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Organic Food No Healthier Than Conventional?

Everywhere you turn lately, it seems more and more foods are being labeled organic. It's definitely been a huge craze, although sales have fallen since the recession. Sales may fall even further after people hear about a new study published Wednesday that states organic doesn't mean healthier when it comes to nutrition

A review of 162 scientific studies carried out over the past 50 years found no significant difference between organic and conventional in regards to health benefits. Although, individual studies have found organic produce is higher in vitamin C than conventional produce. There have been similar findings when comparing the antioxidant levels of organic tomatoes with conventional, with the organic ones containing almost twice as many healthful nutrients.

So if your main concern is quality of vitamins, minerals, and other nutrients, then there's no need to spend the extra dough. However, if you're worried about ingesting chemical pesticides, or want to support farming practices that have the least negative impact on our planet, then continue to splurge on organic foods.


Tell me, will this news change your grocery shopping habits?

Source: Flickr User A.D.A. ~ Anna Duncan Art

Join The Conversation
Renees3 Renees3 8 years
I never thought organic was nutritionally better. An apples and apple, yea? I'm kind of sick of everyone assuming that as consumers we're idiots.
sparklestar sparklestar 8 years
I eat organic because it TASTES BETTER. I don't care if it's "healthier" or not. I would have said that was pretty obvious.
HappyKate HappyKate 8 years
I've always known that. Organic also doesn't mean great farming practices either, the label organic is still pretty loosely regulated so you have to be careful of which places your organic foods are coming from, especially when it comes to meat and dairy.
shell684 shell684 8 years
Organic foods do, in fact, have little or no chemicals on them and are healthier for your body at least in this regard--its not just BS. My mother has a severe sulfite allergy, and has to eat organic foods because they have not been treated with preservatives. She has allergic reactions when she eats conventional food, and feels great when she eats organic...seems pretty cut and dry to me. I dont have this allergy, but I try to eat organic most of the time.
darc5204 darc5204 8 years
Organic is only better for the environment if you're getting it from a closer source than the regular version. It doesn't take that many extra miles of trucking to expand a carbon footprint. If you're going green, go local.
dunnonuttin dunnonuttin 8 years
My diet is 90% plant based ... so about all of my produce is in fact organic. I don't dispute the nutritional facts - although I do not rely on these "studies" to base my diet - but organic produce *tastes* better. Also I feel healthier knowing there's less chemical pesticides on my food.
stumbler02 stumbler02 8 years
I should qualify my post by saying that I'm vegetarian. If I bought meat products, I would buy something hormone-free. Still, not necessarily "organic."
stumbler02 stumbler02 8 years
I don't buy things labeled organic in the store. I think it's a load of hooey. Unless you're getting it from a trusted vendor at a farmer's market, you can't trust it to really be "organic."
tlsgirl tlsgirl 8 years
I choose not organic because I can't afford organic.
miamixo miamixo 8 years
I can't afford organic food so it doesn't really matter in my case.
lommie lommie 8 years
I've always purchased organic because of the chemicals and to support local farmers. It didnt really matter much whether or not they were "healthier". Eating fruits and veggies to begin with is healthy right?!? I'll definitely continue to buy organic whenever possible.
Phil Phil 8 years
Most people don't buy organic because they think it's healthier, but because of the impact of pesticides, not only on our health, but also on our environment. Also worth noting is that this study is actually only a survey of all current studies and makes no novel findings. The counterargument by Paula Crossfield on Civil Eats is well worth the read:
susanec susanec 8 years
I usually only buy organic or hormone free dairy and that's just because the milk squicks me out.
chloe-bella chloe-bella 8 years
For years, people didn't know that smoking was bad for you, because there were no scientific studies released. In hindsight, it seems odd that people couldn't figure it out using common sense. I feel the same way about pesticides - maybe there hasn't been a study yet definitively saying they're bad for you, but using common sense, I don't see how they can possibly be good for you. I buy organic when I can and will continue to do so.
runningesq runningesq 8 years
Meh. ... I think so much of it is a marketing scam. I'm healthier than most people I know, despite all the "icky chemicals" I'm putting into my body.
ilanac13 ilanac13 8 years
see i don't necessarily lean towards organic in the hopes that it has more nutrition - but i think that it's just better for you in general. in an age where we depend on chemicals and all sorts of thing to make produce grow faster and bigger, knowing that someone's doing it the 'clean' way makes it more enticing for me
Vanonymous Vanonymous 8 years
Good point, Spectra! I think buying organic produce and dairy is great if you can afford it, but if you're buying organic potato chips, cookies and tv dinners, you're wasting your money. If you are interested in this topic and haven't read the Omnivore's Dilemma, I suggest you do because he goes into great detail how many "organic" companies (think Cascadian Farms, which is really General Mills) are hurting your local farmers just as much as non-organic farms. If you have the money to buy organic in your grocery store, use it to buy local at your farmer's market (if your city/town has them).
Spectra Spectra 8 years
No; I don't usually shop organic because I can't afford it. I wash my produce with baking soda and water to get the pesticides off, so I'm not too worried about it. I think organic produce, eggs, milk, etc. are great if you can afford them, but I have issues with organic frozen dinners and mac and cheese...junk food is junk food, whether it's organic or not.
FireFly44 FireFly44 8 years
I do not choose organic bc I think it's better nutritionally anyway. If it is, great, if not, that's ok. I choose it to support the get produce and meat the way it is supposed to be in my opinion, from farmers, not giant corporations mass producing and keeping their animals in awful conditions.
michlny michlny 8 years
I would always choose organic over non-organic. The chemicals and pesticides in conventional foods has been proven time and again to be toxic and unhealthy. I have seen plenty of studies saying organic produce has more antioxidants and vitamins. I will continue to spend the majority of my income (sigh!) on organic produce and healthy foods!
MissKris02 MissKris02 8 years
No. It's the chemicals that I'm worried about.
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