Organic food, is it healthier? What is the fuss?

There have been many arguments about whether organic food is better for you, or if they are just the same as ‘normal’ fruits / vegetables — without the fuss and price tag.

A farmer’s perspective opens our insight

Organic farming is better for a farmer’s land. Although the certificate means very little because it does not necessarily mean there are vigorous tests / procedures to carry out (The New York Times).

Cheap food does not always mean profit margins: cheap food also allows farmers to feed poorer people because organic food is expensive.

Organic claims

Growing food in organic (natural) conditions is supposed to be good for the actual food (nutrients etc) as well as the environment. However, Vance & Muirhead found that organic food is not necessarily more environmentally friendly.

Organic food may taste better, but it is not better for you (Queensland Country Life). However, there was strong evidence to suggest that those who have eczema were more likely to control the condition if they ate organic diary products (Queensland Country Life).

The organic summary (at least for 2012 !)

I hold my hands up, this is not a deep post. But from a scan of resources, I cannot see any strong evidence to suggest that organic food is healthier.

If it is grown in natural conditions it is bound to taste nicer. But lets flip this on one side: our body is an amazing instrument (whatever you want to call it) that can get rid of a lot of bad stuff. Let’s put it another way, look back to the last time you had an alcoholic beverage.

What does alcohol do to you?

You took this harmful compound (alcohol). It made you urinate more than you usually do (it does this because it contains vasopressin). It switches off part of our (long-term) memory (which is why you do not always remember the whole night after heavy drinking) and makes our liver work hard. But the important thing to note is that our bodies can get rid of this harmful compound. Our bodies are amazing. After a few days everything is back to normal, right? That headache is gone because there is no more vasopressin: loosing a lot of water causes the brain to shrink — this is what makes your head sore (a headache).

So the important thing to note is that non-organic foods may have chemicals in them, but they are not something our amazing bodies cannot control. A good rinse under water cleans the surface, right?

If you could buy a packet of organic apples tomorrow for a few pounds (Euros or dollars) it might be better to put the packet down and buy normal ones as well as another fruit. This is an extra piece of nutritional goodness for the price of one!

I hope that more research will be done in this area within the coming years. What are your views? What have you heard?

  1. Organic Food: Truths and Fables. The New York Times. (Sept. 14, 2012) Opinion and Editorial: pNA(L).
  2. Vance, A. Muirhead, S. Research questions organic food claims. Feedstuffs. 84.37 (Sept. 10, 2012): p1
  3. “ORGANIC food is no better for you than the traditionally.” Queensland Country Life [Ormiston, Australia] 6 Sept. 2012: 17. Academic OneFile. Web. 19 Oct. 2012.
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8 thoughts on “Organic food, is it healthier? What is the fuss?

  1. The reason I buy organic produce is the toxicity of pesticides in conventionally grown produce. The modern world absolutely floods our bodies with toxins. They’re in the air, the water, the soil, everywhere. If I can remove one source of those toxins for a slight up-charge, why wouldn’t I? It’s also another small step towards getting rid of genetically modified food. I think buying organic supports the right groups of people, fighting for our right to healthy, pure, unmodified food. It’s just a step in the right direction.
    As far as alcohol is concerned, it alters the functioning of our bodies, true, but that toxicity only occurs during the time it takes for us to flush it out. Assuming you’re drinking much less often than you eat fruits and vegetables, alcohol does not stay in our systems for as long. It does not have time to permeate our every body tissue and deep into our cells.
    Conventionally grown meat and dairy is a whole other (disgusting) story…

    • Thank you for sharing this with me, ahappylass. It’s interesting to hear that you protect your body from less toxins by eating organic products. You are so right about supporting the right groups of people — maybe that’s a post of it’s own?! I hope to see you around ;)

  2. Organic is healthier but I am hoping there are checks in place to ensure we are not being conned. I touched on food in a lesson a long time ago. A student asked me “How can we be sure that the eggs we buy are really organic?”. People could put any type of eggs in shops and label them organic.

  3. thanks for this post :) I am still pretty new to learning about organic foods and other similar options out there but finding unbiased info is hard to do I’ve noticed. Thanks for being a good source to go to :)

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