I personally buy organic, as much as possible, for a variety of reasons. I understand, though, many people think it’s not necessary to consume organic produce and question whether it’s really worth paying more. We all know the world is a lot different today than during our grandparent’s time — the soil, air and water quality have all changed.
So it’s true, regardless of whether we’re growing organic or nonorganic produce, if it’s being grown in the same soil then it will have residue of pesticides and products that have been put into the soil even many decades ago. However, I still think buying organic produce is our best chance at getting the healthiest, most nutritious version of the food, and at least we know it’s not being directly sprayed with chemical pesticides and, most importantly, it’s not being genetically modified.
In addition, organic farming is typically more sustainable and environmentally friendly than conventional agriculture. Organic farms tend to use less water and produce less waste, and they often prioritize soil health and biodiversity in their farming practices. By choosing organic food, we can support more sustainable farming methods and help reduce the environmental impact of food production.
More than half of the U.S. population has some type of digestive or allergy problem, and I firmly believe that in a large part this is coming from what we choose to eat. Some studies may show GMO foods are not damaging human health, but many others are showing the opposite. For example, there are countless studies showing how glyphosate (the main ingredient in the herbicide RoundUp) is a suspected carcinogen.
And there are similar studies showing people who consume organic food are less likely to become overweight or obese, probably because they are not getting toxins from organically grown food and, are therefore, most likely helping their body in its own detoxification process.
Additionally, organically grown food has a higher nutrient content than nonorganic food, which means consuming it will nourish the body more, likely leading to consuming less food. It should be noted studies also show that consumers of organic food do tend to have healthier dietary patterns overall, so this can lead to an overall improvement in health with a decrease in allergies, improved digestion, and a potential beneficial effect on overweight and obesity. I think, nonetheless, there is substantial evidence showing organic food is the healthier option.
One downside of organic food is it is often more expensive than comparable nonorganic options, which can make it difficult to afford. Additionally, because organic farming methods rely on natural processes and techniques, yields may be lower than in conventional agriculture, which in some regions or seasons can lead to higher prices and limited availability of organic produce.
Ultimately, whether we feel organic food is worth the price will depend on our personal values, priorities and budget. So, while I personally feel buying organic is preferable, there are many other steps we can take to eat a nutritious and sustainable diet, such as buying local and seasonal produce, reducing food waste, and eating a variety of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and lean proteins.
• Harvard School of Public Health (February, 2017). Health benefits of organic food, farming outlined in new report. https://www.hsph.harvard.edu/news/features/health-benefits-organic-food-farming-report/
• European Parliamentary Research Service (December 2016). Human health implications of organic food and organic agriculture. https://www.europarl.europa.eu/RegData/etudes/STUD/2016/581922/EPRS_STU(2016)581922_EN.pdf
• Environmental Working Group. https://www.ewg.org/foodnews/
Ayda Ersoy is a nutritionist (Dip.C.N., Dip.S.N.); master trainer (CPT ACE, NCSF, CanfitPro); registered yoga teacher; founder, Health Angel Nutrition, Fitness and Wellness; and founder, SMS (Stability, Mobility Strength) Intuitive Training System.
Source: The Garden Island