Organic Food is More Nutritious

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organic agricultureQuestions like: “Is organic food more nutritious?” “Is eating organic better for you?” or “Do organic vegetables have more nutrients and vitamins?” get asked and debated all the time. There are posts here with comments arguing the issue, some claiming organic must have more beneficial nutrients and in other comments, people stating as fact that they do not. Although most of us, drawing on common sense, would think that organic food has to be healthier, the scientific truth to now has been less clear.

It has always seemed to me that eating organically as much as possible must have health benefits. I mostly figured that by eating organic food, you reduce your exposure to chemical fertilizers, insecticides, fungicides, and other chemicals, and that has to be a good thing. There has never been a convincing argument against my opinion on this, only people that claim that any possible exposure to these chemicals must be so small that it would not have any adverse health effect.

Now we know that even small exposures to a chemical, especially when combined with small exposures to any number of the other compounds in our daily chemical soup, can indeed hurt our health. And, on the question of organic food’s better nutritional value, the problem was that there has never been any convincing scientific proof that what I believed was correct. Now the proof is finally starting to come in.

Several new studies have shown that yes, organic food is superior nutritionally to food grown by what has become our conventional, monoculture, agribusiness methods.Focusing on just one  example of recent findings, a research project in California found strawberries grown organically have higher levels of vitamin C, micro-nutrients and antioxidants that conventionally grown berries.  If you like, you can read the entire published article on organic strawberry research at this link.

Interestingly it was discovered that the organic strawberries rotted more slowly after picking than the chemically grown berries, even though the non-organic strawberries were treated with a fungicide. Yes, you read that correctly… Organic strawberries resist fungus and rotting longer than strawberries treated with a fungicide to slow fungus and rotting.

This same study also looked at the health of the soil in the organic strawberry fields and compared that to the soil in the chemically treated fields. After studying over 30 areas of soil and soil microorganism health, it was found that in about 1/2 of the areas there were no significant differences, but in the other 1/2, the organic soil and the organisms living in that soil were much healthier. In no instance was the chemically treated soil healthier than the organic soil. So, on the organic farms the berries were healthier, the soil was healthier, and the strawberries contained no chemical residues. Do we even need to wonder any more which strawberry we should eat?

When it comes to other foods like meat and milk, it seems clear to me that organic is better. If you drink milk, why would you want to drink it from cows treated with hormones and antibiotics when, in almost any grocery store, you can pick the carton or organic milk right off the same shelf. Cost is still a factor, especially with organic meats, but whenever you can, you should choose organic food. It is better for you, better for the soil, and better for the animals.

Specifically with fruits and vegetables, I believe that whenever it is available, you should choose organic. Organic means healthier soils, which means healthier plants, which means healthier food on your table. In my opinion, the jury is not still out, choose organic for yourself and your family and you will be getting healthier, more nutritious, food.

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Will Sig
1 colleen

I’m so glad I have a garden and access to good locally grown food here in Floyd.

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2 Will

Yes Colleen, the local food is really a great option. Often, because of cost of certification, it is not certified organic. But if you talk to the grower, you may find they do grow ethically and organically even without the certification. On the other hand some huge commercial organic growers meet the strict interpretation of organic, but their farming methods leave something to be desired.

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3 Lloyd Burrell

I am electrosensitive and I have been eating organic foods for the last 3 to 4 years. I can honestly say that organic food has greatly improved my health and given me more energy. I agree with what you say in your article Will, organic food is more nutritious, it may be more expensive, but it’s a small price to pay for better health.
Lloyd Burrell recently posted..Can Organic Food Protect You From Cell Phone RadiationMy Profile

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4 Will

Hi Lloyd – I somehow missed your comment originally. I would be curious to know your assessment of how your diet changed other than just going to organic food? Did you previously eat healthy, whole foods, or did you change from a typical western diet to organic, whole, foods?

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5 Lloyd Burrell

Hi Will
Great question – this is a subject I could talk for hours on. To answer your question, I would consider that yes I did, by most people’s standards, eat healthily before becoming electrosensitive. I ate lots of fruit and veg, I ate fresh meats, mainly from the butchers, I ate fresh fish from the fishmongers, my wife cooked lots of vegetable soups in the evenings, I consumed alcohol only moderately and I have always been careful not to skip meals. I would say this puts me probably in the top 95% of the population. But when I became electrosensitive I took nutrition to a whole new level. I began to research organic foods and started to eat them. I honestly believe that the long term nutritional benefits from eating organic are very substantial, for everybody.
Lloyd
Lloyd Burrell recently posted..Electrical Sensitivity-When It Becomes Too MuchMy Profile

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6 deanne sotero

In my opinion, organic food is definitely more nutritious. However, it can be expensive. The best thing I did was to plant organic fruits and vegetables on my backyard to save money. I used organic fertilizers and with TLC of course. 🙂

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