The production process of some foods is referred to as “organic.” Organic foods are those that have been cultivated or produced without the following:
• Genetically engineered organisms; antibiotics (GMOs)
A food item needs to be free of artificial food additives to be designated as organic. Artificial sweeteners, preservatives, coloring, flavoring, and monosodium glutamate fall within this category (MSG).
To promote plant growth, organically farmed crops frequently employ organic fertilizers like manure. Antibiotics and hormones are not administered to animals bred organically.
Groundwater conservation and soil quality tend to be improved by organic farming. Additionally, it lessens pollution and could benefit the environment.
Fruits, vegetables, cereals, dairy products, and meat are the organic foods that are most frequently purchased. There are other processed organic goods available, like sodas, cookies, and meat alternatives.
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Organic foods might have higher nutrients
There have been conflicting findings in studies comparing the nutritious content of organic and non-organic foods.
This is most likely the result of average variance in the production and management of food. Evidence does, however, point to the possibility that organically farmed food may be more nutritive.
Crops produced organically include more vitamins and antioxidants
According to several previous research, organic foods typically include higher concentrations of antioxidants and specific micronutrients, like vitamin C, zinc, and iron.
Certain foods can have up to 69% higher antioxidant content than other diets.
According to a 2003 study, organically cultivated berries and corn had up to 52% more vitamin C and 58% more antioxidants.
Additionally, one study found that switching to organic versions of common fruits, vegetables, and cereals could double your diet’s antioxidant intake. This amounted to consuming 1-2 additional pieces of fruit and vegetables each day.
Organic plants defend themselves without the need for chemical pesticide sprays. Instead, they increase the production of antioxidants, which are their self-defense mechanisms.
This may partially explain the greater antioxidant levels in some plants
In general, nitrate levels are lower.
It has also been demonstrated that crops grown organically contain less nitrate. Studies have found that the nitrate levels in these crops are 30% lower.
Certain cancers are more likely to develop when nitrate levels are high.
They are also linked to an illness known as methemoglobinemia, which damages a baby’s body’s capacity to transport oxygen.
Organic meat and dairy products could have better fatty acid profiles
Omega-3 fatty acids, iron, vitamin E, and certain carotenoids may all be found in higher concentrations in organic milk and dairy products.
Organic milk, however, could have lower levels of iodine and selenium than non-organic milk. These two minerals are crucial for good health.
Increased consumption of omega-3 fatty acids has been linked to several health advantages, including a lower risk of heart disease.
Other research, however, revealed no differences.
Most prominent advantages of Organic Foods
Some studies show that eating organic food can have important advantages, others have found that there is not enough support for choosing organic versus conventional.
Food’s nutrient content is influenced by various elements, including the soil’s quality, the climate, and the time of crop harvest.
Differences in animal genetics and breed, what the animals consume, the time of year, and the style of the farm can all have an impact on the composition of meat and dairy products.
It is challenging to draw comparisons because of the inherent differences in food production and handling. The findings of this research are therefore inconclusive.
Lesser chemicals and bacterial resistance
Many individuals opt to purchase organic food to stay away from synthetic chemicals.
According to evidence, eating these foods may lessen your exposure to pesticide residues and germs that are resistant to antibiotics.
According to one study, organic produce had levels of the exceedingly hazardous element cadmium that were 48% lower. Additionally, non-organic crops were four times more likely to contain pesticide residues.
The greater amounts of cadmium and pesticide residue in conventionally cultivated fruit were still substantially below safety limits, which is crucial to highlight.
However, some professionals are concerned that cadmium can build up over time in the body and perhaps cause harm. Even though they aren’t usually fully eliminated, these chemicals can be reduced by washing, scouring, peeling, and frying food.
Do foods that are organic offer health benefits?
There is some evidence to support the claim that organic foods are healthy.
For instance, multiple laboratory investigations discovered that their higher antioxidant content assisted in preventing cell deterioration. Animal studies also suggest that eating organically may be good for the immune system, growth, and reproduction. According to one study, chickens fed an organic diet had stronger immune systems and showed less weight gain.
According to older observational studies, organic foods may reduce the risk of allergies and eczema in children and newborns.
Unfortunately, there is simply little solid evidence to support the claim that organic foods are healthier for people than conventional meals.
Not all organic foods are wholesome
It is not always true that a product is nutrient-dense just because it bears the label “organic.”
Some of these items still contain added sugar, salt, fat, and calories and are heavily processed.
Consuming organic cookies, chips, sodas, and ice cream, for instance, should be done in moderation. These goods may still be lacking in nutrients despite being organic.
Instead of deciding between organic and conventional foods, it may be more advantageous to base your decision on your nutritional requirements and the vitamins and minerals the food contains.
Health advantages of organic food
Your physical, mental, and emotional health, as well as the environment, can all be significantly impacted by how your food is cultivated or grown. People with sensitivities to foods, chemicals, or preservatives may discover that their symptoms reduce or disappear when they eat only organic foods since organic foods frequently offer more beneficial components, such as antioxidants, than their conventionally-grown equivalents.
Produce grown organically uses fewer pesticides. In conventional agriculture, synthetic fungicides, herbicides, and insecticides are frequently utilized, and their residues stay on (and in) the food we eat.
Because organic food lacks preservatives that extend its shelf life, it is frequently fresher. On smaller farms closer to the point of sale, organic produce is occasionally grown (though not always, so be aware of where it comes from).
The environment benefits more from organic farming. Organic agricultural methods may utilize less energy, less pollution, and less soil erosion while increasing soil fertility. It is better for surrounding birds and animals, as well as for residents who live adjacent to farms, to farm without synthetic pesticides.