Benefits of Organic Food: What Research Tells Us …

Posted: March 1, 2020 at 4:46 am

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Organic foods are widely available in supermarkets as well as specialty health food stores and farmers markets. People purchase organic fruits, vegetables, grains, and meats for a variety of reasonsamong them the perceived benefits of organic food. Some studies suggest that organic produce and meat contain higher levels of nutrients that promote health and wellness. Organic fruits and vegetables can also contain fewer residues of pesticides used in conventional farming.

Organic foods can cost up to twice as much as conventional foods, but are they actually healthier? Based strictly on scientific evidence, the truthful answer is maybe. But there are other reasons to buy organic, toolike supporting local agriculture and protecting environmental quality.

Technically, organic just means that something comes from living (or formerly living) matter. But organic foods are grown and processed with organic farming methods, which exclude certain practices that are normal in conventional agriculture. The no go list for organic farming include:

The results of an online consumer survey by the Food Marketing Institute (FMI) suggests that about half of Americans who buy organic food do so because they believe it offers health benefits. Organic can be up to twice the cost of conventional foods, but what are you getting for your money?

Organically raised meat may also contain higher amounts of healthy fats. A review in the British Journal of Nutrition examined 67 published studies of organic and conventional raised meat from beef, pigs, poultry, lamb, goat, and rabbit. Saturated fat content in organic versus conventionally raised beef were similar or lower, while the percentage of omega-3 fatty acid was 47 percent higher on average across all types of meat.

Studies like these support the public perception that organic produce and meats are more nutritious. But there is an important caveat: Higher levels of certain nutrients in a food does not necessarily mean that eating that food will improve your health or prevent chronic illnesses like heart disease and cancer.

The organic foods, such as fruits and vegetables, were 30 percent less likely to contain detectable levels of pesticide residues. Two studies found higher levels of pesticide traces in the urine of children who ate non-organic foods. However, no more than 6 percent of the foods covered in the studies exceeded allowable limits of pesticide residues.

The bottom line: In the study cited above, organic foods contained lower levels of contaminants, but with no strong evidence that it prevents health problems. The researchers noted, Despite the widespread perception that organically produced foods are more nutritious than conventional alternatives, we did not find robust evidence to support this perception.

That may sound pretty damning, but this is just one review and the jury is not in. The complex scientific issues and politics of the organic food movement can make your head spin. But since there arent any obvious risks associated with properly grown and processed organic foods, many people opt for organic and are willing to pay a premium for it.

And dont forget there are other appealing benefits of organic food besides your own health. People perceive it as a way they can help to help preserve the health of the environment, too. Others like the idea of supporting local organic farmers.

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Benefits of Organic Food: What Research Tells Us ...

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March 1st, 2020 at 4:46 am

Posted in Organic Food