally, GMOs  (genetically modified organisms) are part of the list of aspects to be pondered to define the value of foods. Currently, there are no regulations on GMO labeling in food products, moreover they are also 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 at the end of the run. Therefore, to conclude that organic foods are no different from conventional foods based on nutrient quality could be 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.

 

Sabrina Scovino

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